And so it goes. The GOP presidential field is crowded this year. And with that crowd comes a lot of names that tend to wax and wane. For a while, Michele Bachmann was the toast of the town, but her lackluster performance at last night’s debate left her supporters yearning for a better showing. The same was said of Rick Perry. The acknowledged winner at last night’s debate was Mitt Romney, former (and probably future) frontrunner. While he had dominated in the polls prior to the entry of Perry and Bachmann, his star has been eclipsed in recent weeks by the new entrants to the race, with most of the media attention going to the joiners, and supporters flocking to the new kids in droves.
So what’s my point? Well, with politics, it’s very typical to see a new candidate make a big splash when they first declare their intention to run. But once that initial enthusiasm and media attention subsides, the race falls back, largely, to where it was previously. It’s a kind of reverse entropy: chaos prevails for a while, but the established order of things usually reverts to the status quo after the new candidate glow fades. And, as I wrote yesterday, a poll, taken in and of itself, is meaningless. The only poll that matters comes the first Tuesday in November every four years. All the other polls leading up to that are just indicators.
Perry and Bachmann are on ships that aren’t exactly seaworthy. The decks need to be scrubbed, the sails are dingy and they’re beginning to taken on water with bilge pumps that are working overtime. And at the same time, the USS Romney seems to be steaming forward, full speed ahead. I would expect for the polls to readjust over the coming three months so that Romney will reestablish his frontrunner status once the initial honeymoon period for the other candidates fade. And then it’ll be back to Romney, presumptive GOP nominee. We’ll see in January. Stay tuned.