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Time for Perry, Bachmann, Huntsman to quit?

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Iowa has a pretty bad history of picking winners. At this point the three top candidates are in a virtual dead heat. Santorum is currently leading Romney by about 45 votes. Iowa and New Hampshire have a much better track record of identifying losers.

Actual election results have a way of forcing no-hopers to face reality in a way that opinion polls can't quite manage. Huntsman is set to receive less than 1% of the vote. It is a crowded field and Iowa is not his best state, but it is clear that Huntsman has no chance of winning the nomination or even placing well enough to justify a spot in future debates.

Bachmann has no such excuse for her 5% showing. She was running as a social conservative and targeted the religious right as her core constituency. She needed a good showing in Iowa to justify staying in the race, she missed by a mile. Time for her to leave as well.

William Kristol on Fox is mistaken when he says Perry's 9% is an embarrassment for him. If Perry has proved one thing on the campaign trail it is that he is impervious to embarrassment. Perry has been an embarrassment for his state since the start of the debates. Perry really should withdraw but his showing in Iowa is probably just about good enough for him to survive through to NH.

Gingrich's 15% suggests that he is a fading force, but he did a lot better than anyone was predicting just a month ago, and Santorum is not expected to repeat his performance in NH.

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