In the cold light of Wednesday morning, the Republican candidates who are not Rick Santorum are sitting down to reassess what last night’s Iowa caucuses mean for them. After coming in as a distant sixth in the race, Michele Bachmann has announced that she is suspending her campaign. The Minnesota congresswoman and chair of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives was unable to pull off a repeat of her Iowa Straw Poll victory from last August.
After being the first candidate to enjoy the odd boom-and-bust cycle we’ve seen over and over again with the GOP field, Bachmann was relegated to “fringe candidate” status, leaving her trailing behind nearly all the other “big names” vying for the nomination. Following Rep. Bachmann’s decision to drop out of the race, Texas Governor Rick Perry, who seemed to signal that his campaign would be rethinking its place in the 2012 process, announced to his Twitter followers that he was continuing on to campaign in South Carolina. With Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, and now Michele Bachmann out of the race for the Republican nomination, the remaining candidates will be positioning themselves to best attract those voters looking for a candidate to support.
As January rolls on, the campaign calendar becomes tighter, with New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida all holding primaries within the next twenty-seven days.