This morning Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he was suspending his campaign for President of the United Sates, and was endorsing former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Perry’s exit was a long time coming, as he had failed time and again to meet expectations in both polling and actual voting. In the time between last week’s New Hampshire primary and this Saturday’s upcoming South Carolina primary, conservatives around the country began calling for the “lesser” conservatives in the GOP field to get out of the race in order for the conservative factions of the party to coalesce around on candidate, in the hopes of depriving Mitt Romney the nomination. With Perry’s announcement this morning, it seems party conservatives have decided that the long-sought-after “conservative alternative to Mitt Romney” is Newt Gingrich.
Following Sarah Palin’s strange pseudo-endorsement of Newt on Tuesday, it seems that most conservatives are leaning towards Gingrich over Rick Santorum, one of the few remaining candidates in the shrinking GOP field. Jon Huntsman, the somewhat-moderate former Utah governor, left the race Sunday and endorsed Mitt Romney. With this week’s two high-profile campaign collapses, the once wide-open GOP slate of big-name candidates has been winnowed down to Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Ron Paul. Running an often-times ignored campaign is former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, who is still in the race.
The Republican nominating fight, as it now stands, is down to whether either Santorum or Gingrich will be able to bloody Romney enough for voters to want to choose someone else as the nominee.