This has truly been a strange political season so far. We are now just weeks away from the South Carolina GOP primary, and as Republicans grasp at any straw but Romney's, the candidates are dropping like flies. Bachmann, the Tea Party darling, showed early speed but faded into the background as Rick Perry surged in the polls. Perry quickly flamed out with his embarrassing debate gaffes only to be surpassed by the rising star of Herman Cain.
Unfortunately, it now appears that Cain is reassessing his campaign after multiple accusations of sexual harassment and a long term affair. So Gingrich is presently moving up in the polls to challenge Romney as the frontrunner. All other candidates are distant challengers, but who knows. If they hang on long enough, they may win by default.
So far the amount of campaign money these people are raising has been minimal… for all candidates combined, it's only about a quarter of what the GOP candidates raised at this point four years ago. And campaigning is also down, with more time spent in a series of debates than shaking hands and kissing babies in key states like Iowa and New Hampshire. It seems much less like a normal campaign, and more like a TV reality show.
The next few weeks should prove interesting as we wait to see just who is the last candidate standing.