GOP contenders striding onto the debate stage Wednesday evening at the Ronald Reagan library will do so knowing that pundits and prognosticators already are beginning to describe the nomination fight as a two-man contest between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.Who didn't expect it? Everybody expected it. I predicted it at least two weeks before Perry got in.
Although Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann or Texas Rep. Ron Paul could still find a game-changer to alter the Perry-Romney dynamic, their window to do so appears to be closing, at least in the eyes of many political analysts.
“Clearly the Republican Party is rallying behind Rick Perry in a way nobody expected a couple of weeks ago,” Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza told MSNBC on Tuesday.
I'm sure Bachmann, Paul, Santorum and whoever else is still in the race realize they're going to have to do something dramatic or tonight's debate could be the effective end of their campaigns. With a strong showing by Rick Perry, it could be the end of Romney's campaign too. I bet all of them but Perry wish the President had gone ahead with his speech tonight.