The process of answering that question starts today, in the heart of Bowl Season. While a good many Americans are worried about how college football games turn out and about the NFL Playoff match ups, the playoff for a shot at the greatest job in the land begins today in Iowa.
The Iowa Caucuses are a thing of wonder. Unlike primaries, where voters simply go the polls and secretly cast their ballot, people in Iowa will caucus. That means that people will actually stand up with friends and neighbors and literally stand with the candidate that they support for President.
Historically, although it is the first contest of Presidential contenders, few winners of the nomination in both parties have been selected in Iowa. Its results have made things more interesting as the primary season develops.
That said, VUI breaks down the GOP field and who must do what to survive the race.
First, former Senator Rick Santurom and U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachman must do well. They both trail in national polls but have invested a lot of time and resources in Iowa. If either of them finishes in first or second, they will make the race interesting.
Second, Congressman Ron Paul must do well. Nothing less than second place will keep his rebel campaign alive. Paul has moved considerable resources to Iowa and is counting on a ground game.
Third, there is Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas. Perry raised a lot of money and looked like a real contender until his debate flubs. Now, he needs a solid showing to hold on to South Carolina.
Fourth, there are the guys who do not want to be embarrassed. That would be former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Both men have some following in national polls, but either or both could be embarrassed with a bad showing in Iowa as they have not put the time and the resources into the state.
That brings us to former Utah Governor and United States Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman. Huntsman has the resume of a President. But, his campaign has not gained any real traction. If Huntsman, by some miracle, could finish in the top three, it would change the race.
Chances are Iowa will end true to its history. Some upstart, perhaps Bachman, Santorum, or Paul will do really well. The front runner Romney will do respectively, and the race will go on to New Hampshire and then to South Carolina, where the smart candidates will start dropping out and positioning themselves for appointment in 2013.