Steve Deace

Here in the first in the nation caucus state, the race remains very fluid.

Just like grassroots activists around the country, Iowa’s movement conservatives are looking for a champion that provides them a true alternative to Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primary.

And in Iowa that alternative has yet to emerge.

Sure, polls in Iowa show Herman Cain surging here as they show elsewhere. However, Cain has no legitimate organization in a state that requires it. After burning through two staffs earlier this year, and he hasn’t even been to Iowa since the August 13th Ames Straw Poll. Other than enthusiastic posts on Facebook, there is literally no evidence of a Cain campaign in the state that kicks off the primary calendar. Then there’s Rick Perry, whose campaign is freefalling in Iowa as it is elsewhere, with no end in sight.

This means grassroots conservatives in Iowa are struggling to settle on one champion the way a majority of them coalesced around Mike Huckabee four years ago. The truth is if Huckabee announced today he was running, he would render the Iowa Caucuses a fait accompli by running away with them. Barring Huckabee’s unlikely late entry into the fray, it appears that what Iowa Caucus voters are looking for is a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

The candidate they’re looking for is Hewt Bachpaulrum.

In other words, Iowa conservatives are looking for a composite of several candidates, taking the best of several of them in a way that allows them to overlook the objections that are preventing them from rallying around any of them.

For example:

1.)Iowa conservatives are unsure of Herman Cain’s depth of knowledge on issues beyond his 9-9-9 plan, but they love his ability to rile up liberals with his winsomeness.

2.)Iowa conservatives are unsure of what possessed Newt Gingrich to do commercials with Nancy Pelosi and back Dede Scozzafava, but they admire the intellectual gravitas on the issues he brings to the table.

3.)Iowa conservatives wonder if Michele Bachmann has the executive experience required to be president, but they dig her spunk and willingness to buck her own party's establishment.

3.)Iowa conservatives are put off by Ron Paul’s unconventional foreign policy views and his libertarian leanings on the social issues, but they would appoint him Treasury Secretary for life if they could.

Steve Deace

Steve Deace is syndicated nationally by the Salem Radio Network each weeknight from 9 p.m.-Midnight eastern. His radio program has been featured in major media such as Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, The Weekly Standard, and Real Clear Politics among others. He's one of the top 100 talk show hosts in America according to Talkers Magazine. In 2013 he wrote the second-most shared column of the year for USA Today, defending "Duck Dynasty" and traditional American values. In addition to being a contributor for Conservative Review, USA Today, and Town, Deace is a columnist for The Washington Times. He is also the author of the book "Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again," which includes a foreword by David Limbaugh and is endorsed by a who's who of conservative leaders. He lives in Iowa with his wife Amy, and their three children: Ana, Zoe, Noah You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.