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.
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.
4.)Iowa conservatives wonder what possessed Rick Santorum to endorse RINOs like Arlen Specter and Christie Todd Whitman, but they also seem him as the rare candidate in this race willing to stand consistently for Judeo-Christian morality while many of their former standard-bearers join the board of GOProud, or urge the GOP to abandon issues like life and marriage altogether.
So far, no candidate has been willing to accentuate enough of their positives in order to overcome the doubts about their negatives remaining in the minds of Iowa conservatives. As a result, Iowa conservatives would prefer to take the best of each, and create the ideal candidate in Hewt Bachpaulrum.
Those same Iowa Caucus voters who see President Obama’s plummeting poll numbers as the rare opportunity to put a true movement conservative in the White House, don’t want to settle for the man who imposed a mandate on his constituents before Obama did. Nonetheless, that will be exactly what they’ll get unless one of the candidates who makes up the Hewt Bachpaulrum composite sketch is able to separate themselves from the rest of the pack by showing they have what it takes to take on Romney and then, ultimately, Obama.
Hewt Bachpaulrum is a fantasy, but missing out on the most opportune environment to elect a true movement conservative president of the United States for the first time since 1980 would be a nightmare.
Steve Deace's nationally-syndicated radio show airs coast-to-coast each weeknight from 9-Midnight eastern, including many of the Salem Radio Network's top conservative talk stations in markets like New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minneapolis. 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 National Review among others. 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 Town Hall.com, Deace is also a columnist for The Washington Times. He is also the author of the new 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. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.