Patrick Ruffini

Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor, has dropped out of the race after three months.

It's easy to ascribe this to the oxygen being sucked up by HillaryObamaEdwards. The incredibly early start to the campaign is a double-edged sword for the back of the pack. Their ability to raise fast money online if they catch on late in the season is a potentially game-changing opportunity. At the same time, conventional wisdom about who's up and down is congealing earlier, creating potential cash-flow problems for a candidate like Vilsack, who had already hired 50 staffers in Iowa.


Patrick Ruffini

Patrick Ruffini is an online strategist dedicated to helping Republicans and conservatives achieve dominance in a networked era. He has seen American politics from every vantagepoint — as a campaign staffer, activist, and analyst.