Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
Given the obvious loathing of the Republican base for Mitt Romney, I've been reluctant to flatly rule out the possibility of Rick Perry winning the nomination despite his Gardasil heresy, his immigration gaffe, and his cringe-inducing debate performances. I'm willing to flatly rule out Herman Cain, but not Perry.
However, if this story from the Houston Chronicle is true, then Perry might be well and truly screwed:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign fundraising has gone into a tailspin as a result of poor debate performances and plunging poll numbers, jeopardizing his position as the best-funded Republican presidential candidate of 2012.
....But Perry’s loyal backers are running into resistance from Republican donors. One Perry fundraiser, who asked not to be named, said he received 15 RSVPs for a recent event from potential donors saying they might attend. But after a gaffe-marred Perry debate performance, none showed up.
....Another Perry fundraiser said he expects the Texas governor to raise between $3 million and $5 million in the final three months of 2012 — less than one-third of what he generated in the first six weeks of his candidacy.
The fat lady hasn't quite sung yet, but she is definitely warming up her pipes. There's still time for Perry to rebound, but Iowa is less than seven weeks away, so the "there's still time" meme is rapidly approaching its sell-by date. If Perry's going to mount a comeback, he better get started.