Watching the pandemonium that is the build up to the Iowa Caucus, you can follow the thread that pandering and trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator brings to the Iowa Caucus candidates.
They have taken what could have been an asset, and transformed it into the threat that each of the candidates seems to be fixated on – that they will not be considered ‘enough of a social conservative’ and so will not win the caucus.
So, by having a field of five (Paul, Newt, Santorum, Perry and Bachman) competing to be the most dogmatic, the most restrictive, the most anti-abortion, the most anti-immigrant, the most family-oriented, etc., they have actually pared down their own chances of winning.
Romney is running in the slightly more moderate vertical, which no one wants to compete in because it’s not such a knee-jerk distinction, which is why I left him out of this analysis.
In risk assessment terns, this means they have focused on addressing the wrong potential threat (not being conversative enough), and failed to address the real threat (losing the election or coming in dead last).
For the field of five, it turns out that by directly competing against each other, they energize their narrow social conservative vertical and that keeps all five of them alive, and the eventual outcome is the splintering of that narrow field, which effectively prevents any one of them from anything close to a clear win.
It may be a great way to promote yourself for a later VP slot, or, who knows, maybe a future ambassadorship, but it’s NO WAY TO WIN AN ELECTION!