iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
David Helfenbein

GET UPDATES FROM David Helfenbein

Advice for the Candidates, August 2011 Edition

Posted: 07/29/11 01:01 PM ET

Bachmann: do not peak too soon. Continue controlling your media appearances by not doing too many and not doing them too often.

Cain: you will not win the nomination.

Gingrich: you will be fun in the debates but no one is taking you seriously at this point, which is unfortunate because you are a smart guy. Stick around for the debates.

Huntsman: keep distinguishing yourself from Romney. As you said in different but similar words, facts and civility are not at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Pawlenty: focus all of your attention on the Iowa straw poll. You need to get a strong showing in Iowa to play in the game.

Paul: you will not get the nomination but will add greatly to the conversation. See debate entertainment, re: "Gingrich."

Perry: are you going to run or not? Make up your mind. You can actually influence this race. If you decide too late however this you will blow your chances. Timing is everything.

Romney: keep expectations low for a potential Iowa win and control your media appearances. You, like Bachmann, do not want to peak too early. Major previous indicators in polling show that you are on a path to win the nomination (the Republican frontrunner generally wins). But strong repeat hits from the other contenders can in fact bring you down. Do not count your chickens before they hatch.

Santorum: see "Cain."

---

Obama: Solve the debt crisis and move on. Easier said than done? Tell me about it.

---

Summary:

There are four Republicans in play if Perry does not enter: Bachmann, Huntsman, Romney, and Pawlenty. None of these four candidates should be discounted at this stage. It is simply too early to do so.

The race as it stands is Romney's to lose and without any debates the contest may resemble more of a name recognition contest now than a race in which anyone is running on their records.

Only two candidates have a chance (and I say a chance) of beating Obama: Huntsman and Romney. And only one is polling in the double-digits (Romney).

Bachmann can win Iowa but likely cannot win the nomination. And if Perry enters, we have a different game -- one with five different players.

This race may be Romney's to lose but once other candidates start pouncing against him, it could in fact be one big fall.

 

Follow David Helfenbein on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DavidHelfenbein