Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rick Perry's Surge May Force Mitt Romney to Shift Gears

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney may be forced to shake up his strategy to win the Republican presidential nomination now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has seized the top spot in the latest Gallup poll.

Among Romney's likely shifts: softening his focus on New Hampshire, the first primary state, and starting a more aggressive campaign in Iowa, where the race actually begins.

Romney invested heavily there in 2008 and fell short. But this time, a battle between Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota for supremacy among Iowa's social conservatives could create an opening for his more moderate brand of conservatism.

Also up for discussion inside the Romney camp: an accelerated advertising push, including attack ads against Perry.

"This nomination fight will not be a coronation," said Scott Reed, a GOP strategist who is neutral in the race. "He's got to show that he's willing to fight for it."
Romney's been campaigning as the inevitable nominee, but that's obviously not going to cut it.