The race for the GOP nomination has changed considerably since Rick Perry is in, Tim Pawlenty is out and Michelle Bachmann is ascendant. The Washington Post suggests that there is an opening for Romney in Iowa.
Aaron Blake writes that many are saying that Romney now needs to campaign agressively in Iowa.
The Romney-must-now-compete-in-Iowa theory goes like this: Rep.Michele Bachmann is still not broadly seen as a real threat to steal the Republican nomination from Romney. While she remains the favorite in Iowa, few believe she can carry that momentum through a drawn-out GOP nomination battle with the likes of Romney, who is favored to win New Hampshire and Nevada and could also win the South Carolina primary.
Perry, on the other hand, is seen as more of a long-term threat, and a win in Iowa by Perry would be much more dangerous to Romney than a Bachmann Iowas victory.
While Romney is a heavy favorite to win in New Hampshire and Nevada, Perry may be favored to win in South Carolina. That means, if Perry wins Iowa, he could notch two of the four early states and really give Romney a run for his money in the nomination war.
Blake also writes that Perry's entrance in the race effectively splits the "anti-establishment" vote between him and Bachmann, which might give Romney a better than expected chance in that state.