After a rather disastrous 6th place finish in Iowa, Michele Bachmann today decided to suspend her campaign for the Republican party’s presidential nomination.
While Bachmann didn’t endorse anyone today, her dropping out of the race will likely be mildly good news for Rick Santorum. According to the entrance polling in Iowa, Bachmann did best with very conservative voters, evangelicals and those who strongly support the Tea Party. These are all groups Santorum won last night. Of course any benefit from Bachmann voters moving to Santorum should be minor simply because Bachmann didn’t have many supporters left. She was polling at just 5 percent nationally and at only 2 percent in New Hampshire.
What is interesting about Bachmann’s decision to drop out is that as of yesterday she and Santorum were basically tied in national polling. The Gallup tracking poll yesterday had Bachmann at 5 percent and Santorum at 6 percent.
Thus, while Santorum will very likely get a very nice bump from his extremely close second place Iowa finish, this a reminder of just how deep a national hole he is starting from. Before yesterday, his national polling was so low that it was on par with candidates who are now dropping out. Santorum is going to have to gain a huge amount of support and do so very quickly if he wants a shot at the nomination.