It's been roughly two months since Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes last joined The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task and Henry Blodget to discuss the race for 2012. And boy what a difference a couple months makes for the field of Republican candidates dreaming to become the next president of the United States.
Today former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich trails Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, by just 2% with 22% of support from likely republican voters, according to a recent CNN/ORC International Poll conducted November 11-13, 2011.
But back in September Forbes, who is a former presidential candidate himself, had been leaning toward a Rick Perry endorsement. At that time, Perry led Romney in the polls 31% to 24%. "I think at the end of the day Perry will win the nomination, and I think he'll win the election," he said.
Since then Perry has fallen from the lead due to his lackluster debate performances, most notably is his recent gaffe where he could not name a third agency of government he'd eliminate should he become President. (See: Beyond 'Oops': Perry's Gaffe Wasn't the Only Debate Mistake, Former Reagan Aide Says)
But even before Perry's so-called mind-slip on Nov. 9, he had been falling in the polls and was eventually overtaken by businessman Herman Cain who was trailing right behind Romney. (See: Here Is Why Herman Cain's Popularity Boost Won't Last: Davidowitz)
The spotlight has since come and gone for Cain as well, just like it did for Rep. Michele Bachmann earlier in the year.
So what do these erratic voter swings mean with less than one year to the election? Nearly 75% of republican voters are still looking for the next best thing to Romney, says Forbes.
But you can't count any one of these candidates out of the race just yet, he says, reminding us of two comeback stories: Gingrich and McCain.
It was not that long ago that voters and the media had written off Gingrich for disappearing on vacation with his wife, resulting in much of his election staff walking off the job. And, it was not until late 2007 when McCain —who had been trailing in the polls—was able to gain traction and eventually grab the GOP nomination.
For this reason, Forbes has not given up entirely on Perry and suggests he wait to make any sudden moves until the "voters speak."
"This thing is so fluid until you get the results in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, why not stay in it?," he asks. "I still think Rick Perry can make a comeback.
Watch the video to hear why Forbes says republican voters are looking desperately for a better option than Romney.