Charles Krauthammer thinks the race will boil down to a Tea party candidate vs. Rick Perry vs. Mitt Romney.
"There's going to be somebody coming out of the existing pack that will be one contender against Romney.
Perry, I think, on his own could be the other candidate against Romney -- it'd be a three-way race.
He comes in as a man, obviously, with a lot of experience as a governor -- executive experience -- he's strong with the social conservatives, and Texas has had a good record.
.... He's got a lot of money. You put that all together, and you have a serious contender against Romney, and I think it becomes a 3-way race."
Mmmm. I slightly disagree.
In the end, it's more likely to boil down to Perry vs. Romney than Bachmann/Palin vs. Perry vs. Romney.
Once tea party folks see they're splitting the vote, they'll rally behind one candidate, and since Perry has a) the strongest record of the tea party candidates and b) the most experience, it'll probably be he.