POLITCO ARENA: Rep. Michele Bachmann and Gov. Rick Perry are both spending time in Waterloo, Iowa – Bachmann’s hometown – to spend facetime with voters. http://politi.co/oTDhzG  Bachmann comes to Waterloo after a convincing win in the Ames Straw Poll. Perry arrives just days after his announcement and spending time in South Carolina and New Hampshire – a clear sign he is not trying to downplay Iowa’s significance. The actions of both candidates show that Iowa could be a crucial early test in the presidential race.  With the absence of Gov. Mitt Romney in Iowa, Perry and Bachmann appear to be on a collision course.
Is Romney making a mistake by not showing up in Iowa? And could this situation make Perry and Bachmann the new frontrunners?

Mitt Romney has correctly chosen not to expend financial resources too early in Iowa. He, like many others, won the Ames straw poll in 2008 but in the end failed to win the nomination. Wisely, Romney has spent time building his name recognition and policy positions. Unlike the other GOP contenders, he is a known quantity. Like Sen. McCain before him, Romney is running for the General Election.
As a frontrunner, Romney would have a lot more to lose if he spent his time and resources winning over the hard-core Right. It makes more sense to let his rivals, such as Bachmann and Perry, to paint themselves into policy corners and to make the gaffes that would make them unappealing to Independents and moderate Democrats dissatisfied with President Obama.
Romney is correctly building campaign infrastructure in the states where he needs to win the state caucuses and primaries necessary to winning delegates and the Republican nomination. He has plenty of time to win the Iowa caucus six months from now. Thus far, in my opinion, he has made few mistakes. [Read more here.]