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Iowa casualty Michele Bachmann gets out. Rick Perry looks like he stays

Z8ujrWhen asked if she would drop out of the Republican presidential race, Michele Bachmann said before last night's Iowa vote that she had her plane ticket for South Carolina ready. Rick Perry was going to South Carolina, too.

Then the Iowa vote happened.

Perry came in fifth, with 10 percent of the caucus vote. Bachmann did even worse: 5 percent. So she finally quit.

"Last night the people of Iowa have spoke so I have decided to stand aside," said Bachmann, who had won the Ames straw poll this summer.

And what of Perry? Last night, he said he was heading back to Texas, where he's governor.

"With the voters' decision tonight in Iowa, I decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race," Perry said last night. His staff wasn't sure if he'd stick it out.

This morning, Perry looked as if he were back and ready to fight.

"And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State...Here we come South Carolina!!!" Perry said via Twitter that featured a picture of him, fresh from a job, holding a thumbs up.

Perry still has money. Word is Perry's campaign bought $2 million of TV time in South Carolina and he's up on air. Today's Fort Worth Star Telegram headline, "Perry poised to drop out of presidential race" doesn't help.

If indeed this is a race between Mitt Romney and Not Mitt Romney, then the withdrawal of Bachmann and Perry (if it happens) would be good news for Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Jon Huntsman has yet to have any sort of momentum, but is doing best in New Hampshire where he has exclusively campaigned.