The Underdog, at Last

Mitt Romney finally has a real challenger in Rick Perry. Here's how Romney can win

Illustration by Matt Dorfman for TIME; From Left: Getty Images; AP

After a sluggish and somewhat silly summer, the actual race for the Republican presidential nomination begins now, so a little history seems in order. Four years ago, John McCain--the eventual Republican nominee--was dead in the water, humiliated by his inability to manage front-runner status, having wasted a ton of money and fired a bunch of staff. Eight years ago, John Kerry--the eventual Democratic nominee--was on life support, having been swept into irrelevance by the passion of Howard Dean and plagued by staff and money problems. This time around, September finds the putative Republican front runner, Mitt Romney, in something of a...

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