(CNN)-It's early, and State of the Union is bringing you the best of the morning headlines to go with your cup of coffee.
We're live from Ames, Iowa this morning to give you the latest on the 2012 campaigns the morning after the Ames Straw Poll.
Be sure to watch our interviews today with presidential candidates Rep. Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain at 9am/12pm ET.
IOWA STRAW POLL
Tim Pawlenty, low on cash and reeling from a distant third-place finish at Ames, will hold an early-morning conference call Sunday with top campaign staff and donors to discuss his next move, a source tells POLITICO.
“We have to win the caucus here,” Bachmann campaign manager Ed Rollins said. “We’re going to work very, very hard here.”
The Minnesota congresswoman’s win Saturday, buoyed by a feisty tea party presence, recasts the image that dogged her just a few months ago – that she’s too out of the mainstream – but it doesn’t guarantee she will do well in coming months in Iowa or other early voting states.
“This is a mortal wound for Tim Pawlenty,” said Jeff Roe, a GOP strategist who worked on Mike Huckabee’s campaign in 2008. “He is so hobbled by these results. I don’t know how he could continue to fundraise and run a credible campaign.”
Herman Cain took fifth in today’s Iowa Straw Poll — 1,458 votes. According to staff, he’s excited. “He’s been clapping and cheering on the bus,” said Ellen Carmichael, Cain’s communications director.
“We will keep going in this campaign for the nomination and the presidency if I finish dead last,” he said. “I’m not gonna finish dead last!”
“I think it says a lot about constitutional conservatism,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of her closest friends in Congress. “It says a lot about the tea party. It says a lot about the social conservative agenda — life and marriage — and the fiscal issues too. She’s taken a strong stand against raising the debt ceiling. Others disagree with that position but it held up well here.”
And in the case of Cain, the former CEO must decide whether he wants to spend more of his own personal wealth to continue.
RICK PERRY GETS IN THE RACE
According to a strategy document obtained by The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty, there are four levels in the Perry donor universe.
“Patriots” are tasked with collecting $500,000 and promised a co-chairmanship of Perry’s national finance committee and a “VIP Republican National Convention Package” that includes a hospitality suite and a VIP reception at the national party convention. “Entrepreneurs,”who must raise $250,000, are promised membership on the national finance committee and “regular reports from campaign leadership.” “Explorers” must raise $100,000 and are promised invitations to “special events at the Republican National Convention.” And “Pilots” must bring in $50,000 and are invited to host committee receptions when events are held in their respective states.
Perry has never lost an election since entering public service as a state legislator from West Texas in 1985. He served three terms as a Democrat before switching parties to successfully run for state agriculture commissioner in 1990.
Perry, who announced his candidacy for president as a Republican on Saturday, won with 46 percent of the vote. He was the keynote speaker at state GOP party’s annual summer dinner this weekend.
Herman Cain placed second with 21 percent, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who attracted 16 percent of the vote, according to a release.
Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact. These include free trade agreements and improved patent protections for inventors. But others, including Gene Sperling, Mr. Obama’s chief economic adviser, say public anger over the debt ceiling debate has weakened Republicans and created an opening for bigger ideas like tax incentives for businesses that hire more workers, according to Congressional Democrats who share that view. Democrats are also pushing the White House to help homeowners facing foreclosure.
Sanders said he still supports the concept of a primary challenge for Obama, because, Sanders said, even Republicans have done a better job of keeping their campaign promises than Obama.
"I don't know of anybody in mind, but I am sure there are serious and smart people out there who can do it," Sanders said of the prospect of a primary challenge during C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program, airing on the network this weekend.
IN OTHER NEWS…
Thanks for reading!
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.