January 30, 2008
As the Florida primary knocks out Rudy Giuliani and sets Mike Huckabee back on his heels, who benefits most?
As the Florida primary knocks out Rudy Giuliani and sets Mike Huckabee back on his heels, who benefits most? John McCain, of course, but the Indepublicrat knows that Ron Paul headlines get more clicks on the Nolan Chart website–and in this case Ron Paul would also be a huge beneficiary as the election heads toward Super Tuesday.
Future candidates will take note of Giuliani’s strategy as an example of how to go from frontrunner to also-ran in 30 days or less. Essentially, Rudy took the month off in favor of a nice Florida vacation. His poor showings in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, Wyoming, and South Carolina eroded any support he built up in the Sunshine State, no matter how many New York snowbirds he managed to marshall into the voting booths.
The Indepublicrat expects Rudy to drop out of the race in the next few days, and the Huckabee campaign won’t be competitive in more than three or four of the 20-plus states looming just ahead. This gives Ron Paul a good chance of pushing himself into a solid number three position.
If the top two candidates remain close going into the conference, so that neither obtains a majority of delegates, a strong number three candidate becomes the king-maker. This is the role John Edwards seems to be angling toward in the Democratic party, giving him the power to throw his delegates behind the candidate who makes him the best offer–up to and including a strategic partnership and a spot on the ticket.
It looks somewhat less likely on the Republican side, at least for now, but the Indepublicrat wouldn’t be totally surprised to see an Obama/Edwards vs. Romney/Paul election in the Fall.