Wednesday Open Thread: So, Now What ?by Doug Mataconis
With Mitt Romney’s win in Michigan last night, we are now at the point where three separate candidates have won the first three contests of the Republican Nomination race. Hucabkee won Iowa, McCain won New Hampshire, and Romney surprised everyone with a strong win in Michigan.
So, what happens next ?
Mitt Romney: A win in Michigan means that Romney is in the race for awhile. Had he lost, it would have been hard to justify staying in through Super Tuesday. Right now, he’s locked in a four way tie in Florida and a victory there could put him in the front of the pack.
John McCain: If McCain had won in Michigan, he would have had a strong claim to the title of Republican frontrunner. Now, he’s got to win in South Carolina and keep Giuliani from winning in Florida if he’s going to have a shot at the nomination.
Mike Huckabee: Tax Hike Mike is competitive with McCain in South Carolina and part of the four way tie in Florida. But I can’t help have the nagging feeling that he peaked too early.
Fred Thompson: Last week, after New Hampshire, he said that South Carolina was a do or die state for him. Well, barring a miracle over the next three days, it looks like he’s going to die. Look for Thompson to drop out and endorse his buddy McCain.
Rudy Giuliani: If Huckabee peaked too early last month, Giuliani’s mistake was bigger because he peaked last year. He’s been on the decline everywhere ever since the voting started and, unless he pulls of a win in Florida, is not going to be a factor going forward. Heck, Giuliani can’t even beat Ron Paul.
Ron Paul: The Paul campaign did do better in Michigan than it has elsewhere in one respect; it was the first time they’ve made it to fourth place. In terms of overall percentage of the vote, though, they’ve gone downhill from the start — 10% in Iowa, just under 8% in New Hampshire, and 6% in Michigan. I don’t see things getting any better any time soon. In both Nevada and South Carolina, he’s polling at the bottom of the pack. The same is true of Florida.
As always, feel free to disagree.