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January 30, 2008

McCain Wins Florida

I refrained from making a prediction about Florida because I was uncertain how it would break. Polls were in flux, and it appeared that late-deciders were going hither and yon as the campaign swung into its final days -- in part due to misleading and/or false attacks on Mitt Romney by the McCain campaign.

And most importantly, I expected the final margin to be no more than two points.

Which is why I am shocked by the results of yesterday's voting -- McCain by 5 points.

Senator John McCain defeated Mitt Romney on Tuesday to win the delegate-rich Florida primary, solidifying his transformation to the Republican front-runner and dealing a devastating blow to the presidential hopes of Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Republican officials said after Mr. Giulianiís distant third-place finish that he was likely to endorse Mr. McCain, possibly as early as Wednesday in California. They said the two candidatesí staffs were discussing the logistics of an endorsement.

The results were a decisive turning point in the Republican race, effectively winnowing the field to Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney, two candidates with very different backgrounds who have little affection for one another but share a similar challenge in winning over elements of the party suspicious of their ideological credentials.

This was a pretty decisive victory, and I have to agree that it does narrow the field to only two significant candidates. As noted above, reports indicate that Rudy Giuliani will be withdrawing today, while Huckabee's fourth-place finish likely shows him to have been a flash-in-the-pan, despite his plan to soldier on through Tsunami Tuesday next week.

What does this mean for the GOP race? A couple of things, as I see it.

First, John McCain is the obvious front-runner, and Mitt Romney needs to do spectacularly well in a week to regain his momentum and avoid becoming this year's Ted Kennedy to McCain's Jimmy Carter, carrying a hopeless fight to the convention floor.

Second, the endorsements that McCain has been lining up seem to be creating a pool of potential VPs and Cabinet choices. Either Thompson or Giuliani would be a good choice for VP (perhaps Thompson to appeal tot he conservatives), while the other would be a fantastic Attorney General -- assuming he didn't tap Ted Olson for that spot.. Duncan Hunter would make a fine Secretary of Defense.

However, all is not lost for Romney. He is running a credible campaign this year, and is not out of it yet. A strong showing on Tsunami Tuesday could revers the momentum shift of Florida -- and propel him to the Presidency. And he has been a strong enough candidate this year to be a force in 2012 if he does not win the nomination in 2008, which might well be a better place for Romney if he has presidential ambitions that extend beyond this November. Maybe he is this year's Reagan to McCain's Gerald Ford.





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I feel so lost right now. I do not have a candidate that I am willing to vote for anymore. (boohoo). Do I vote for the guy who calls me a racist because I want my country's sovereignty to be upheld or the guy who would kill our babies? How could this have happened? Argghhhh.

|| Posted by Rosemary, January 30, 2008 06:39 AM ||

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|| Posted by cdaxkjnb, October 20, 2008 12:30 PM ||
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NAME: Greg
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