Some interesting things are going on at a rapid pace in the presidential race. Lots of blogs and media sites can keep you up to date with the happenings. But I wanted to take a moment to point out some things.
The Sunshine State is first.
We all know that Rudy Giuliani has been here, focused his efforts on building the grass roots network. Mitt Romney, the real leader in delegates, is also fighting here — looking to regain some momentum he hasn’t found since he faded in to a second place finish in Iowa. Meanwhle, John McCain, the national (media-designated?) front runner is leading in recent polls thanks to a bump from his South Carolina win.
However, there are two things that will affect votes and could affect polls later in the week. Mike Huckabee has all but left the state, focusing on less expensive states voting on Super Tuesday. Fred Thompson quit the race this week. Both of these candidates will lose support between now and election day — they were polling about 25% combined in recent polls, votes that will go to Giuliani, Romney, and McCain.
Another thing to remember, Florida is the first — THE FIRST — state where only Republicans can vote for these candidates. Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina, and even Nevada allowed independents to vote in the Republican primaries and caucuses. These independent voters have helped propel McCain to where he is now. McCain can’t count on that support.
In fact, I would say here and now that Florida is a race between Romney and Giuliani. The winner will probably get about a third of the vote — 33%.
Then will come Super Tuesday.
Ah yes. An almost-National primary:
Alabama Primary 48 delegates Alaska Caucus 29 delegates Arizona Primary 53 delegates Arkansas Primary 34 delegates California Primary 173 delegates Colorado Caucus 46 delegates Connecticut Primary 30 delegates Delaware Primary 18 delegates Georgia Primary 72 delegates Illinois Primary 70 delegates Massachusetts Primary 43 delegates Minnesota Caucus 41 delegates Missouri Primary 58 delegates Montana Caucus 25 delegates New Jersey Primary 52 delegates New York Primary 101 delegates North Dakota Caucus 26 delegates Oklahoma Primary 41 delegates Tennessee Primary 55 delegates Utah Primary 36 delegates West Virginia Caucus 30 delegates
That is some list. The South can be Huckabee country, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut could be for Giuliani. The upper midwest, as well as the mountain states will go for Romney. The West is strong for McCain. You could easily see all four candidates win several states each that night.
While the Florida winner will have some momentum, this strange election could stop that inertia in a heartbeat.
Hang on folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.