Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Chase for Change 2008: Florida Edition: Hillary and McCain Move Closer to the Noms, Edwards and Giuliani Out

So last night in Florida the two front-runners moved further ahead.

On the Republican side:

By winning Florida, McCain actually gets ALL their delegates (unlike in other states where they get divided up proprotional to the vote) so this puts him near Romney's current total (Romney is stil ahead if you include superdelegates who have pledged support). Add to that, that he will almost certainly be getting Rudy Giuliani's endorsement soon (and probably Fred Thompson's too, unless I missed that), he's going to be tough to beat.

Romney though still has way more money than McCain so if he keeps finishing a close second in lots of races where it's not winner take all he can still make it to the convention and have a chance, but it's looking a bit less likely now since I think McCain is likely to pull far ahead of Romney in delegates after Super Tuesday.

Giuliani's strategy of putting all his eggs in Florida was absolutely a horrible failure that no one will try to replicate anytime soon.

As for Huckabee, I don't know where he goes from here. I don't think he'll do that well on Super Tuesday, so maybe he'll drop out after that or try to go play kingmaker at the Convention if the Republican race manages to stretch out that far.

On the Democratic side:

I had predicted that Hillary Clinton would win back more momentum going into Super Tuesday and she has. Even though there are technically right now no delegates being awarded in the Florida democratic primary, they may yet be. As well her 50-33 victory is large enough to counter the trouncing she got in South Carolina. To boot Florida is much more consequential in the Presidential contest then South Carolina (a state I really don't think the Democrats would win no matter who the nominnee). So yes Obama got some key endorsement from the Kennedys and Teddy and Carolyn will be campaigning for him hard, but I think Hillary goes into Super Tuesday will more wind at her back and will pull way ahead in the delegate count on that day. Obama can stay in the race though by enough close second place finishes and I think he'll pull that off. SC and the Kennedy's have certainly helped to keep the media from counting him out.

Edwards apparently saw the writing on the wall and it's now being reported that he is officially quitting the race. I thought he still had a chance to play kingmarker, but I guess he didn't think so.

On to Super Tuesday....

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Justin Socie said...

On the democratic side, people understand that Florida was meaningless. It's basically a toss-up right now, with Obama carrying momentum in from SC and all the endorsements. Edwards will lkely go his way a day or two before the vote as well.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a great deal of wishful thinking in saying Florida is "meaningless." I think it was a huge mistake by the Obama campaign stating as such last night and reporting they were "laughing" at the results and Hillary's address in Florida.

The Obama campaign, who ran ads in Florida (under the guise that they were "national" ads on CNN and MSNBC . . . though Clinton and Edwards somehow managed to not run ads there) essentially told the 1.5 million Florida Democrats who voted (including 500,000 for Obama) to go screw themselves.

If that doesn't hurt him next week, it will smart big time next November if he gets the nomination. As it is, I don't think we'll have to look that far as I do think it will hurt him - tomorrow in their debate - and next week's Super Tuesday vote.

Chadd said...

Now that Edwards is out of the race I think that people have to start looking at where his sizeable followers will go. Edwards has been an anti-establishment candidate throughout the election and I cannot see the majority of his supporters going to Clinton. This has to be a great boost for Obama heading into Super Tuesday, where hopefully he can pick up some Edwards supports and stay close, if not beat Clinton in the delegate count.