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January 29, 2008

An Impressive Win

With more than two-thirds of the precincts reporting, John McCain has won an impressive victory in Florida's Republican primary. Many people questioned whether Senator McCain could win a closed GOP contest, as up to now he had won in New Hampshire and South Carolina through the assistance of crossover voting from Democrats and independents. Those questions have now been answered, at least in Florida.

What does this mean for the Super Tuesday contests coming up in a week? It appears that the race has narrowed down to McCain and Romney. McCain will enter February 5th with more delegates, but only 10% of what he needs to win the nomination. He will have a great deal of momentum and credibility, and Romney will have relinquished some. Almost certainly, McCain becomes the favorite to win the nomination.

However, Romney has a better national organization and more resources to run in 21 states simultaneously. He can negate some of the momentum and make this a delegate chase, and could very possibly come out of next week with a delegate lead. It won't be easy, especially since the McCain win in Florida will only bolster McCain's lead in the coastal states.

If the race really does come down to McCain and Romney, then Romney could also benefit from conservative disaffection with McCain. In the GOP, there exists a very real resistance to McCain, and that could find itself focusing on Romney as the anti-McCain. It's not the most positive phenomenon, but Romney may find it essential for a national victory.

Rudy Giuliani may hold the key. Rumors have floated that Giuliani will withdraw and endorse McCain. If he does, that may be enough to push McCain even further towards inevitability -- or it may not have any effect at all. Rudy's speech in Florida strongly hinted that he has come to the end of the road. If so, we will know soon; the Republicans will debate in California tomorrow night, and Rudy won't bother to appear unless he plans to contest elections on Super Tuesday.

At least for this evening, John McCain deserves some accolades. He hung tough and showed he could beat the field in a closed primary, and not by an insignificant amount, as his vote gap over Romney already exceeds 70,000.

UPDATE: McCain, in his victory speech, made a very clear attempt to be gracious towards all of the candidates, including Romney, and reach out to Reagan-coalition conservatives. Rumor has it that McCain is considering a visit to CPAC next week. I hope he does make an appearance there and speak as honestly and forthrightly about his candidacy with the foot soldiers of conservative activism. If he does win the nomination, he will need those activists behind him.

UPDATE II: He also insists that judges must understand their limited role in applying law and not creating policy. I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't get added after the John Fund article.


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» Update - McCain Declared the Winner in Florida, Left is Upset With Hillary Clinton AGAIN! from Webloggin
McCain took over half of Florida’s Hispanic vote. I did the math, at 11% of the voting public that amounts to 196,043 voters. Tha translates to 103,904 votes at the time of this writing. The difference in the McCain vote total and Romney totals i... [Read More]

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