It’s Not Over
Posted by Sal on January 24, 2008
The media would have you believed that the Republican nomination is all-but over, and John McCain is the nominee. What this is is more of a case of the media hoping that their protege Republican will get the nod based on his perceived strength against the Democrats and his inevitability, much in the same way that they hailed Bob Dole as the most electable Republican in 1996. With victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two states that have open primaries, McCain is now perceived to be the front-runner, if not inevitable. The truth is, he has won fewer states than Mitt Romney, has fewer delegates, and has less of a vote total. So how is he the front-runner again?
Now enter Florida. Florida has the distinction of being the final primary before super-duper Tuesday. It also happens to be a closed primary, and McCain has not done well among non-Conservatives, capturing most of his support in the Republican Primary from Democrats and Independents. Florida also has a fairly large 57 delegates at stake in a winner-take-all Primary battle. Two new polls now look like the momentum in Florida has shifted to Romney.
Both Rasmussen and Mason-Dixon have Romney up by 4 points in Florida. Both of these polls were taken after the drop-out of Fred Thompson from the race, so it appears that Romney is benefiting from end of Thompson’s campaign. (Only these two polls, as well as InsiderAdvantage, which has McCain up by 1 point, have been taken since Tuesday when Thompson left the race). Mason-Dixon is by far the most accurate polling firm at the state level, followed by Rasmussen. Although much could happen between now and Tuesday (including tonight’s debate), the momentum is clearly in Mitt’s favor.
If Mitt does indeed claim victory in Florida, will he then be hailed by the Drive-by media as the “clear front-runner” going into Super Tuesday? I doubt it, but it will be clear that the race for the Republican nominee is far from over.