I was reading a Nov. 5th article by Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard that states that only two of the GOP Presidential candidates have credible scenario to win the nomination.
Those being Rudy Guiliani and Mitt Romney. In his article, Barnes lays out the scenarios as so...
Guiliani's scenario: It begins with where Guiliani has been placing his focus...which has been select early primary states. While Iowa (Jan. 3rd) has not been a Rudy focal point, he has been campaigning hard in New Hampshire (Jan. 8th) and currently leads in South Carolina (Jan. 19th).
Guiliani has been pushing hard in Florida (Jan. 29th), and is doing well in all of the big states that will have elections on Super Duper Tuesday (Feb. 5th). Basically, Guiliani is looking to at least stay competitive early on, then break out from Florida and blow out the field on Super Duper Tuesday.
Romney's scenario: Romney has put his eggs into the early primary basket, especially Iowa and New Hampshire, and leads in both states in most polls. Romney also has an advantage in Michigan (Jan. 15th), where his father was once governor...and as Barnes points out, the other GOP candidates have practically ignored the state. Romney's plan is simple, win early and ride the momentum (and his deep pockets) from there.
Barnes also points out that no candidate in either party has ever won both Iowa and New Hampshire and still lost the nomination since 1972, when Democrat Edmund Muskie did just that.
Other Candidate Scenarios: Barnes also sees that John McCain and Fred Thompson have possible "winning scenarios", but both involve some help via some kind of serious misstep by Romney and/or Guiliani. McCain has been gaining in New Hampshire and is solid in South Carolina, but is lacking funds to make any kind of national push from there. Thompson has a shot at winning in South Carolina, but is not doing well at all in Iowa or New Hampshire. He would need a South Carolina win and a sweep of all the southern states on Super Tuesday to have a shot at the nomination...and even then, he would need some good showings in other states.
Barnes also believes that if Ron Paul were to run as the Libertarian candidate for President, he would gain more votes than any Libertarian candidate in history...not enough to be President, but plenty of votes nonetheless.
Any way you slice it, we're coming up on some interesting months for the GOP.