Wednesday, January 9, 2008

N.H. GOP Primary: McCain's Win Anti-Climactic, Romney's Still Got a Chance

Anyone else feel that John McCain's win in New Hampshire was not nearly the surprise that some have made it out to be?

Sure, he's come back from being nearly dead in the water 8 months ago. However, for about 2 weeks now, we've pretty much known that McCain would overtake Mitt Romney in New Hampshire and win. McCain has been surging for 2 months now, and is actually starting to take away Mike Huckabee's heat (thank God).

Many are already counting Mitt Romney out, but be careful about that kind of prognostication. If McCain, Huckabee, and Rudy Giuliani trade victories all over the United States, Romney seems poised to come in 2nd or 3rd in all of the primaries. He still will collect plenty of delegates even if he gets mostly silver-medal finishes.

With Huckabee's popularity pretty well isolated to evangelicals and other social conservatives, and McCain being a "boom or bust" candidate whose boom or bust depends on the state, Romney could be the most consistent "delegate-collector" of all the candidates.

With the possibility of a contested convention in September, and no one candidate really breaking away to collect enough delegates to win on the first ballot, Romney may put himself into a very advantageous position by winning a few states, and getting a lot of 2nd place finishes.

Honestly, as wide open as this race is...I can definitely see the possibility that no GOP candidate reaches the magic number of 1,191 delegates by the time this thing is over.

After New Hampshire, CNN has the delegate count as follows...

Romney 30, Huckabee 21, McCain 10, Fred Thompson 6, Ron Paul 2, Giuliani 1, Duncan Hunter 1. While it's still REALLY early, we've got Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida coming up before Super Tuesday.

Fred Thompson is making his "Last Stand" in South Carolina. Smart move to hedge his bets there, as that is the next "big focus" primary, and the site of the next debate. This is his best shot to get back into this thing.

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