Monday, November 19, 2007

GOP Presidential Race - The Battle for 2nd Place

The big story out of the Republican field of candidates (that being the top 5 - Sorry Paul supporters) is not that Rudy has been able to maintain a 10 point lead over the rest nationally, but rather that all of the other contenders seem to be facing a new limit... 15%. Thompson, Huckabee, McCain, and Romney seem to be all settling into a tie for second place in the national polls, and they all seem to be closing in on the 15% mark... some from above (Thompson) and some from below (Huckabee).

The interesting trend is that Fred Thompson seems to be taking a nose dive in the national polls, and looking at state polls, he isn't doing much better. His slow start, slow motion, and perceived (rightfully IMHO) laziness has all but ended his bid for the White House.

Rudy support seems fairly consistent at 25%, and barring any huge gaffe he will not fall, but I don't see him making any gains either.

McCain, who was an early contender in this race as the alternative to "Moderate Rudy", is showing some stabilization at 15% from his falling support. His stunning debate performance in early September saved his campaign from an embarrassing plummet of support, but I do not see him gaining much more traction as the moderate republican. Rudy has that field pretty much locked up nationally.

The big battle is going to be fought between two campaigns vying for the Conservative vote: Romney and Huckabee. Romney has the money, Huckabee the message. Huckabee seems to have a lot of national momentum, where Romney seems to be stuck in the 12% - 15% for over a month now. Romney is spending millions on ads in the early states, and it is paying off... but fast approaching in the early states is Governor Huckabee, who seems to be making huge strides without spending on ads. One has to wonder what effect Huckabee's upcoming ads in Iowa and N.H. will have on getting his message to more voters. But one also has to ask if Huckabee can finish strong in these early states and make a legitimate national campaign overnight.

As we move closer to the Iowa Caucus, I expect to see Romney and Huckabee battling it out for 2nd place in the national polls... Once Iowa comes and goes, the winner (projected tie between these two in that state), perhaps the 18% undecided GOP voter will choose a camp to support, and we will see a new field of front runners.

Of course there are the what-if's. What if Romney finishes 2nd in Iowa to Huckabee? Does he withdraw from the race? What if Thompson finishes in the ranks with Ron Paul in Iowa, NH, and SC? Does he give up his bid entirely? And can Rudy keep his high numbers with poor showings in the early voting states?

Look for any candidate to pick up the momentum and surge above the 15% mark (and maintain). Especially Romney or Huckabee. If either one can break and maintain the momentum over the 15% mark, you may see the next GOP candidate (and president).

1 comment:

  1. Help spread the word about Mike Huckabee!

    On December 29th there will be a national effort to raise awareness about Mike Huckabee and his campaign for President.

    Grab your signs, shirts and other Mike Huckabee for President materials and get out. Run, walk, bike, march or drive around in a public place where you live. Let's make sure that anyone that travels on December 29th sees a Mike Huckabee for President sign.