2008 The Morning After: Michigan
posted by January 16 at 11:42 AMon
Posted by Ryan S. Jackson
Ross Douthat of the The Atlantic sums up the increasingly wild/wacky race for the GOP nomination better than anyone else I’ve read this morning:
After each GOP primary so far, the winner has faced an immediate test. For Huckabee after Iowa, it was whether his appeal could translate beyond his evangelical base. Two primaries later, the answer seems to be no. For McCain after New Hampshire, it was whether he could use his momentum and what looked liked a favorable schedule to break through his 30-percent ceiling and become the front-runner. After tonight’s result, the answer likewise looks like no. Now it’s Romney’s turn to be tested: Can his Mormon, flip-flopping, starched-shirt northeastern self do well in Dixie? If it can - if he can compete strongly in South Carolina and Florida, and maybe win one of the two - then he’ll be off to the races.
Which is to say that none of the candidates have been able to create a lasting coalition of voters that’s strong enough to consistently win states for them. And what’s more, the next contest goes into one of the few states where Fred Thompson may still be a viable player in the race.
Oh, and then after that there’s Florida, the last remaining bastion of Rudy Giuliani-dom, where polling has him neck-and-neck with McCain for the lead. Attempting to impose conventional wisdom on the Republican race seems to be totally impossible at this point, and everyone is either a winner or a loser, depending on how you view the situation.
Unless you count Rep. Duncan Hunter, who’s 0.33% share of the vote in Michigan probably means it will be hard to view him as a winner.
Except in my heart.