Mitt Romney Gets Squeezed
I am still processing the impact of John McCain’s victory in yesterday’s Florida Republican Primary. Having written recently about the likelihood of a battle between Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee for third place in the state, I was particularly interested to observe the fallout from that match-up. Given that Giuliani had staked the future of his campaign on a victory in Florida, I am not surprised to see that his third-place finish is sufficient to drive him from the race. But Huckabee using his fourth-place showing as a springboard into next Tuesday’s large slate of contests is another matter.
All of this is bad news for Mitt Romney. Giuliani’s imminent endorsement of McCain will help the Senator with moderate GOP'ers and independents on the coasts, in places like New York, New Jersey and California, and Huckabee’s decision to stick around will hurt Romney with religious conservatives in states like Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Romney’s best hope in recent weeks has been the possibility of an eventual head-to-head match-up with McCain, in which social conservatives finally coalesce around his candidacy. Both Giuliani and Huckabee have now complicated that scenario significantly, each in his own way.

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