“If Mitt Romney can’t prosper with Thompson out of the race, there are no conditions under which he could win the nomination.”
In part this already proved to be the case in New Hampshire where Thompson was a complete non-factor and Romney still lost. Nevertheless, the issue remains whether Romney can win without any another conservative vying for value voters and southern support. In Florida Huckabee will apparently be a fading factor but he will haunt Romney in the February 5 Red states. Having lost both to McCain and Huckabee in SC it is hard to see how Romney could win in, say, Georgia. Thompson didn’t prevent Romney from winning in SC; he stopped Huckabee. Now once again that elusive “momentum” may help Romney if he does well in Florida or money, although it could not save him in Iowa or NH or SC, could bolster Romney’s standing on February 5. But it’s hard to see how.