Frontrunner or Open Race? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Frontrunner or Open Race?
There are two views of the GOP race. One says it is a five man race, anything can happen and there is no clear leader. The other says Rudy is the frontrunner and the others are in second or third tiers fighting to be his principal opponent. To support the “five man race” theory, pundits will argue that Romney leads in Iowa and NH, Rudy in Florida and eastern February 5 states and Thompson in the Deep South but Huckabee can win in Iowa and McCain in NH so nothing is certain. To support the “Rudy is the top of the pack” theory one can look at his lead in the national polls (or the RCP average which is now over 10%) and his lead in Florida plus Feb.5 states( and the lack of any other opponent with leads in enough states to get to similar delegate counts) to conclude that he is indeed the “frontrunner.” Part of what underlies support for the “five man race” theory is the natural desire for a horserace and part is this nagging sense among some observers that it just cannot be that Rudy, absent a Romney like conversion on abortion, could win the GOP nomination. But the underlying reality of the race at this point, and we are months still from voting (don’t believe the hooey about a NH primary in December), is that there is no other candidate with comparable favorable/unfavorable ratings and who leads among so many segments of the GOP primary electorate and in so many geographic areas. To beat him, one of his opponents will have to right his own ship and knock a hole in Rudy’s. For now, Romney seems searching for yet another persona, McCain’s performances draw raves but he is broke, and Thompson seems to be sharpening his message but his poll numbers have trended down (follow the green line on the RCP chart since his entry) ever since the promise of his candidacy turned into the reality of his candidacy. So if one defines “frontrunner” both as “one that is in a leading position” and as “a competitor who performs best when in the lead” Rudy meets that definition. But a frontrunner is not a sure bet nor an inevitable winner.
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