Based on the numbers at Pollster.com, it would seem that in just about every state Rudy is shedding voters faster than you (or he) can say “9/11”. How are all these ex-rudites breaking? Rudy’s affinity groups seem to me to be militarists, secular/socially liberal republicans (ie, don’t care so much about abortion flip flops or shag) and the generally uninformed who respond to pollsters “Rudy” based on a vague memory of him somehow being a hero in the 9/11 attacks.
It would seem that the secular/socially liberal set would tend to break Romney, who also has shown inexcusable tolerance in the past. Militarists I see primarily going McCain. Romney talks a “good” game on muscular executive power but doesn’t have the warmongering rep of someone who actually dropped bombs on a country. Finally, the generally uninformed are a bit of a wild card as there is always the danger that they actually start paying attention and vote with their more informed affinity. McCain probably has the initial advantage with this set due to higher name recognition but that advantage is rapidly eroding.
McCain is the big winner from the Rudy collapse, and may become the nominee due, as Homer Simpson said: “the two best words in the English language: “De Fault.” My bet however is on Huckabee. He has the advantage of actually seeming to attract people rather than just pick up lifeboats from other campaigns. Plus, as his name recognition improves in each state the generally uninformed will gravitate towards his friendly demeanor. If he can manage to increase his ratings with the militarists without losing too much of the Heart in Huckabee, he has a fairly good chance to win it.
On the other hand, If Rudy were to pull out sooner rather than later and threw his remaining supporters to McCain or Romney then that could very well seal it up for either. Thus there is a possible silver lining for Rudy’s disastrous campaign: the chance to become a king maker of sorts. Will it be enough to attract shag and swag post campaign? I don’t know, but pulling out now can’t possibly be worse than the embarrassment of losing in New York, not to mention losing almost everywhere to the black sheep Ron Paul.
Interviewed on the campaign trail, Rudy supporter Ari Fleischer said “this is great news for Rudy!”
Go Ron Paul!