Politics: Florida Forecast
My PJ wearing bottom lines:
Romney gets the win but not big enough to put the race away.
Paul is running for a cause so he will keep going no matter what.
If Santorum and Gingrich both land in the 20%, Santorum will have reason to stay in. But a third place showing below 20% means he should sit down with his team after Florida to decide whether to keep going or call it a valiant effort and go home.
Wow! I got the Gingrich number about right and was close on Santorum but clearly underestimated the shift to Romney! Paul's protest vote seemed to have peaked in Iowa and New Hampshire. I wonder if it is simply that those two early states like to be contrarian, whereas South Carolina (more conservative) and Florida (much larger) have an electorate that is actually voting for whom they think is a winner and less willing to make a protest vote?
Was listening to an interview with a pollster (Rasmussen?) on a podcast and he speculated that voters are seeing it as a two-man race. As such, Santorum and Paul numbers will fall as people run to the top two. He noted that polls were showing anywhere from a 5 to 16 point lead for Romney and that a result closer to the higher end of that range could be trouble for Gingrich. I suspect Gingrich will stick it out just to be combative. Paul keeps going for his cause. I think Santorum may drop out. Whether he will endorse or not, I don't know. If there is a GOP administration, wonder if he might get a cabinet slot?
UPDATE: Next up Nevada and Maine caucus followed by Colorado and Minnesota caucus which favors organization (Romney) and passionate supporters (Paul). Romney did well in all four in 2008 and solid performances in 2012 could nearly put the nomination away.
UPDATE: Here is an interesting take: If Gingrich support falls and transfers to Santorum then the result is a Romney-Santorum match up going forward. I suppose the Santorum people will be keeping an eye on the numbers to see if they scenario appears to have any validity.