If any of my readers have ever visited www.race42008.com, then you know that they maintain a ranking of the GOP candidates on the left side of the page. I see some problems with their rankings, so I have created my own, and here they are, along with explanations:
Rudy Giuliani, First Place –Conservative or not, Rudy Giuliani is in first place, both in polls and in the number of states he leads in. Giuliani is definitely the man to beat. That said, with Romney moving up, and Thompson getting into the race, he is going to slip. There are already signs that he is falling. Just a few months ago, Giuliani was polling in the mid 30’s, now he is polling in the low to mid 20’s. It should also be noted that, while Giuliani leads in the most states, he does not have enough support to win the majority needed to get the nomination, nor does he lead in any traditional “first” states. Only in Florida, a newcomer to the early primary scene, does Giuliani hold a lead.
Mitt Romney, Second Place –Romney has been moving up, almost without stopping. While Romney was only in the high single digits in January, he is now in the teens, sometimes polling as highly as 17%. While Romney has slipped in the past week in the Rasmussen poll, it does not appear to has spread to other polls – Romney is still rising in the NBC/WSJ poll, at about the same rate as Fred Thompson. While Romney is still polling third in most national polls, he is above McCain, and is leading in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Michigan (which is probably going to move its primary to (Jan. 29). He is second in South Carolina, and has been making gains there as well. This, combined with his wins in all three debates, his big lead in fund-raising, and his overall polished record make Romney a good choice for the #2 spot. If it were not for the unknowns of the Fred Thompson candidacy, Romney would be tied for first.
Fred Thompson, Third Place – While Fred Thompson is polling above Mitt Romney and John McCain in recent polls, it is an extremely new phenomenon, which can possibly be attributed to nothing more than an announcement-related bounce. Fred Thompson is still too un-tested, too un-proven of a candidatecandidate to place even in a tie for second. While some polls are showing him polling tied or above Romney, even tied with Giuliani, he has not faced the criticism like they have. Thompson does lead in three states (Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina), but only only one hold real importance in the early primaries – and one is his home state. I was originally going to put Thompson in a tie for second, but I don’t think he has earned it. Thompson is a face, but at this point, I have not seen much substance to back up that face. I will watch Thompson closely to determine what to do next.
John McCain, Fourth Place – John McCain was once the man to beat, but now he is just the man who has been beaten. He was passed by Giuliani early, followed by Romney, followed by Thompson. His camapign is losing money, support, and people. To make matters worse, John McCain got into bed with Amnesty, and seems to like it. I think McCain is done, and I don’t expect him to last until Ames.