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And then there were two (well kinda three)

February 7, 2008 - Steve Murch
Mitt Romney essentially dropped out of the race for president today, though the official word is he suspended his campaign. By suspending his campaign instead of dropping out, he holds onto the delegates he won and could have a say in matters Republican when the GOP holds its convention this summer.

Though I don’t remember it ever happening, it would be interesting to see what would happen if Romney won a key state and its delegates. Say, for instance, his name stayed on the ballot for a big, winner-take-all state and he won even though he had suspended his campaign. Suddenly he has many more delegates and John McCain doesn’t have enough to win the Republican nomination.

What would happen? Would he go into the convention guns a-blazing looking for the party’s nomination? If it happened early enough in the primary season with many states remaining, would he un-suspend his campaign and chase the nomination through the rest of the campaign season?

Now what happens if Mike Huckabee catches fire and narrows the gap so no one has enough candidates at the convention? Does Romney suddenly throw his hat in the ring and we have high drama in a bid to get delegates?

It could play out that way, though it is highly unlikely. Truth be told, that is the only way the convention could draw television interest from more than the die-hard politicos. It would be nice if television had life imitating it in this case and that scenario happened.

During the final season of “The West Wing” the Democrats had that kind of drama as no candidate had enough delegates to win the nomination and a wild card governor threw his hat in the ring. Yes, that was television and this is real life, but it would be fun to watch.

Now that Romney is out, we’ll see if Huckabee was right. Remember, just a few days before Super Tuesday the two accused each other of stealing votes from the other, in essence give McCain victory. With Romney out, Huckabee needs to prove he was right about Romney stealing votes from him. If the votes don’t go his way, we won’t know if he was stealing Romney votes or the Republican voters just want McCain.

It probably doesn’t really matter because McCain needs fewer than 400 delegates to sew up the party’s nomination. In all likelihood the Republican candidate for president is John McCain.


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