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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Three Polls, Three Four Way Ties in Florida

Three recent polls show the GOP contest in Florida to be a four way statistical tie. All show McCain to be in the lead, but all have the difference between McCain and the fourth place candidate to be within the margin of error (though just barely in the case of SurveyUSA).

The three polls and links to the results are SurveyUSA, Quinnipiac, and Rasmussen.

Of these three, I personally put the most faith in Quinnipiac (I've never been competely convinced of the methodologies of SurveyUSA and Rasmussen).

Giuliani is, in all three cases, in second place and in a statistical tie with first place contender McCain. Does this mean I was premature to pronounce the death knell for his chances?

Not really.

Florida will be all about momentum. McCain has a good chance of winning South Carolina before we go to the polls, giving him another bump. Giuliani has no chance of winning South Carolina.

Perhaps the real story is the rapid decline of Mike Huckabee, who was the darling of the GOP base after Iowa. Has the shine come off Huckabee? Not necessarily. Because momentum rules, McCain's victory in New Hampshire catapaulted him over Huckabee.

As a result, Huckabee desperately needs to win in South Carolina so he can regain some propulsion and overtake or pull even with McCain. On the same day as we vote, Michigan will also be voting and if Romney takes those delegates (or half those delegates - Michigan was also penalized by the RNC for queue jumping), then February 5th (Super Tuesday) could become a three way race between Huckabee, Romney, and McCain, making it anyone's guess (though I would give the edge to McCain, because he is such a familiar face to voters, and to Romney, because he will have a significant financial advantage).

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