by John Hawkins | January 21, 2008 2:02 am
Last week-end was pretty grim for conservatives. Duncan Hunter, who admittedly was already out of it, officially dropped out of the race and Fred Thompson finished in third place in South Carolina, which, barring a miracle, knocks him out of the running.
I know that’s tough for some people to hear, but you gotta understand…
* Fred skipped New Hampshire, Nevada, and Michigan, all of which he bombed in, in order to compete in South Carolina.
* South Carolina is a state that’s extremely friendly to conservatives.
* South Carolina is a state that’s extremely friendly to Southerners.
* Fred had the money to run ads and spent more time in South Carolina after Iowa than any of the other candidates.
After all of that, Fred only pulled 16% of the vote, which was barely good enough for third place and less than half the percentage of the vote that McCain pulled in — and this was Fred’s last opportunity to win a state before Super Tuesday.
Moreover, even in the pre-South Carolina polls, Fred was in 5th place in Florida and 5th place nationally and it seems highly unlikely that he can improve his prospects significantly after coming up way short in a state that was practically tailor-made for a Fred win.
PS: Given that Fred’s support is probably down to hard core conservatives at this point, Fred may stay in to help out his buddy John McCain.
Normally, a candidate would help out another candidate in this situation by dropping out and endorsing him. But, given that Fred’s supporters are mostly hard core conservatives and very unlikely to vote for McCain whether Fred endorses him or not, Fred can help his friend John McCain more by just staying in the race through Super Tuesday and peeling off some conservatives who would probably be inclined to vote for anyone but McCain.
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