GOP Power Rankings: Someone's Gotta Win, Right?

The Democrats have pretty much narrowed it down to Clinton v. Obama. We don't know who will win, but it will be one of them, and the party will rally 'round the winner just fine.

The Republicans, meanwhile...who knows? Things are very weird over there, and they're only gonna get weirder.

naborshuckabee1. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark. (Last Rank: 1)

Huckabee is actually in the best position to win the GOP nomination right now. He's polling well in Michigan, Florida, and South Carolina, meaning he could conceivably sweep the rest of the month, and have huge momentum going into February 5. But this is the GOP race, and nothing seems to be going to plan. All I know is that he's not completely and totally out of the race, unlike all of the other GOP candidates, and I can at least envision a way for him to win the nomination. That's not much, but frankly, it's better than all the other candidates.

FenrisRagnarok2. A Brokered Convention (LR: 2)

John McCain's win in New Hampshire was really quite awful for the Republicans. If Mitt Romney beats McCain out in Michigan or South Carolina, then McCain is going to recede, and the moneyed interests in the GOP are going to split between McCain and Romney, with some support going to Mayor 9/11 and Big Sleepy. That leads to too many candidates competing for states, and the longer the race is fractured, the higher the chance of a brokered convention.

mccainrambo3. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (LR: 3)

McCain won New Hampshire, and he's got the love of a billion newsmedia types. And...that's it. He isn't liked at all by actual Republicans, which could pose a problem, given that he's seeking the GOP endorsement. And he's still short money and staff. Still, if he wins in Michigan, the money and staff problem will go away, as the money in the GOP gives up on Romney and backs McCain as their firewall against Huckabee. I'd wager you a friendly bet, though, that McCain will lose Michigan and be out of the race by February 6. We'll see.

kenromney4. Former Gov. Mitt Romney (LR: 4)

Romney still could maybe kinda win this race, if everything broke right. If he wins in his 14 home states, he could still pull this off. Bad news: one of his home states is New Hampshire, where he owns a home. He didn't win there. Nevertheless, he's got great hair, shoulders you can land a 747 on, and gallons of Hugh Hewitt's flop sweat. He's not dead yet. Just, you know, on life support.

kkk2paul5. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas (LR: 6)

How crappy is the GOP field? Ron Paul moves up despite the revelation that he authorized ten years' worth of racist, sexist, and homophobic conservative 'zines. His loyal fan base would continue to support him if he was caught eating a live baby on television (hey, if he owns the baby, then he can eat it), and that means he'll take about eight percent of the vote from now 'til doomsday. Which is more than Giuliani can say.

manuel-noriegarudy6. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, R-N.Y. (LR: 7)

People continue to think that Rudy Giuliani can make Florida his firewall against impending doom. Funny story -- Datamar just released the first poll in Florida since mid-December, and Rudy is...not winning. Not second. Not third. But he is in fourth place, seven points ahead of Fred Thompson.

It's an ironclad rule: the more people see of Rudy Giuliani, the more they hate him. I know that's true for me, anyhow.

cryptkeeperthompson7. Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn. (LR: 5)

One percent in New Hampshire? One percent in New Hampshire? Fred, you seem like an affable fellow, or at the very least you're too lazy to talk. But you're in fourth place in South Carolina, fourth place in Nevada, fifth place in Michigan, and fifth place in South Carolina. You are not going to be president. Go home, get some sleep. You've earned it.

hunter8. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. (LR: 8)

Hunter, frankly, is only embarrassing himself by continuing to run. Look, Duncan, storming Chris Matthews' set may be tempting -- God knows, I think we all wanted to last week. But it is not an effective way to win the presidency. Neither is, well, anything you're doing. At all. Period. Give your concession speech. We'll even let you mention the wall.

Ward_2006_head_shotKeyes9. Former Ambassador Alan Keyes (LR: 9)

Alan Keyes received a grand total of 220 votes in New Hampshire. I'll wager you a friendly bet that I could get 220 votes in New Hampshire. Alan Keyes is no longer a joke merely among Democrats; he's just a joke. That said, he's a joke that never stops being funny, so here's hoping he stays in the race a long time. I can't wait to hear how he manages to blame global warming on abortion.


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