Ron Fournier at the National Journal in a post today offers several scenarios for how the contest for the Republican nomination might play out after South Carolina. Here three in order of probability, according to Fournier.
Most Likely Scenario:
Gingrich wins South Carolina and heads into Florida with momentum. If Gingrich wins Florida or comes in a close second a two-man battle continues all the way to Super Tuesday on March 6.
Next Most Likely Scenario:
Romney wins South Carolina by a narrow margin but can’t seal the nomination because of mis-steps, Santourm being declared the winner in Iowa, Perry dropping out, and Romney’s tax problems. A win in Florida would help Romney get back on track but chances are he still won’t be able to seal the deal. A two-man race continues toward Super-Tuesday.
If Gingrich implodes—as he is prone to do—then Rick Santorum or, less likely, Paul becomes the second man in the two-man race.
Regardless, all of Fournier’s scenarios predict a protracted fight all the way to Super Tuesday and……I hadn’t thought of this….perhaps beyond.
A fight on the floor of the convention.
Fournier says it is not likely but possible that the fight between Romney and Anyone-but-Romney will go all the way to the convention and an alternative candidate we have not even considered might win in a brokered convention. Fournier says GOP leaders already see both Romney and Gingrich as flawed candidates. If neither locks in the nomination, party leaders might push for an alternative such as Mitch Daniels of Indiana. He notes that “Eyebrows were raised in Washington when Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was tapped to provide the GOP response to Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night.”
Is a brokered convention likely? No. But, who would have thought a few months ago that such a possibility would have even been discussed. It is now.
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