Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hope for Conservatives? Bad News for McCain? Fred Thompson Drops Out...

One for Fred Thompson's most important backer, Georgia State Senator Eric Johnson, jumped ship this morning and moved to the Romney camp. "Clearly Fred Thompson is not going to be the nominee," the State Senator told a Savannah, Ga., paper. He said that Romney had always been his second choice.

Thompson announced that he was pulling out of the race shortly after Johnson's announcement. Johnson wasn't the only supporter Thompson lost this morning. Former New York Senator Alfonse D'Amato threw his support to John McCain this morning, according tot he New York Post.

Pledged Delegates
to the GOP Convention
as of SC
CandidatesDelegates pledged
Ron Paul
Thompson drew 16% of the vote in South Carolina's January 19th GOP Primary. If he had dropped out before that state's primary, Romney would still have finished third, at best. But Thompson votes might well have made Huckabee the winner in SC if Thompson had dropped out earlier.

In the six caucuses and primaries so far, Thompson's best finish was 2nd in little-noticed and barely contested Wyoming. He finished 5th or 6th in Michigan, New Hampshire and Nevada and managed 3rd place finishes in Iowa and South Carolina. Thompson has accumulated eight pledged delegates for the GOP convention, compared to Huckabee's 26, McCain's 38 and 66 at the moment for Romney.

In the statement, Thompson did not say whether he would endorse any of his former rivals, according to the Associated Press. Thompson supported McCain in 2000.

Speaking of Huckabee, USA Today is reporting that his campaign is on "a shoestring budget" and is considering a pull out from Florida in favor of the February 5th SuperTuesday states. Huckabee isn't buying TV time for ads in Florida and some Huckabee aids are foregoing paychecks to keep money in the campaign coffers.

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