Second verse, same as the first...
- John McCain. With his win in Florida, he went from being an also-ran to being a serious contender for the Republican nomination. The media seem to have crowned McCain, and the voters are paying attention to this. The combination of his military service and his moderate politics make for a candidacy that seems to be able to draw voters from multiple sources, which might just be enough to take the nomination.
- Hillary Clinton. Although nothing was at stake for the Democrats in Florida due to them moving up their primary date and being slapped down by the national party leadership, Hillary walked away with a decisive win. It may not be enough to put the racial element of the Democrat campaign behind her, but it will give her the same media credibility that McCain's getting.
- Hispanic voters. The Clinton campaign is proving that the Hispanic vote is worthy of note this election cycle, as we all should. This is one reason neither major political party wants to do anything about illegal immigration; they both hope to tap into this relatively undiscovered voting bloc. Hillary's campaigning in Nevada and Florida shows she's serious about doing just that with impressive results thusfar. Don't be surprised if Democrats and Republicans start to make more overt gestures towards Hispanic voters than they did in the 2004 election.
- Mitt Romney. Although he took second in Florida and did not win any delegates, he remained close to McCain, losing by 5%. Cold comfort, I know, but it speaks to the strength of Romney's campaign. He may not win every contest, but he continues to come in first or second in most of the contests so far. Super Tuesday will determine his fate, and he will need to line up some victories to stay in the hunt.
- The media. It's no secret who the media are supporting for both major party's nominees, and with Florida, they were able to become king-makers, if only for a state. With that kind of power, watch for them to flex it right before Super Tuesday to seal the deal for McCain and Hillary.
- Rudy Giuliani. Florida was his firewall, and it may prove to be his Waterloo. He had his best showing to date, beating out Mike Huckabee for third, but it was not the outcome he expected. Nor was it the victory or near victory he needed to stay viable. When you get blown out by 21% in a state you could have won, it's time to reconsider whether you should be in the race.
- Barack Obama. Obama came in a distant second to Hillary in Florida, but the reason he's on the list of losers out of Florida is because he took Hillary at her word when she promised not to campaign in Florida. Even though there was nothing at stake, it was still a naive move to believe Hillary wouldn't campaign, given her strategy and desperation. It gives her more credibility in the media, which will undercut Obama's chances somewhat. Given time, it can derail his Presidential chances.
- Mike Huckabee and John Edwards. Still sliding towards oblivion, and still not doing well enough to stay near the head of the pack. These two are put together because they're getting forgotten in their respective party's two-person races. They're not generating the buzz they were able to after Iowa, and with each new primary or caucus, they're falling further and further behind.
Now, onto Super Tuesday!