The Florida GOP took bold action in moving their state’s primary up in line with the other carve out states. By seeking a bigger role in choosing who the GOP candidate against Obama is Republicans in Florida have caused other states to move their dates up. The reason for that is simple: less profusion of blood.
There is more significance beyond that. With the first ballots expecting to be cast just months away, the front runners, Romney and Perry, have a divisive advantage over the field – Romney more so because of his broad appeal in all early states.
Mitt Romney: 28
Herman Cain: 24
Newt Gingrich: 10
Rick Perry: 9
This may have been a calculated move by the GOP as a whole. End the fighting early, rally around the candidate, and begin raising serious cash with a settled candidate. However, the flip side to this is that the front runners are susceptible to momentum and excitement from another candidate. Herman Cain is presently that candidate. Cain enjoyed a huge bounce in September. If he can win Florida and do reasonably well in another early state, which will obviously be to the great loss of someone like Perry and certainly Bachmann, he can knock Perry from this race early. Though currently, South Carolina is being very kind to Perry but not nearly enough to seal Romney’s fate in the state.
Then there is the Gingrich factor. Newt is the type of candidate — possibly the only one in the GOP field, that voters are willing to give a second and third look. Gingrich, despite his poll numbers and campaign drama, has never really been out of this race. He’s only been shelved by voters and any void left from an implosion by one of the front runners, Gingrich could possibly wind up in the top three at some point in January.