The G.O.P.’s Unanswered Question
by Andrew Kohut, President, Pew Research Center
Special to the New York Times
Thursday night’s Republican debate in South Carolina in the wake of John McCain’s comeback victory in New Hampshire and Mike Huckabee’s surprising win in Iowa emphasized what a difference one week can make in the nomination process. And in terms of who will get the nod, it raises more questions than answers.
Sen. McCain’s win in New Hampshire puts Mitt Romney on the ropes, but Mr. Huckabee’s lack of success there is not a good barometer of how he will do elsewhere. And then there is Rudy Giuliani who will likely get some serious attention for the first time in Florida on Jan. 29 and then in many states on Feb. 5.
A look at the G.O.P. terrain ahead suggests that in the end the Republican race may well come down to Mike Huckabee versus the candidate most attractive to economic conservatives and Republican moderates. Sen. McCain has the momentum, but Mr. Giuliani has yet to be heard from.