Zogby says, “If we have learned one thing this year in American politics, it’s that there is no such thing as an inevitable President.” Here is his how he handicaps the Republican contenders:
– **Rudy Giuliani’s** strategy of bypassing the early states and using his name recognition and leads in the polls to ride to victory in the big states was “flawed…He can still win the nomination, but even he has begun to see that he might end up in fourth- or even fifth-place in Iowa, third- or fourth-place in New Hampshire. Now, he’s even down in Florida, because someone else – Mike Huckabee – has gained momentum in Iowa and built on it nationally.”
– **Mitt Romney** had the opposite of Giuliani’s strategy — win big early. But Huckabee may upset that plan.
– **Huckabee’s** rise owes to the fact that conservative Republicans, who hadn’t considered him earlier because they didn’t think he could win, “right now are experiencing a Mike Huckabee ‘boomlet.’ ” But this may be his brief moment in the sun.
– **John McCain** bottomed out several months ago and now he, too, is having a “boomlet” because “he’s very much back to being the maverick warrior” and has the support of Republicans who want to think that the Iraq “surge,” which McCain supported, is working.
– **Fred Thompson:** “His candidacy has all the qualities of Baltic Avenue in a Republican sea of St. Charles Places.”
– **Ron Paul** is “going to do better than anyone expects. Look to Paul to climb into the double-digits in Iowa. Why? He’s different, he stands out. “