Given that we are in a slow period right now maybe it’s time to take a look at where things stand. No, I don’t mean polling, there is plenty of that and will only be more as things progress. I am talking about who already has which states locked up.
See some states are just going to vote for one type of candidate over another in a competitive primary. For example, Mitt Romney started the 2012 race knowing he had Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Massachusetts locked up. Why? He was governor of one and the only Mormon running in the other three.
In that spirit let’s see who has what right now:
- Chris Christie – New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, California, D.C. and Hawaii. Why? In all of these states Republicans are an oppressed minority so to see one of their own winning big endears Christie to these talks. Plus he looks and sounds like them in the Northeast.
- Marco Rubio*- Florida and Puerto Rico. The first major Latino politician to run for President is going to win Puerto Rico even if he doesn’t run a single ad. Florida is his home turf so enough said
- Rand Paul – Kentucky and Maine. One is his home turf and the other is controlled by supporters of his father/him. If Maine is a caucus than Paul wins it.
Looking at the rest it seems Cruz, Walker, Pence, Kasich, and Jindal can only count their home states if they run. Santorum, Perry, West, King, and Bolton all start with no geographic base.
What does this all mean?
Christie has a Maginot Line of states that will protect him from bumps in the road, if he stays relevant. Do we really think Ted Cruz is winning New York? As long as Christie can win New Hampshire he can depend on those other states to be there for him. Giving him a cushion that will weather him through tough spells, which he will definitely face in the south.
This also shows the importance rules. For example, if Maine is a caucus it’s a Rand Paul pickup. If it’s a primary than throw it in the Christie column. As someone who made calls for McCain in 2008 to Maine caucus goers I can attest that Maine GOP activists and the rest of Maine are NOT the same animal. Also if anyone of the Christie states are proportional delegate allotment than it weakens his line of defense.
What does that mean for people going forward? If you’re Christie or any other candidate with an eye on 2014 you may want to devote extra time campaigning for other candidates running for the state legislature and governor to build up support so when it comes time to write the rules for 2016 you can call in some favors.
*Unless Jeb Bush proves me wrong and actually does run. In that case Rubio is in for much rougher water.