Poll Check: Florida Vote
Here are this morning's RCP polling averages followed by CNN's actuals:
McCain: RCP - 30.3%; Actual - 36%McCain's final tally was outside the 3% margin of error we expect from polls, but just barely, and no one else was outside the margin. McCain just picked up a bit here and there from each of the other candidates to solidify his narrow win.
Romney: RCP - 29.8%; Actual - 31%
Giuliani: RCP - 15.0%; Actual - 15%
Huckabee: RCP - 12.7; Actual - 14%
Paul: RCP - 3.8%; Actual - 3%
This all leads to one (almost) known conclusion: Rudy's out. It's a shame he ran such a pathetic campaign, because he deserved much better. But I don't think he had a choice of any other strategy. If he had had the money, he would have run in more states.
He did tell supporters he's going to California ... but the good money is on the trip being about endorsing McCain, not running himself.
The results also tell us that McCain was able to get away with dirty politics this time around. His contention that Romney waffled on the a timeline for Iraq was a stretch of Reed Richards proportions.
So McCain (and the pollsters) leave Florida with their heads high. But with the warm-up states behind them and Super Tuesday a week away, McCain only holds a 21-delegate edge over Romney (95 to 74). To win, 1,191 delegates are needed ... so you can liken what we've done up to now to a hitter taking a couple practice swings while the pitcher looks in at the catcher for a sign.