A Thompson Candidacy Helps McCain

Posted: Jan 21, 2008 12:04 PM

Several weeks ago, after Fred Thompson went after Mike Huckabee in that debate, some folks began positing the theory that Fred Thompson was in the race solely to benefit John McCain.

At the time, I thought this was highly conspiratorial.  After all, I reasoned, Fred Thompson might do well in South Carolina ...

He did not.

As Thompson's chances have dwindled, it has become more and more obvious that (whether accidental, or intentional), his candidacy has benefitted McCain by taking votes away from Huckabee and Romney.

And because it is unlikely that a Thompson endorsement would transfer a lot of votes to McCain, It is reasonable to assume that Thompson does McCain more good in Florida by staying in the race for an additional week. 

Today, Fred Thompson is in Tennessee , seeing his mom -- and presumably deciding whether or not to stay in the race ... 

With the GOP race in flux, it is possible Thompson will stay in the race because he honestly believes anything could happen on Feb. 5.  But it's also possible that -- even if he wants to get out -- he will stay in the race one more week ...