Rudy: Florida is a must-win an important win

He’s third in the latest Rasmussen and fourth, if you can believe that, in the new ARG. Let the ceremonial lowering of expectations begin!

Publicly, at least, Giuliani has shifted his must-win Florida rhetoric to important-win talk. A while back, he had said he must win Florida. Then John McCain came on strong…

“It’s a real important win,’’ Giuliani said of Florida’s primary in an interview with Neil Cavuto for the Fox News Channel airing this afternoon and again this evening. “I don’t think any candidate ever puts himself in a corner and says, must win, have to win, must win. But it’s a really important win.’’

It’s important, all right. Possibly the end of the road for the Republican who once stood as his party’s putative front-runner.

He admitted two days ago that a bad loss would be “crippling.” How bad would it have to be for him to drop out before Super Ultra Mega Tuesday? Is there any scenario? His supporters are going to feel gypped if his year-long campaign amounts to a one-and-out down south; even ol’ Fred gave it more effort than that. But if he can’t beat Huckabee, who’s essentially conceded the state, after having staked his candidacy on a good showing then how does he compete realistically on Tuesday? The answer: He doesn’t. He competes unrealistically, takes his beating from McCain just to save face, then drops out and endorses him a few days later. Any Rudy supporters want to argue otherwise?

Read Karl’s latest post too about that Survey USA poll showing Maverick up by 24 in California’s bay area. Significant? Actually, yeah.