A new poll, by Insider Advantage (available via Real Clear Politics) has Romney up by 5 points in Florida, with 20.2 percent of Republican voters favoring the Massachusetts governor. Giuliani is in second, with 19 percent, and McCain close behind with 18 percent.
Real Clear Politics' average of polls still has McCain enjoying a lead, but it is clearly shrinking, and the trend does not appear to be in his favour. It looks as if Thompson's supporters have gone to Romney, and I think that some of Huckabee's might be bleeding his way also. Finally, the relentless attacks on McCain by conservative luminaries who should know better appear, alas, to be having an effect.
If McCain can hold on and win here, I am prepared to predict he will be the Republican nominee, and to opine that he has a good chance of being elected President. Huckabee appears to be almost out of contention. Giuliani must win here, I think, to survive to compete on Tsunami Tuesday, and Romney needs to win almost as badly. But a victory by Giuliani or Romney would make the situation no clearer, and I think either of them (to say nothing of Huckabee) would be easy meat for the Democratic nominee. At this point, every day that the Republican struggle continues makes it harder to unite the Party later for the general election. Florida, then, looks to be decisive for the Republicans, and we will know which way soon enough.