Was it a good thing for the GOP when Ronald Reagan stayed in the race against Gerald Ford in 1976 even after the Californian had fallen far behind Ford in the hunt for the nomination?
Most people say yes, even though at the time many were demanding that Reagan exit stage right.
As I wrote below, the GOP needs to keep the MSM focused on the issues that unite the GOP, and the best way to do that is by a series of contests throughout the spring, from Virginia to Pennsylvania and beyond. Each state that has a primary scheduled deserves the attention of the big three candidates, and the results will help even the frontrunner Senator McCain calibrate his message and provide opportunities for him top assure the base in each state he travels to of his determination to run as a conservative even as independents see him on the nightly news.
Governor Romney and Governor Huckabee have crucial messages to deliver as well, about why they are in the race and how they see the GOP shaping its appeal for the fall. They can also assist the GOP in rebuilding its grass roots effort in places like Ohio and Virginia that suffered big losses in 2006.
Not only is the race not over –though Senator McCain has a large lead– it is a good thing to have all three candidates traveling and talking up the center-right agenda.
Both Romney and Huckabee have said they are staying in, and that’s good news for the GOP.