Giuliani and Edwards drop out
USA Today reports that Republican Rudy Giuliani and Democrat John Edwards both annouced they have ended their bid for president. Both candidates made the decision to drop out of the presidential race following weak results in the Florida primary.
Immediately after dropping out Giuliani backed fellow GOP candidate John McCain and offered support for McCain saying he is "prepared to be the president of the United States at a time of great peril." Edwards has not yet chosen a Democratic candidate to back. He plans to meet in private with both Obama and Clinton before he chooses to back someone or remain neutral.
In both Party's the exit of Giuliani and Edwards leaves a two horse race. In the case of the Republicans they are left with McCain, who is now the favorite for the GOP, and the well financed Mit Romney. Mike Huckabee is maintaining a down but not out stance but, with only one victory in Iowa and a low money supply, he is not expected to be a factor.
The remaining Democratic candidates are much more defined and even. The question now, asked by Larry Eichel of The Philadelphia Inquirer is, who gains from Edwards departure? While it remains unknown who, if anyone Edwards will back.
Early suggestions point to a boost for Obama because he will now be the lone recipiant of the "anyone but Hillary" vote. One advantage for Hillary is that she shares with Edwards a much more traditional Democratic view and will likely absorb many of the Edwards issue supporters.
The streamlining of the candidates sets the stage for super Tuesday which will more than likely determine the nominee for each party.