Down With Mitt! Long Live Huck!

Mitt Romney is pulling out of the Republican race today, most likely after realizing he was mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination. Rather than pray for a brokered convention that turns to him as the party’s savior, he’s pulling out now while he still has enough dignity in the tank for a 2012 run.

Romney’s withdrawal (which is technically a “suspension” of his campaign ) means it’s down to Mac and Mike. Yes, the two candidates least likely to win the Republican nomination five months ago are now the only two candidates (besides Ron Paul) left standing. For the full effect, we’re going to write it one more time: Aw-shucks Huck has stayed in the Republican race longer than moneybags-Mitt.

For weeks, Huckabee has said it’s a two-man race —between him and John McCain. Since Iowa, pundits have said that Huckabee was the one draining Romney’s votes, but now the chattering class is left with a new question: Was Romney draining Huckabee’s votes?

Doubtful. Huckabee won’t pick up Romney’s fiscal conservative vote thanks to his fair tax plan , and all of Romney’s anti-radical-jihad fans are going to flock to McCain. He could scavenge Romney’s social conservative bloc, but there probably aren’t enough of them to put Huckabee over the top to beat McCain.

McCain will still be the nominee, but Romney’s withdrawal will allow Huckabee to make some noise. In the coming weeks, Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, and Ohio all become especially friendly to Huckabee. That, of course, assumes Huckabee is going to stay in the race, even though he can’t mathematically win, either. Last we heard, Huckabee said he was going to stay in until somebody had a majority of delegates. Then again, the last we heard from Romney, he said he was staying in through the convention. Consider it his final flip-flop.