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Washington Matters

Rudy's Parting Gift -- a Northeast Windfall for McCain

The Northeast will shine brightly on John McCain on Super Tuesday, thanks in part to early backers of Rudy Giuliani trying to do the former NYC mayor a favor.

Among the states holding Republican primaries on Feb. 5 are New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, three states all but ignored by GOP candidates because it seemed a given that Giuliani would win them. And all three will award delegates on a winner-take-all-basis; coming in second is as good as last and means no delegates at all.

With Giuliani now out of the race and endorsing his friend McCain, the advantage in these states, home to many moderate Republicans, falls to McCain, not Mitt Romney. Look for Romney and Mike Huckabee to skip them entirely, focusing their resources on more conservative terrain. A sweep in the region would give McCain a handsome reward of 183 delegates and give him a big boost toward coming out on top of the biggest primary and caucus night of the season.