2008 Race Rankings: The Republicans

With less than 70 days to go until the Iowa caucuses, we realize there are only seven or so of these left before we get to pretend we had it right all along.

These rankings are ordered by likelihood of winning the Republican primary and are based on a number of factors, including organization, money, buzz and polling. Click here for Democratic rankings.

1, Rudy Giuliani -- The decision to move Iowa to Jan. 3 creates a slight problem for Giuliani's strategy, especially if Democrats don't follow suit. If the Republican contest is first, you can bet the media will pay attention. It's possible that Giuliani could fail to win a single state between Iowa and Florida. At the same time, he might come in second in all of those states, and therefore lead in the delegate race by Jan. 29. This week, his Values Voters speech was much ado about very little. Giuliani had little to gain from this crowd; the less scary he appears to these voters, the less likely it is that they will body-block him.

2. Mitt Romney -- Romney received three big endorsements this week -- all of them from evangelical conservatives, two of them in South Carolina. But his opponents sniped at him at the Values Voters conference, and Huckabee's strong finish may have prevented some other evangelical leaders from coalescing around him.

3. Fred Thompson -- He did better in the second debate and has gotten over his fear of drawing contrasts with his opponents. But his inexplicable failure to campaign regularly is hurting him.

Continue reading our Republican race rankings.