Earlier today Senator Lindsey Graham dropped out of the race for the GOP nomination. We’ll go ahead and take credit for this, because just yesterday we asked candidates to start dropping out. I mean there’s no way that’s a coincidence, right?
Graham’s withdrawal from the race marks the fourth one in the campaign season. There are still 13 candidates left, so against my better judgement I’m going to go ahead and try to predict how the dropouts will go:
Kasich, Paul and Fiorina will drop out before voting starts.
Huckabee and Santorum should drop out before the night of the Iowa caucuses as well, when it becomes clear they aren’t going anywhere, and to avoid the embarrassment or finishing poorly and tarnishing their legacies. Carson right after the caucuses.
Bush will drop out before New Hampshire, when it becomes clear he will not do well there, and try to save his family the embarrassment. Whether that will be in January or early February remains to be seen.
Christie will stay in at least until New Hampshire. He has some good momentum going, so it makes sense to stay in that late.
Pataki and Gilmore are doing something no one gets so I won’t bother trying to figure out their dropout times.
And the last three are in a position to win delegates – Rubio, Cruz, Trump. They won’t leave for some time, unless something crazy goes on with one of them.