I’ll go a little atraditional here and present which I think are some pertinent facts, and allow readers to draw their own conclusion. Below are the major factors (in my view) that would influence Richardson’s leave-taking date:
- Richardson is getting 3-5% in New Hampshire, and doesn’t seem to be getting many voters from Biden or Dodd. (And will someone somewhere please realize that’s a big part of Obama’s bounce?)
- Though Nevada polling is light, he’d be fortunate to break 10% in Nevada. A neighboring state with a large Latino population, Nevada seemed like Richardson’s best hope.
- The latest numbers are perforce old, but Richardson had $7 million on hand last time we saw. This is half of where Edwards was at the time. Safe to say that the money has dried up in 2008.
- A fair number of reports indicate that he cut a deal with Obama on caucus night.
- The New Mexican Legislature goes back into session on the 15th, and during the last session they didn’t exactly go down the road he’d have liked. Richardson is used to a tame legislature, and was displeased that the campaign kept him from getting what he wanted from them.
- Richardson’s current term as governor will be his last due to term limits.
- In the most significant political race in New Mexico, Congressman Tom Udall has a good chance to win Pete Domenici’s Senate seat, but every poll says that Bill Richardson has an even better chance.
- Edwards and Obama performed a mighty tag team on Hillary in the most recent debate. Without Richardson, Hillary Clinton would be the top target of every major candidate running for president on either side. In previous debates, he has defended Clinton repeatedly; same in this one.