Mike Huckabee lost South Carolina, in large part because of Fred Thompson. Thompson's departure means Huckabee is more competitive than ever. Maybe it's even worthwhile to campaign in Florida. Florida is a winner-take-all state, so for it to be worthwhile campaigning there, Huckabee has to have a real shot at winning. The loss in South Carolina doesn't help, but with Thompson gone, the guys who are splitting votes are going to be McCain, Giuliani and Romney. Huckabee should take the conservative votes.
According to the Washington Post:
The exit polls from the Palmetto State underscore Thompson's appeal to the most conservative GOP voters. Among the voters who described themselves as "very conservative" (roughly one in every three participants), Huckabee led the way with 41 percent of the vote, but Thompson claimed 22 percent (McCain placed third with 19 percent followed by Romney with 16 percent).
I think the people who were supporting Thompson will go for Huckabee, not McCain, Giuliani or Romney. Hucakabee is now the only conservative left in the field, aside from the flip-flopping Romney.
According to Rasmussen, 12% of primary voters in Florida were going to vote for Thompson. Huck has slipped to 13% in the last poll, with Florida front-runner Romney at 25%. Even with Thompson's votes it may not be enough for Huck to win Florida.
It could be better to skip Florida and focus on states (like Illinois) that aren't winner-take-all. Huck can at least go into the convention with a boatload of delegates. Even if he doesn't make it onto the 2008 ticket, he'll be the front-runner in the next election.