Hey, remember Rudy’s Genius Campaign Strategy to blow off the early primaries and focus all his firepower on winning Florida tonight, and that would be the start of his unstoppable steamroll over his opponents? How’s that working out for him, then? Well, um… not so much.

The slowly-take-over-the-world-starting-from-Australia strategy may work in Risk, but in primary season, with a media that only speaks Horserace, you have to make some kind of showing in the early rounds to maintain your viability. When you’re the guy with one delegate who keeps finishing behind Ron Paul, it kinda diminishes your aura of inevitability, ya know?

And now that The Magical Florida Primary is here, Mitt and McCain look strong while Rudy looks marginal, and has been dismissed by Florida voters as a result. (Or they just hate his guts. Whichever.) All the more humiliating because this is the state where he was actually trying to win. I suspect that Rudy thought he would do better in the early primaries based on reputation alone – at least well enough that he wouldn’t look like a fringe candidate. Oops.

But hey, don’t take my word for it…

UPDATE: CNN calls it for McCain.

9:38 pm ET:

67% percent of precincts reporting

McCain (36%)
Romney (32%)
Guiliani (15%)
Huckabee (13%)
Paul (3%)
Thompson (1%)

8:59 pm ET:

47% percent of precincts reporting

McCain (35%)
Romney (32%)
Guiliani (15%)
Huckabee (14%)
Paul (3%)
Thompson (1%)

At least he’s beating Huckabee (barely) and Ron Paul. And Fred Thompson’s ghost.