What is the 'do or die' date for the GOP candidates?

Previously we have speculated about the next politician to join Rick Perry in the political afterlife (what you and I call the private sector). Today we have a different question: by what date must the major candidates actually win a primary or caucus to prove they are viable?

Scott Walker, February 1st, Iowa: Scott Walker has got to win the Iowa Caucuses. It's not enough to be #2. Iowa borders Wisconsin. If he can't win in his own region, he can't win anywhere. Right now, he's at 3%. I personally think if he is still in single digits he will pull out before Iowa, perhaps even in the next few weeks, to avoid himself the embarrassment of such a crushing defeat. He can spend four years learning about the pros and cons of birthright citizenship and building walls with Canada and try again then.

Jeb Bush, February 9th, New Hampshire: Jeb is not particularly strong anywhere but his best chance is in mushy moderate New Hampshire. New Hampshire is filled with refugees from high tax Massachusetts who, having fled to safer lands, want to turn their new home into high tax Massachusetts. Plus independents can vote in the New Hampshire primary, so this is Jeb's best shot. If he loses here, don't look for a victory elsewhere. Florida is not "south" like South Carolina.

John Kasich, February 9th, New Hampshire: When I think of Jeb Bush and John Kasich I am reminded of the movie Highlander, where a group of people compete to gain power by chopping off each other's head, because, in the end, there "can only be one". The same applies here. Jeb and Kasich go head to head in New Hampshire to see who can be the Chamber of Commerce/establishment RINO/Mordor's favorite candidate. Two go in, one comes out.

Ted Cruz, February 20th, South Carolina: Ted Cruz can survive losing Iowa (he's third at the moment), survive losing New Hampshire (he's sixth), but he cannot survive losing South Carolina. As a Texan, he's hardly a "southerner" like someone from Mississippi or Alabama, but he is much more so than someone like Jeb, for example, and he is, more or less, the major "southern" candidate in the race (sorry, Huckabee!). But if Ted Cruz can't win South Carolina, he can't win any place, except maybe Texas. So he's got a lot of work to do.

Donald Trump, February 20th, South Carolina: Trump is leading in nearly all the state polls, but he is not a regional favorite in any particular region. That's why it's important for him to rack up an early win somewhere, be it Iowa, New Hampshire, or at the latest South Carolina, states in which is he all currently ahead. Small wonder he keeps moaning for a parliamentary system of elections which allows snap elections to be held immediately; he'd love nothing better than for it to be held today.

Ben Carson, February 20th, South Carolina: Like Trump, Carson is no regional favorite. He's weak in New Hampshire, #2 but not overwhelmingly so in South Carolina, but is a very strong second in Iowa, at the moment. I think he needs to win Iowa or at least come in a strong second there and then promptly win South Carolina to be considered viable.

Now, the only exception to this guide is if Trump loses his big lead and then no candidate has enough to be nominated. If Jeb has 20% support and Cruz has 20% and Trump has 25% and Carson has 20% and so on it pays for all these candidates to stay in to participate in a brokered convention. At least until March 15th, most primaries and caucuses award delegates proportionally, and some will even do so afterwards, so someone winning 40% of a state will not automatically cash in with delegates.

But barring a deadlock as I've described, Scott Walker will be out by (or probably before) February 1st. Jeb may have the money to stay in all the way, but for practical purposes, you'll know if he has any chance of being the nominee by February 9th. And so on for the other candidates.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

Previously we have speculated about the next politician to join Rick Perry in the political afterlife (what you and I call the private sector). Today we have a different question: by what date must the major candidates actually win a primary or caucus to prove they are viable?

Scott Walker, February 1st, Iowa: Scott Walker has got to win the Iowa Caucuses. It's not enough to be #2. Iowa borders Wisconsin. If he can't win in his own region, he can't win anywhere. Right now, he's at 3%. I personally think if he is still in single digits he will pull out before Iowa, perhaps even in the next few weeks, to avoid himself the embarrassment of such a crushing defeat. He can spend four years learning about the pros and cons of birthright citizenship and building walls with Canada and try again then.

Jeb Bush, February 9th, New Hampshire: Jeb is not particularly strong anywhere but his best chance is in mushy moderate New Hampshire. New Hampshire is filled with refugees from high tax Massachusetts who, having fled to safer lands, want to turn their new home into high tax Massachusetts. Plus independents can vote in the New Hampshire primary, so this is Jeb's best shot. If he loses here, don't look for a victory elsewhere. Florida is not "south" like South Carolina.

John Kasich, February 9th, New Hampshire: When I think of Jeb Bush and John Kasich I am reminded of the movie Highlander, where a group of people compete to gain power by chopping off each other's head, because, in the end, there "can only be one". The same applies here. Jeb and Kasich go head to head in New Hampshire to see who can be the Chamber of Commerce/establishment RINO/Mordor's favorite candidate. Two go in, one comes out.

Ted Cruz, February 20th, South Carolina: Ted Cruz can survive losing Iowa (he's third at the moment), survive losing New Hampshire (he's sixth), but he cannot survive losing South Carolina. As a Texan, he's hardly a "southerner" like someone from Mississippi or Alabama, but he is much more so than someone like Jeb, for example, and he is, more or less, the major "southern" candidate in the race (sorry, Huckabee!). But if Ted Cruz can't win South Carolina, he can't win any place, except maybe Texas. So he's got a lot of work to do.

Donald Trump, February 20th, South Carolina: Trump is leading in nearly all the state polls, but he is not a regional favorite in any particular region. That's why it's important for him to rack up an early win somewhere, be it Iowa, New Hampshire, or at the latest South Carolina, states in which is he all currently ahead. Small wonder he keeps moaning for a parliamentary system of elections which allows snap elections to be held immediately; he'd love nothing better than for it to be held today.

Ben Carson, February 20th, South Carolina: Like Trump, Carson is no regional favorite. He's weak in New Hampshire, #2 but not overwhelmingly so in South Carolina, but is a very strong second in Iowa, at the moment. I think he needs to win Iowa or at least come in a strong second there and then promptly win South Carolina to be considered viable.

Now, the only exception to this guide is if Trump loses his big lead and then no candidate has enough to be nominated. If Jeb has 20% support and Cruz has 20% and Trump has 25% and Carson has 20% and so on it pays for all these candidates to stay in to participate in a brokered convention. At least until March 15th, most primaries and caucuses award delegates proportionally, and some will even do so afterwards, so someone winning 40% of a state will not automatically cash in with delegates.

But barring a deadlock as I've described, Scott Walker will be out by (or probably before) February 1st. Jeb may have the money to stay in all the way, but for practical purposes, you'll know if he has any chance of being the nominee by February 9th. And so on for the other candidates.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.