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Scott Walker drops out—who wins?

Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio are surely smiling with news that Scott Walker is suspending his presidential campaign.

Yes, Sen. Ted Cruz and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are more likely to appeal to Walker's more conservative base when it comes to voters, but from a publicity perspective, Fiorina and Rubio are best positioned to capitalize with additional media exposure.



Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., and Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, walk on stage during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., and Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, walk on stage during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

When the next presidential dominoes fall — likely George Pataki, Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham — the media coverage for Fiorina and Rubio will only get better.

Donald Trump won't get additional coverage as additional candidates drop out because his campaign is already fully staffed with reporters and producers assigned to him. Likewise, the other early front-runner, Jeb Bush, had journalists assigned to him months ago.

But where was Fiorina months ago? It's unlikely she had any full-time journalists assigned to her campaign.

Here's how it works with the media: Every morning, news producers, reporters and assignment managers gather in a conference room to discuss potential stories for the day. The reporters and producers assigned to a campaign, such as Trump, are expected to pitch their best ideas. Trump already has a machine pushing his stories inside those news conference rooms.

But before the Fox News debate, there were probably few reporters pitching stories on Fiorina.

As Fiorina begins to rise in the polls and as more candidates drop out, news resources for photographers, field producers, researchers, desk assistants and even unassigned reporters will be reassigned. And more of those resources will go to Fiorina.

Likewise, Rubio should begin to see more reporters following him on the campaign trail, especially as the field dwindles down to six or seven candidates. The media covered Rubio's campaign earlier in the summer, but after Trump stepped in, those coveted newsroom resources — where every body is counted — were thrown at Trump.

So why the attraction with Rubio?


Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and 2016 presidential candidate, participates in the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Max Whittaker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and 2016 presidential candidate, participates in the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

There is still a lot of chatter following Rubio among the political pundits. Sure, voters outside the Beltway have a right to say pundits don't know how they feel in the Midwest, the South, etc. Regardless, the pundits have a tremendous amount of influence with the media and here's why.

The political pundits provide journalists with a fresh perspective on campaign money, campaign chatter even the direction of campaigns. Dig a little deeper into the political publications and you will hear pundits raving about Rubio, his debate performance and his foreign-policy credentials. Like it or not, the media will follow as new resources become available, and as more candidates drop out, those pundit ideas will make their way to TV.

Fiorina and Rubio better be ready for more scrutiny because as Walker found out, the unscripted part of television is the hardest part of a campaign. Lucky for Trump, he mastered it over a decade ago with "The Apprentice."

Commentary by Mark Macias, head of Macias PR, a global public-relations firm, that has run media and branding campaigns for politicians, tech start-ups, financial firms, nonprofits and companies. He's also author of the book, "Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media." Follow him on Twitter @markmacias.