Neither Bob Rae nor Michael Ignatieff will win this leadership race without one throwing their support behind the other at some point between now and the final ballot.
We all saw this story play out in December of 2006. The two candidates ended up dividing the delegates and forced the "anyone but" movements that played out on the convention floor. When Ray was forced off after the 3rd ballot, and released his delegates instead of walking over to MI, he left it wide open for Dion to be crowned.
MI received 1412 delegate votes after the 1st ballot. over the next 3 ballots, he only managed to increase his tally by 662 of the possible 3403 delegates that split their vote between Hall Findlay, Volpe, Brison, Dryden, Kennedy, Dion and Rae. ONLY 662 of a possible 3403. Similarly, Rae only managed to increase his count by only 398 from ballot 1 to ballot 3. What makes anyone think it will be any different this time? Assuming that MI goes into the convention with a lead after the 1st ballot, there would likely be those who would want to support Rae on a 2nd ballot to thwart MI and we would be right back where we started.
What we need here is a clear front runner. A front runner who can engage a broader spectrum of delegates so as to ward off a polarized delegation. We need a candidate other than Rae and Ignatieff, who would otherwise be a first choice if the two were not in this race to begin with.
Rae and Ignatieff offer a tremendous amount to this debate. They would both elevate the Liberal party and offer a tangible opportunity to beat Harper in four years. That they elevate the party for different reasons is good for the debate. That they do so in relatively equal measure is divisive.