So Much For My "Vander Plaats At Convention" Scenario
Well, technically it could happen in a three way race if things split JUST right (like they almost did in 2002). But not likely, so I rank myself among the losers as Chris Rants bails on the governor's race.
Who gains? Well, no one much since Rants was stuck in the asterisk zone. This is going to come down to Anyone but Branstad vs. Anyone But Vander Plaats. There may be a sliver of Anyone but Branstad OR Vander Plaats, which Rod Roberts now has to himself. And Vander Plaats no longer has to share his geographic base.
So it doesn't help Branstad... but it doesn't not help him much.