Weekly Presidential Politics - 11/21/07
As predicted by my blog after the Ames Iowa Straw Poll, Mike Huckabee is making a run at the Iowa Caucus. This just in from Real Clear Politics:
Republicans (ABCNews/Washington Post poll)
Romney 28 (+2 vs. last poll July 26-31)
Huckabee 24 (+16)
Thompson 15 (+2)
Giuliani 13 (-1)
McCain 6 (-2)
Paul 6 (+4)
Now, pundits across the country, in their classic insta-reactionary tradition, are taking Iowa away from Romney. If these prognosticators end up being right, even a second place Iowa finish effectively ends the Romney campaign.
Which is why it's not going to happen.
Romney will spend every last nickel of his billions of nickels to win the Iowa Caucus. If polls are still close by the end of December, Iowans can expect a blitzkrieg of ad-buys and "paid volunteers" unlike any in political history, and it'll be courtesy of Mitt Romney.
What's most interesting about the latest poll is not that Mitt Romney is losing control of Iowa polls, but rather that a Huckabee bump has meant national Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani has slipped to fourth in the country's opening caucus. FOURTH. Fickle voters in New Hampshire and beyond will need to be very sure of their Giuliani vote to support a candidate that showed so poorly in a classic benchmark state, especially when the story on every cable news network will be sinking their claws into (remember - insta-reactionary) is about a reeling Giuliani campaign. Every social conservative who barely convinced themselves to support Giuliani will run to the closest conservative competitor.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee will both be spinning the heck out of their top finishes and can ride the resulting free coverage, momentum, and huge added influx of money into the other primaries.
December will be a fascinating month, which is why I'm doing this.