November 23, 2007


Cannon to the north of them (The Economist, 11/22/07)

Because it is physically much smaller than Iowa, and its population is concentrated around the old mill-towns of the south, like Manchester and Nashua, “retail politics” there is even more up-close and personal than in Iowa. Its well-educated and well-off citizens have plenty of opportunities to crowd into school gymnasiums, diners and church halls to hear and to interrogate.

And, above all, the state likes to vote: it chooses its governor every two years, and turnout for the presidential primaries will be of the order of 65%, compared with around 10% for Iowa's caucuses. Well over half the electorate consists of voters of undeclared allegiance, though the state has been trending Democrat for years, thanks to an influx of liberal east-coast retirees drawn to its lakes and mountains and yuppies working in its booming tech sector. New Hampshire gives a good indication of how a candidate appeals to independent voters, the largest group in the country.

New Hampshire looks likely to matter most to the Republican race, where it will probably either make or break Mr Giuliani. Until recently, the former mayor of New York had been engaged in a breathtakingly bold strategy: to ignore the early states (which also include Michigan, due to vote on January 15th, and Nevada and South Carolina, both due on January 19th), in favour of concentrating on Florida (January 29th) and the February 5th states.

But there is a snag. Mitt Romney, a successful businessman and former governor of Massachusetts, has been spending vast amounts of his fortune in Iowa and New Hampshire, and leads the polls in both of them. Throw in the fact that conservative South Carolina might not take to a man currently on his third wife and that Mr Romney's father was a popular governor of Michigan, and there is a real chance that Mr Giuliani might end up heading to Florida having lost four races to his main rival. why The Mayor won't run.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 23, 2007 6:27 AM

Romney is sliding and has no way to 'grab the microphone' and gain traction.

Huckabee's "meteoric" rise to 11% eats into potential Romney (and Thompson) votes.

NH is important for Rudy, but Romney has to sweep the board to be the nominee; Rudy and McCain don't. Increasingly, it looks like every dollar spent in IA is a dollar wasted (on the GOP side), and it looks like Rudy and McCain will fight it out once the other guys have fallen away.

The interesting story for the Dems is how nervous they get if Obama wins in IA. Hillary can certainly trash her way to the nomination, but she looks more vulnerable now (despite Obama's persistent emptiness) than she did 2 months ago. And the SEC is on her tail (and Bill's) for more campaign finance shenanigans. Personally on their tails.

Remember what we were saying about McCain a year or two ago - does he have the juice to pull enough independents and 'moderate' voters into his column to make up for the potential loss of harder right votes? That is, can he keep the Republican vote total at around 61 million? Today, the same applies to Rudy. Either one seems likely to do it, and either one can win PA, MI, MN, WI, and potentially NJ and even CA. No other GOP candidate even comes close on that score. Plus, Rudy and McCain have both campaigned hard for House and Senate candidates in the past, and the 2008 nominee is going to have pull in a GOP House in order to be able to govern. The other wannabes have zero history in that regard.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 23, 2007 11:05 AM

Among Romney, Rudy & Mitt only the winner of NH survives.

Posted by: oj at November 23, 2007 2:03 PM

The InfoUSA investigation could be a direct hit on Bill and Hill. They really are trying to lock in the Asian money across the board - China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and now India. I'm surprised (a bit) that Obama and Edwards haven't throttled her on this point - their money is mostly Hollywood and union.

The other interesting point in NH for the GOP is what happens to FRED! if he finishes 3rd or worse. More and more, he looks like a flash in the pan.

Who is going to run against Landrieu in LA?

Posted by: ratbert at November 23, 2007 4:21 PM