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  •  that's true (1+ / 0-)
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    Ray Radlein

    but one has to wonder about the diminishing importance of Iowa. I expect romney to virtually skip it and still win NH and have a good shot. SC may be more pivotal than IA as it was in 2000.

    He'd have to implode to lose NH.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 29, 2011 at 06:02:19 PM PDT

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    •  Romney in Iowa (0+ / 0-)

      I think Romney is going to run surprisingly hard in Iowa, all the while telling everyone that he is skipping it. He's already got people and offices in every county, unlike, well, everyone else; and he's got enough money to do a lot of stuff there sub rosa.

      He's not going to win, but he wants to beat expectations there, in part by pretending not to be contesting the state, so that his loss won't be counted against him.


      "I play a street-wise pimp" — Al Gore

      by Ray Radlein on Sun May 29, 2011 at 07:31:31 PM PDT

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    •  The winner (0+ / 0-)

      of Iowa is going to matter a lot.  Some math to think about (courtesy of the master of the New Hampshire Primary, Jeanne Shaheen, who recited these numbers to me in 1984):

      If the front runner is at 40, you must get 67% of the remaining vote to win
      If the front runner is at 35, you must get 50% of the remaining vote to win.
      If the front runner is at 30, you must get 37.5% of the remaining vote to win.

      There is a huge difference between a front runner at 40 and one at 30: vastly more than I think people realize.

      The average bounce from New Hampshire is between 12 and 15 points.  If Romney were at 40, he probably still wins NH.  Right now he is in the low 30's - which means that a decent bounce out of Iowa could take him down.

      This is as open a race at this point as I have ever seen.  In a way it is a bit of a replay of the '04 Democratic fight.  Dean's position on Iraq meant he had early support of the base of the party.  But he faded at the close, and wound up losing the anti-war vote to Kerry.  What beat Dean: electability in my view.  

      Similarly, the GOP base is the Tea Party.  I would expect someone is going to catch fire this summer as the "true believer".  One lesson of 2010 is that only true believers win GOP primaries.  In the past the Iowa caucuses have tended to support out of the mainstream candidates, and maybe it will happen again.  

      But my guess is that late in Iowa electability becomes critically important, and you will get a late swing for the GOP equivelent of Kerry (if there is such a thing).  It will happen late, it if does, and to some extent will be a function of how strong Obama looks.

      But my guess it does happen.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Sun May 29, 2011 at 07:43:23 PM PDT

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      •  someone has to be in the race (1+ / 0-)
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        drmah

        that appears to be electable. That's where perry but not pawlenty is a threat.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 29, 2011 at 08:15:03 PM PDT

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        •  Perry's pitch (0+ / 0-)

          I am the governor of a state with low unemployment and one of the few where property did not tank.

          It is a little similar to Michael Dukakis's pitch in 1988.  I know that sounds strange, but if the economy is in trouble in 2012 it might sell.  

          The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

          by fladem on Sun May 29, 2011 at 08:52:25 PM PDT

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      •  more from today... (0+ / 0-)
        Iowa Republicans worry about their relevance in the 2012 presidential election

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 30, 2011 at 05:03:56 AM PDT

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