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between putting the baby to bed and watching the Twilight Zone marathon:

1.  I saw Romney’s stump speech on television.  It is pretty obviously a response to Obama’s Osawatomie speech on inequality by talking about opportunity etc..  I thought Romney’s speech needed a lot of work before it could become effective.  A lot.

2.  Romney is set up pretty well.  If he finishes top two in Iowa he is set up to win New Hampshire.

3.  Short of Romney campaign suicide, it is tough to see how Romney loses New Hampshire.  He has around 40% support there in most recent polls.  Here is one scenario: Santorum finishes a strong first in Iowa.  He gets huge media attention as the real conservative in the race and picks up most of Gingrich’s and Bachmann’s New Hampshire support.  If Santorum wins Iowa, the right-leaning talk shows in the Boston area (and this market includes Southern New Hampshire) are going to be all about Santorum.  There is a series of stories about Romney looking weak.  Romney bleeds his right-leaning support to Santorum and his moderate-leaning support to Huntsman and Huntsman wins narrowly in a four person (that includes Ron Paul) race.  Yeah, I know it isn’t likely at all. 

4.  More likely is that Santorum finishes third in Iowa with Gingrich and Perry finishing some combination of fourth and fifth.  This turns South Carolina into a mess.  You would have one guy with momentum (though not too much momentum) but no money or organization (Santorum.)  You would have one guy with money and a Southern regional appeal (in theory), but weak poll numbers and several straight defeats (Perry.)  And you would have one guy with good South Carolina poll numbers, but not a lot of money, and seeming like a loser after (very likely) finishing out of the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire.  That is a lot of not-Romney’s slugging it out.  Pretty good for Romney.

5.  I think the national and South Carolina polls are a lagging indicator.  The Romney forces have three weeks, millions of dollars, and news coverage of Gingrich not winning in the early states to bring down Gingrich’s numbers.

6.  On the other hand, Newsmax is running basically a thirty minute Gingrich infomercial hosted by Michael Reagan.  Maybe it is payback for Gingrich (when he was doing well in the polls) not dissing the Newsmax-sponsored Donald Trump clownshow debate.  Maybe it helps Gingrich undo some of the damage of all those negative ads run by Romney’s allies.  On one hand it should help, but I don’t know about the dynamic.  Are a lot of people going to be spending the holiday weekend watching a thirty minute infomercial about some politician?  The regular ads come on during your shows, so it is tougher to avoid them if you are watching without one of those TiVo things.

7.  The next couple of debates should be interesting.  And maybe a little less crowded.

8.  Interesting poll results (especially the trends.)

More on: Politics

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