- Edwards is ticking up, but HAS to win Iowa to have a prayer. The boost may be temporary sympathy or it may be how he handled the situation.
- Clinton is fighting back hard against Obama's surge, which seems to have peaked to a degree. However, her fundamental problems: her rating personality and voice, her cautiousness, etc. will not go away. I still don't see how she can hang on to her lead if Obama or Edwards win both Iowa and New Hampshire
- Obama has made several mistakes recently and it seems his rhetoric is not going to be enough these days, people want a plan. He needs to talk about how touting an imaginary plan is worthless and how he would get a bill on a) the war, b) health care, etc. Obama's main appeal is that he sounds moderate but votes fairly liberal.
- Unless Edwards drops out and/or Obama stumbles badly, I don't see anyone else in the Democratic fold getting any traction. Of those also-rans, I seen Richardson and Clark as the only ones who have a chance. Sorry Dodd, Biden, Gravel, and Kucinich.
- McCain is in deep, deep trouble. His comments on Iraq were mocked by journalists (his main base of support) and Generals on the field. McCain hitched his wagon to Bush's war and it isn't going away by 2008. More immediately, the revelation that he wanted to caucus with the Democrats and drop out of the GOP in 2001 will make it that much harder for McCain to convince primary voters he is one of them. I am frankly not surprised. In 2001, McCain's strategy was to run a third party maverick against Bush in 2004. Then John Weaver realized that a third party run would be disastrous, so he decided to become a conservatives conservative on most issues. But conservatives are still pissed off about campaign finance reform, tax cuts, and climate change. No matter how many pro-life votes he has they still will focus on that.
- Romney has been hit hard by opo research, and there is lots of ripe ground. He still has many fundamental problems which have nothing to do with his religion: his recent flip-floppery on so many cultural issues. Romney seems particularly clumsy in his attempt to please what ever crowd he needs to appeal to. Again, unless he wins Iowa, I don't see how he breaks through.
- Giuliani is running a pretty tight ship. Despite the tough hits via opposition research, he has continued to have a massive lead in state polling and national polling. He has picked up support from key movement conservatives on fiscal issues, like Steve Forbes. And Dobson hasn't said anything negative about him, despite his glaring moral failings
- Thompson's balloon floating has been popped by Dobson. It seems that conservatives are dissatisfied with the current field...but can't find anyone who looks good to them. Will Mr. Law & Order be able to tap into that void?
- Gingrich seems to be in the same boat as Thompson, but he seems to be the last of great conservative winners. He is untainted by the DeLay-Bush years. And he stepped into Dobson's confessional with a megaphone to beg for forgiveness on his adultery. Still, GOPers should be worried about his ticking time bomb qualities.
The rest of the Republicans are not worth talking about.