Friday, June 08, 2007

Iowa withdrawal

I could be a little confused here, but Rudy and McCain are conceding Iowa? An editorial by Pat Buchanan says that they are smart to avoid Romney in Iowa and should bank on New Hampshire. However, Buchanan sums up the essence of what this means for both Iowa and New Hampshire:
But in running Rudy and John out of Ames, Romney has shown real strength, and must now be the favorite to take Iowa in January and probably is the man to beat in New Hampshire.
To me it really is stunning that Rudy and McCain so early and readily conceded Iowa. Less than two months ago Romney was down by double digits to Rudy, McCain, or both. Now Romney is the favorite having taken the lead in most polls with some showing a double digit lead. Many analysts have explained that Romney is the only one on the airwaves, but if this were the only reason wouldn’t the answer be to just combat Romney’s advertising with advertising of your own? As Jason has explained, this is expensive, but aren’t you running a campaign to win? If it’s not worth the money to you to win, then what are you doing campaigning and fundraising?

As unlikely to outsiders as it may have seemed after the first quarter fundraising numbers came in, Romney’s fundraising is a manifestation of the support widespread support that Romney has garnered as people have met him and embraced his message. As silly as the explanations of predominantly Mormon supporters or wealthy fat-cats were and are, analysts and detractors can’t explain Romney’s Iowa surge on a narrow base of fawning Mormons or former business partners. It seems more and more to me that the first quarter fundraising numbers were indicative of things to come. Unfortunately for Rudy and McCain, there comes a time where you have to perform. You don’t always get to explain away your defeat as resulting from a “late start” or whatever other excuses there might be.

It’s also interesting to me that Rudy and McCain would bank on New Hampshire. Romney has a bigger lead there than in Iowa. Or maybe they will also back out of New Hampshire to bank on South Carolina or Michigan or Nevada or Florida. But by that time how many wins does Romney have? No, by that time it will be more than apparent that Republicans are with Romney. Perhaps they feel more comfortable with the poll numbers in Florida which look like the Iowa numbers from two months ago. How long will those numbers stay like that? I wouldn’t feel too comfortable if I were Rudy or McCain.

Admittedly, there’s a lot of time in between then and now and certainly strange things can happen, but this is a win for Romney. One of many to come.

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