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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

McCain Still Ahead of Romney--according to National Journal's Rankings

The new rankings are up today (they're generally updated every month or so).

Still McCain, Romney, Giuliani, and Huckabee as the top 4. They dropped Allen off the list completely and have no one in the #5 spot. Interesting. They also keep Giuliani there despite his lack of putting teams together--anywhere . . . maybe Rudy's running for VP or maybe he pulls a Wesley Clark and comes into the game very late if there's an opening?

I'm fine with keeping Romney out of the top spot . . . who wants to be the frontrunner this early? Romney's had a much better last few months than McCain, yet McCain still tops the list--was he that far ahead? (Also, if you hadn't noticed, National Journal and Hotline: On Call--affiliated sites--are very kind to McCain and always seem to spin things to where he comes off looking good).

In their intro they say . . .

We're about six weeks away from the first official presidential announcement. All of the top-tier candidates will want to open up federal accounts for official fundraising as quickly as possible, particularly the candidates that didn't run last time like Mitt Romney, Mark Warner and Evan Bayh. What's not clear is when John McCain, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards announce. They have the standing to wait a bit longer than others, but at the same time, they'd like to make sure their new challengers don't get too much oxygen. This should be fascinating to watch.

So does Romney announce in Nov (post elections) or in Jan (after finishing in Mass)? I think earlier is better for him to allow time for people to get sick of "The Mormon Question".

I saw Newt on FOX News say that he wouldn't announce "yes" or "no" until SEPT. 2007. That seems late for someone who's never run for POTUS . . . maybe he and Rudy are milking the attention and exposure? I really can't blame them if they are.

Of Romney, NJ says . . .

In New Hampshire, Romney wants to become the first presidential candidate for whom the endorsement of conservatives in that state signals to conservatives in other states that he's in the middle of the Reagan coalition and electable at the same time. It's hard to do. He's not exactly part of the establishment, although he seems to be consciously assuming the habits and policy positions of the conservative intellectual elite. His pragmatic streak and workmanlike style add a touch of independence. His PAC is ingeniously helping to run Jim Nussle's field operation in Iowa. New Hampshire Republicans believe he has the Gregg-Rath-Maiola axis all but wrapped up. However, Mormon skepticism, whether induced by whisper campaigns or in public, has begun to show up in South Carolina

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