Sen. John McCain's political advisers say it is now certain that he will enter presidential caucuses in Iowa, the state he bypassed in 2000 on his way to nearly taking the Republican nomination from George W. Bush.
The sign that McCain is aiming for Iowa came when his political action committee hired Terry Nelson, political director for Bush's 2004 campaign. An Iowan, Nelson knows the state well. That points to an early showdown in Iowa between McCain and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has built a grass-roots organization there.
This McCain-Romney face-off may not be definitive. Ronald Reagan in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1988 each won the nomination after losing Iowa.
Good analysis of this by Thomas at Elect Romney in 2008
The political handicappers here in Iowa like Romney's chances to win the caucus better than McCain's (or anyone else's at this point for that matter). See the active Cooler Line at Caucus Cooler and The Krusty Konservative's "Six Pack" (from back in July).
I don't see McCain "catching on" here in Iowa. He's only suceeded in states with open primaries where cross-over Dems and Independants helped him out (Michigan and New Hampshire in 2000). Iowa's caucus system is heavily slanted to get the party base's choice to win . . . and I can tell you for sure that McCain is no favorite of the GOP base here in Iowa.