Dean noted the Des Moines Register poll numbers out of Iowa on Sunday morning, but his post was buried under my thousands of words on the draft immigration bill. The important news is that Romney has put himself ahead of the other two major candidates, though the poll did not include Fred Thompson or Newt Gingrich.
Romney’s quick rejection of the immigration bill as written has also no doubt helped him in the race for the nomination. Like all of the GOP’s major candidates –declared and otherwise– Romney is open to a comprehensive bill, provided it puts border security first, as his latest television ad declared. This is the same position he took in my interviews with him last year and in dozens of speeches heard by thousands of activists, and the attempt by the dwindling few in the McCain camp to claim Romney changed his views is actually going to help undecideds see that that meme has become a cowbell rung whenever Romney surges. Cowbells get very old very fast.
Meanwhile the Romney campaign’s “SignUpAmerica” effort which saw 1,000+ gatherings to watch the debate was largely ignored by MSM but once again demonstrated an organizational edge that the non-declared candidates have to factor into their timetables. Earned media might help a late-entering candidate get a quick pop, but you cannot build an Iowa or New Hampshire organization without a ground game and without raising money.
A Mormon In The White House predicted all of this, and much more, including how the opposing camps will begin to attack Romney, which, given his very good May, could begin any time now.