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Rudy and Mitt In Iowa

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America’s mayor is campaigning in America’s heartland, and I think it is a very wise move on his part. After the gaffefest of the last two days, Huck’s got to be shedding some supporters who have refused to fall for Fred and who have never liked McCain. Some will go to Romney, but others (plus at least a few of the Fred faithful who see their guy isn’t moving) may be open to a national security candidate in these days of crisis in Pakistan.

If Rudy heads from Iowa to New Hampshire, watch for the script the pundits wrote to be rewritten again –except for the fact that Romney’s support isn’t unstable at all. I just interviewed the former Massachusetts governor and will post the transcript and audio later. Energy, organization and finance matter in Iowa, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina and Florida, and Romney’s the only candidate who has them all in all of those states.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza –a guest later today– senses the same thing and puts Romney at the top of his weekly ranking of the GOP candidates:

1. Mitt Romney: It’s en vogue at the moment to offer up myriad reasons why Romney won’t win the nomination (his past public record contradicts his current policy stances at every turn, polls show slippage in Iowa and New Hampshire etc.) but we still believe the former Massachusetts governor is in the pole position. New surveys out of Iowa and New Hampshire show Romney closing the gap with Huckabee in Iowa and maintaining a double-digit lead in the Granite State. Romney also has one HUGE edge over his opponents — a virtually limitless personal check book. That means more television ads than his rivals in key states and a Rolls-Royce turnout organization; that alone won’t win him the nomination but it does give him a leg up. (Previous ranking: 1)


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