Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


August 11, 2006  

"Many Democrats may hate the war in Iraq and itch to dump the president, but a new GOP survey shows that Republican base voters stand ready to jam the November polls to return their team to Congress." Ė writes Paul Bedard, WashingtonWhispers

"Soon a candidate will show up in Iowa thinking that they can get started, and the activists needed to run a campaign will already be taken." Ė writes IPW PAC chairman Roger Hughes.



J U S T   P O L I T I C S


For some it may be over before it starts

The winnowing process

By Roger Wm. Hughes

The history of the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary is one that allows those who probably do not have a chance at being president to try and be the Cinderella candidate. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were two such candidates. This winnowing process enables a greater opportunity for the story line 'any child can grow up to be president' to be true.

Whether this nation continues with this process, or one of the many other processes that would put even more power in the hands of power brokers and money interests, there still comes a time when the dreams of some who seek the highest office in the land are dashed. This is probably happening at a far earlier date during this 2008 presidential cycle than in the past. This is probably because of the wide-open nature of the race.

There are several candidates who believe they can lay back and not begin organizing in Iowa, New Hampshire and S. Carolina. They are wrong. You only have to look at the number of candidates (nine scheduled so far) visiting Iowa during the Iowa State Fair.

To emphasize the point here is part of the current schedule:

       Friday, Republicans N.Y. Gov. George Pataki and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich visit the Iowa State Fair.

       Democrat Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack will be at the fair several days.

       Sens. Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, John McCain and Bill Frist all plan to attend the fair.

       Sen. John Edwards is scheduling events around Iowa but avoiding the traffic jam at the Fair.

       It is reported that MA. Gov. Mitt Rommney will be in Iowa also.

This is Sen. Bidenís first serious journey into Iowa. The question is whether Biden is in time to make this cycle to run for president...?

It is clear that a number of individuals will not be able to organize a campaign for president based on how early potential candidates are recruiting staff and volunteers.

The three candidates on the Republican side that have made the most advances are:

(AK) Gov. Mik Huckabee

(MA) Gov. Mitt Rommney

(NY) Gov. George Pataki.

Among the Democrats in Iowa the most advanced are:

(NC) former Sen. John Edwards;

(IN) Sen. Evan Byh;

(MA) Sen. John Kerry Ė slipping fast;

Not even getting started is (IA) Gov. Tom Vilsack. There is an argument to be made that Vilsack is (NY) Sen. Hillary Clintonís placeholder. (VA) Sen. Mark Warner is not spending enough time in the state, despite strong Iowa supporters.

The kind of activity that is happening in Iowa is also occurring in New Hampshire. Campaigns on the Democrat side have been donating staff or paying for staff for the '06 elections. The Republican presidential candidates are active in helping with fundraisers in the state.

Soon a candidate will show up in Iowa thinking that they can get started, and the activists needed to run a campaign will already be taken. There is a lot of shifting already going on as to who Iowans think should be our next president. The reason? Lots of Iowans have already seen these candidates three or four times by now.

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NB) is one such candidate. Hagel made an early appearance and hasnít been back. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is another who has strong appeal to the Christian Right but has not been spending enough time and effort on the ground here in Iowa.

It is true that there are a couple of candidates like Rudi Giuliani that can draw a crowd and might be able to peel off already pledged voters, but there is fast approaching a time when it will be even too late for them.

Those who win their partyís nomination are the ones who go through the long grueling marathon of the nominating process. There is the other alternative of having regional primaries or one of the other ways that has been suggested. This, of course, would make it impossible for the large number of individuals who can participate in the race currently.

There is a reason that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) to get to Iowa if he was interested in being president. So on Sep. 17th, Sen. Obama will be the keynote speaker at Sen. Tom Harkinís Annual Steak Fry in Warren County (Altoona, IA).



GOP Voters: 'like a rock'

Paul Bedard, columnist of "WashingtonWhispers," comments on the new Republican survey. The survey shows 81% are 'almost certain' to vote and 14% are 'very likely' to vote:


Many Democrats may hate the war in Iraq and itch to dump the president, but a new GOP survey shows that Republican base voters stand ready to jam the November polls to return their team to Congress. A three-page-survey memo obtained by Washington Whispers reveals that despite reports of some dissatisfaction with the economy, the war, and President Bush, 81 percent of Republican voters are "almost certain" to vote and an additional 14 percent say they are "very likely." It goes without saying that they'll vote Republican: By a margin of 84 percent to 6 percent, they will pull the GOP toggle switch in the voting booth. And here is something you don't hear very often: 88 percent of Republicans approve of how the prez is handling his job. What's it all mean? Analysts say that GOP voters are ready to dig in and play defense against the charges Democrats are tossing at Republican candidates.



Biden returns to Iowa after 19-year absence

Citing ' partisan gridlock in the Senate' as the reason to his return to presidential campaigning, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Delaware) returned to Iowa this week. Biden's trip marked the end of a 19-year absence. He will spend 15 days in Iowa this month.

Associated Press political writer Mike Glover writes:

[EXCERPT:]    Biden had built a significant network of support in his 1988 bid, but some of that has shifted elsewhere. For example, Biden's press secretary then was Eric Woolson, who is now a Republican consultant with a client list that includes Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee _ also a potential presidential candidate.

"He's going to have a few of his die-hard supporters," said Woolson. "But he's going to have to appeal to an entirely new Democratic Party."

[LINK to article]






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