Countdown to the primaries – the Monday selection

Countdown to the primaries – the Monday selection

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Leading New Hampshire paper says “No” to Romney
Given the overwhelming requirement for GOP second favourite, Mitt Romney, to get a good result in New Hampshire on January 8th the view of one of the state’s leading newspapers has to be taken seriously.

In an editorial on Romney the Concord Monitor declares: “When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state’s first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney. If a candidate is a phony, we assure ourselves and the rest of the world, we’ll know it. Mitt Romney is such a candidate. New Hampshire Republicans and independents must vote no.”

Ouch! Romney was governor of then neighbouring state of Massachusetts and a good clean victory in NH was seen as crucial. If he comes second in Iowa and fails in New Hampshire then his big might run into the ground.

What’s behind the favourite’s health scare?

One of the big stories in the past few days has been the admission to hospital overnight by the GOP favourite and former cancer patient, Rudy Giuliani. The ex-mayor of New York is under pressure anyway because of his decision not to campaign in Iowa – the first state to decide.

Many strategists are saying that his approach has been a huge strategic mistake because early band-wagons might start to roll which could be unstoppable. Click on the picture below to hear Rudi’s thoughts on how it is going.

With Giuliani appearing to struggle and the problems facing Romney I remain a Huckerbee and McCain backer.

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How’s Obama going to get students to caucus?
The Obama campaign has done well appealing to young people, particularly the young in Iowa – but this doesn’t mean anything unless this support can be marshalled and enough of them flock to the caucus meetings on January 3rd. Generally these events are not successful in attracting younger votes an element that could be worse this year because many students are back home with their families – not at the place where they are registered.

A big issue in the final few days is going to be how the different campaigns can mobilise this vote. CNN had the following interesting feature – just click on the picture.

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Latest betting
Hillary continues to remain a firm favourite on Betfair for the Democratic nomination although she has moved out a touch. It’s now Hillary at 0.56/1 with Obama at 2.35/1 and John Edwards on 18/1.

In the GOP race it’s Giuliani on 2.35/1; Romney 3/1, McCain at 5.2/1 and Huckabee at 5.6/1

The next US round-up will be on December 27th.

Mike Smithson

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