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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, January 04, 2008

McCain the Big Winner?

Robert Novak and Timothy P. Carney
Special Iowa Report: McCain the Big Winner; Hillary Suffers; Romney Devastated

The surprising results of last night's Iowa Republican caucus were devastating for former Gov. Mitt Romney and vindicating for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, but the biggest winner may have been Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

Romney's distant second-place finish is devastating to the candidate who flooded Iowa with money, staffers, ads, and mailings. He outspent Huckabee by an order of magnitude, and still got only 25 percent to Huckabee's 34 percent.

None of the other Republicans had nearly as much riding on Iowa as Romney and Huckabee, except former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.).

We predicted Thompson's third-place finish on the strength of his late blitz in Iowa, spending the final 18 days in the Hawkeye State. He did manage to finish third, but with a disappointing 13 percent, just a few hundred votes ahead of McCain. His late surge was not as dramatic as we had expected because Huckabee's support was more concrete than we thought.

Thompson appeals to many Republicans as the most thoroughly conservative candidate. If Romney's star fades significantly, Thompson could pick up his slack. He stayed alive in Iowa, but his campaign was hardly impressive enough to suggest he can make a comeback.
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