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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 13, 2007 /4 Teves 5768

Fun begins as races tighten and shift

By Jonathan V. Last


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For most of the last week at least, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee have been leading (some of) the polls in Iowa, displacing the long-standing front-runners, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney. But you're not surprised, because you remember the Second Rule of Politics: All races tighten.

Right now, the headline would read: Clinton OK - and GOP race wide-open - no matter what happens.

Except for incumbents and sitting vice presidents, there are no coronations in presidential races. And even those exceptions have exceptions: In 1988, for instance, Vice President George H.W. Bush finished third in Iowa behind both Bob Dole and Pat Robertson. So it was certain the races this year would become competitive in both parties.

Let's start with the Democrats. Hillary Clinton retains a sizable national lead. She had been leading in Iowa since August, but now most polls show Obama with a two- to four-point edge. Clinton's support has remained relatively constant, hovering in the mid-to-high 20s. But Obama has picked up strength as John Edwards has faded, and undecided voters have begun hopping down from the fence.

The Clinton campaign seems panicked by these numbers, launching attacks against Obama for being overly ambitious and for having a long-standing plan to run for president. (Psychologists call this "projecting.") But they needn't worry so.

Sure, it'd be great for Clinton to win Iowa - that would be a huge blow to Obama and would place him in a position where he would need to win New Hampshire (where Clinton has a big lead) just to stay in the race. But even a second-place finish would leave Clinton in a very strong position. Losing Iowa is hardly the kiss of death for a Democratic hopeful. There have been six caucuses since 1972 without a Democratic incumbent president or vice president. Only two of them were won by the eventual nominee: Walter Mondale in 1984 and John Kerry in 2004. Clinton, Dukakis, Carter, and McGovern all finished second or third in Iowa.

Second place in Iowa would harbor irritants. Let's say the finish is Obama-Clinton-Edwards. The Edwards campaign was predicated on winning Iowa. If he finishes third, he won't last much past New Hampshire - which means that the anti-Clinton vote will consolidate sooner rather than later.

Now for the Republicans. Mitt Romney's candidacy has never actually caught on. As of a few weeks ago, he sat in fourth place in most national polls. But he's been leading Iowa since May. How's that? Because Romney tried to buy the Iowa caucus.

Early on, Romney decided that his only plausible path to the nomination was to win Iowa, win New Hampshire, and then use those victories to slingshot his candidacy nationally. To that end, he has dumped dollars into Iowa by the planeload: As of mid-November, he had spent $10.2 million on television ads, mostly in Iowa and New Hampshire. For some perspective, the second-biggest TV spender on the Republican side has been John McCain, who as of mid-November had spent only a little more than $300,000.

For his money, Romney was able to buy an early Iowa lead. But that's gone now. Mike Huckabee began rising in early October and now has a lead in Iowa of three to five points in the two most worthwhile polls, Rasmussen and the Des Moines Register, respectively. Romney's support has dipped a little, but hasn't collapsed. Huckabee's rise has come somewhat at the expense of Fred Thompson; mostly it's undecideds breaking Huckabee's way.

It's unclear how far Huckabee's momentum can take him. He remains a very long shot to win the nomination, and he has yet to take a punch. That punch probably won't come from the mainstream media, which see him as the weakest Republican and thus a good match-up for either Clinton or Obama.

Which is why Romney's surrogates, such as talk-show host and blogger Hugh Hewitt, have gone into overdrive attacking Huckabee during the last week. But Romney's problem isn't Huckabee - it's Romney. One of the striking aspects of the Romney campaign is how his national poll numbers remained stagnant even as he used money to move his Iowa and New Hampshire numbers. Huckabee is proof that a good candidate shouldn't have this dichotomy. While spending almost no money, Huckabee has taken off in Iowa - and, correspondingly, his national numbers have boomed. In the latest Rasmussen poll, Huckabee surged to 18 percent, leaving Romney in fifth place. So far, Republican voters just aren't keen for Romney, and in a national primary process, no amount of money can hide that fact.

The rest of the Republican field is fighting over third place in the Hawkeye state. Thompson and Rudy Giuliani are both sitting around 12 percent. Thompson says he needs to finish third to have a chance to win the nomination; conventional wisdom has it that there are only three tickets out of Iowa. But that may not be right. If Romney wins Iowa, third place becomes very important. If Huckabee wins, then the Romney campaign becomes a ghost ship - which gives Giuliani, Thompson, and McCain all room to grow as Romney's New Hampshire support becomes unmoored.

The fun begins Jan. 3, when upward of 200,000 Iowans brave the cold to help select our next president. Which means that, with less than a month to go, there's still plenty of time for the field to shift again.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jonathan V. Last is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

12/05/07 Iran's future: Would lower fertility rates lead to stability?
11/01/07 Nobel Prize in Economics — where Team USA still dominates the game
10/25/07 Handicapping the GOP's presidential horse race
10/11/07 Germany's Turks provide a lesson on immigration
09/13/07 British battle can offer us a perspective on casualties
09/12/07 Alas, GOP seems set to take hit in Senate
08/30/07 Europeans have supplanted backbones with capitulation
08/24/07 Politics holds the key to ensuring a healthy growth in population
08/17/07 Finessing the Democratic center
08/10/07 Woohoo! Satire seeing a revival
07/31/07 Historical model: For Obama, it's Carter
07/26/07 Baseball, apple pie, a 2nd chance
07/24/07 Harry Potter and the alchemy theory
07/06/07 Life is hard — and often short. The perils of professional wrestling
06/21/07 After Bush: Gingrich and others worry that his shortcomings could have a far-reaching effect on the GOP
03/09/07 Why the British outclass us in acting
01/23/07 Romney: Seriously great, but with baggage
12/23/06 When truth is transpicuous
12/05/06 A realistic plan: Split the country in two
11/08/06 We could easily pull out of Korea and let China have regional hegemony. But would it be the right thing?
10/24/06 The decline of revolution
10/18/06 Why the free market is king
08/07/06 Democracy, of itself, not solution to all problems
08/01/06 We get the movies we deserve
07/27/06 How long will U.S. empire last?


© 2006, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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