Cooler Line Explained
On to the top 3
1. Mitt Romney (2-1): Mitt clearly has the best organization in Iowa at this early stage. He has an advisory committee of 50 members, field staff, and higher level consultants with Iowa experience. He also has the conservative credentials needed to win in this state and has bought the most chits from county parties and state legislators/candidates. You also have to believe that he’ll be capable to bus a large number of LDS folks in for the straw poll and those won’t be usual straw poll attendees. Romney has shown he has the capability to raise the money needed as well (he’s raised a bushel of it already). He has the I was pro-life before I was pro-choice before I was pro-life again working against him, as well as the fact that he’ll spend a year explaining his religion. He is definitely not the favorite to win the nomination at this point- but we think he’s in the best shape to win the caucus. The #1 thing going for him- everyone else on the line has problems.
2. John McCain (5-2)- McCain is widely regarded as the favorite to win the nomination. He’s lining up Bush Pioneers left and right, he’s already brought on McKinnon and Nelson and there are sure to be more where that came from. He’s not viewed that favorably amongst the SoCo’s but the fact is; he is pro-life and anti-gay marriage, which is more than most of the contenders can say. He also is putting together an Iowa organization (a little slower than Romney) and spending money earning chits. We hear the next disbursements report for Straight Talk America will have a lot of Iowa zip codes on it. You have to believe that Larson and Nelson will bring a lot of Iowa establishment folks with them, the question is which ones. There is a vocal anti-McCain minority out there, but once you separate the forest from the trees it always tends to be the same folks trashing him. There are two things keeping McCain from the top spot: He skipped Iowa last time and the fact that he was at one point anti-ethanol.
3. George Pataki (7-2)- This is the placement we’ve got the most criticism for, but the fact is that August of 2006 Pataki is in the 3rd best position to win. That might not be the case in January of 08 but we’ll judge that then. Pataki is so high mostly because of his team. Loras Schulte and Ed Failor Jr. and Iowans for Tax Relief know what they are doing. Just ask Reps. Wilderdyke, Hutter and Senator Tinsman. They have a huge membership, a great list and a terrific turnout machine. Pataki has working against him the fact that he’s pro-choice and his 29% approval rating in New York- but he’s a big state Governor and he has the resources to get the job done. At this stage, Pataki looks like the sleeper.
Back with the rest of the list later.