Romney's campaign may be fourth nationally, but it has pinned its hopes on wins in Iowa and New Hampshire and a bounce from the coverage. John Fund at OpinionJournal's Political Diary points out that this strategy might be having some problems:A Rasmussen Reports survey released last Tuesday showed Mr. Romney's lead over Rudy Giuliani dwindling over the course of the last month from 12 points to just three points. A survey by CNN and WMUR TV released yesterday indicated a similar downward trend: the 15-point lead Mr. Romney held over Mr. Giuliani in July is now down to a single point. Overall, Mr. Romney's lead in the RealClearPolitics Average for New Hampshire has slipped to 4%, its lowest level since the end of May.
Should Mr. Romney be worried? Yes. Is it time to hit the panic button? Not quite. The linchpin of his strategy is a win in Iowa, and right now the big lead he's built up in the Hawkeye State over the summer appears to be holding. Since winning the Ames straw poll at the beginning of August, Mr. Romney has extended his lead in the RealClearPolitics Average in Iowa by more than five points, now holding a 15.4% lead over his nearest competitor, Rudy Giuliani. . . .
If he begins to fade in Iowa, Romney's campaign will quickly implode. Romney is obviously a very smart, very polished candidate who could make a credible play for voters in the middle in a general elections, but I worry that he is out of touch with many middle America voters. I think he has had a tin ear on gun issues (becoming a life member last year or is misleading talk about hunting). The key point is the issues, not whether he is a member of the NRA. His statement that you don't need an assault weapon for hunting in discussing the assault weapons ban is what concerns people who care about these issues because it just indicates how little he actually knows about guns. I have tried to offer advice on some gun issues to people who I know are advising him, but those offers of help (now many months old) fell on deaf ears.
UPDATE: The newest Newsweek Poll
should be a warning for Romney. Amony Likely Republican Caucus-Goers Romney's lead is eight percentage points over second place Fred Thompson. I think that this bodes well for Thompson and if he wins Iowa, which seems very doable, I think that he will quickly sweep the field.
Labels: 2008PresidentialRace, Romney