09 April 2007


Well, we're back from San Francisco and getting slowly back into the day-to-day.

Financing was the biggest story on the campaign trail while we were gone.

Of course Hillary Clinton led the pack, or would that be PAC?

But there is some good news for those of us who abhor the current campaign financing system.

Barack Obama was nearly toe-to-toe with Clinton, and he did it with 100,000, mostly small, donations. John Edwards finished somewhat behind Obama and Clinton on the Democratic side, but he too raised an impressive $14 million or so in the quarter, and most came from donations from the Average Joe.

Also surprising, the top Democrats raised more than one-and-one-half as much as the top Republicans. And John McCain's totals were dwarfed by contributions to the Mitt Romney campaign, which topped even Rudy Giuliani's totals.

The blog Uncle Sam Wants You has a great rundown of the totals and what they say about the campaign so far.


In keeping with their strong fundraising performance, the two third-place candidates - Edwards for the Democrats and Romney for the GOP - are showing strength in recent polls as well.

Take a recent Zoby Poll of New Hampshire, released last Wednesday.

In that poll Romney surged to a first-place tie with John McCain at 25%, while Rudy Giuliani came in third at 19%. One month earlier Romney had been at 13% in Zogby's New Hampshire poll.

Edwards made a similarly impressive jump in the latest Zogby New Hampshire poll, bounding 10 percentage points from a month ago to 23%. That was good enough for a second place tie with Barack Obama and puts Edwards only 6 points behind Clinton in the early-primary state. Couple this result with Edwards' neck-and-neck showing with Clinton in various recent Iowa polls and he could pull off two big wins right at the get-go.

A recent Diageo Hotline Poll showed Edwards' favorability rating jumped to 54% at the end of March from 38% at the end of February.


One other key polling note. On the GOP side of things, Rudy Giuliani has taken a one point lead (essentially a tie) over John McCain in South Carolina in the latest Fox News poll. McCain has recruited and campaigned heavily in South Carolina and the results (Giuliani 26%, McCain 25%, Romney 14%) provide further evidence that McCain's campaign is on the rocks.

One other note of interest, for me at least. New York has voted to move up it's primary to Feb. 5. So, for the first time since I cast my very first presidential primary vote for Mo Udall in the Ohio primary in 1976, my primary vote may count for something.

These are certainly not all the key developments in the race while we were away, just the ones that caught my eye.