$17 PER VOTER HAS BEEN SPENT BY THE CANDIDATES IN IOWA
CNN: "Iowa's 2.3 million eligible voters have been bombarded with close to $40 million worth of political ads on television this cycle -- more than three times the amount spent there in 2004. Sen. Barack Obama leads all candidates in TV ad spending during this election cycle. That works out roughly to about $17 per voter, between $150 and $200 per expected caucus-goer, and nearly $500,000 per each of the state's 82 delegates in a contest that -- unlike 2004 -- is wide open on both sides of the aisle."
HILLARY 'NOBODY'S SECOND CHOICE' MAY COME THIRD IN IOWA
That's David Freddoso's suggestion on National Review: "At 30 percent, Hillary leads both Obama (22 percent) and Edwards (29 percent). Many other polls show a closer race, with all three in a statistical tie. So if this poll is correct, Hillary will win, right? Wrong. The most relevant feature of the Democratic caucus, as opposed to the Republican one, is that it allows supporters of losing candidates to make a second choice. This is where Hillary is on course to fall short." "Hillary Clinton is hardly anyone’s second choice for the Democratic nomination," noted Freddoso.
Toby Harnden wonders if we are seeing the end of the Clintons once and for all.
WILL TECHNOLOGY GIVE ROMNEY VICTORY OVER HUCKABEE?
Huckabee may have more support in opinion polls but does he have the infrastructure to get his vote out? TownHall.com profiles Mitt Romney's hi-tech approach to voter turnout: "According to one senior Romney aide, last night the Romney campaign hosted a tele-townhall conference call for values voters in Iowa. Approximately 20,000 households were called, and close to 5,000 households participated, I'm told... Considering that only about 75 to 80 thousand Iowans are expected to participate in the Republican caucus -- and that temperatures are very cold -- this seems like a wise way to campaign."
RON PAUL DUMPED FROM GOP DEBATE
CNN covers the news that Ron Paul has been dropped from a crucial Fox News debate, scheduled after Iowa but before New Hampshire. The criteria for participation were set out by ABC:
"Republican and Democratic candidates must meet at least one of three benchmarks: place first through fourth in Iowa, poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major New Hampshire surveys, or poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major national surveys."
ARE CONSERVATIVE COURTS THE TOP BUSH LEGACY?
That's the suggestion of David Savage in today's Los Angeles Times: "After nearly seven years in the White House, President Bush has named 294 judges to the federal courts, giving Republican appointees a solid majority of the seats, including a 60%-to-40% edge over Democrats on the influential U.S. appeals courts. The rightward shift on the federal bench is likely to prove a lasting legacy of the Bush presidency, since many of these judges -- including his two Supreme Court appointees -- may serve for two more decades."
George W Bush will also hope that the liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan, major tax cuts and his faith-based initiative will also, over time, be judged kindly by historians.