I tend to think the landscape favors the Dems so much this cycle still that there is a good deal of hidden poll strength. Generic ballots and issue polling all favor the Dems. McCain looks good now because he breezed past the seven dwarfs in a weak Republican field and hasn't faced real opposition, while the Dems are divided.
Just wanted to say that this is an excellent analysis of the "controversy."
I tried to ask that question to several presidential candidates, but was never called upon. Alas. I think that point sums up the quagmire of the situation.
Corn ethanol will continue to be subsidized as long as the Iowa Caucuses are a kickoff event every four years.
That is one of the best Onion News shows, though my favorite remains the one about building a moat to keep the illegal immigrants out.
I agree. A simple look at what happened may lead some to believe the Bradley Effect was in play here, but a more serious examination shows very little evidence of such. There are a number of reasons most didn't see it coming--the polling couldn't keep up, many hadn't decided yet, Hillary had stronger ties in NH than some estimated, and she had a superior organization there to get out votes where she needed them. The exit polling basically confirmed the results, so I don't see any rigging or Bradley Effect.
I think you've underestimated McCain. The way the race is shaping makes him very well positioned. If Romney is knocked out, it really seems like a battle between Huckabee and McCain for me. Yes, Fred will still be in South Carolina and Rudy thinks he will still be a factor in Florida and beyond, but without results up to then they're really fooling themselves. And if it is Huckabee vs. McCain, his immigration weakness is really neutralized by the fact that Huckabee also has a fairly soft immigration record. He's certainly not a lock, but McCain is probably my favorite right now to win the nomination.
I think the problem that most overlook is two fold.
1. The media will always overhype the early contests, equating them to more than they really are.
2. Voters will more than likely buy into that and their votes will be altered and the race greatly affected by the early contests, just as it is today.
Both of these situations create momentum and a snowball effect, which ends races prematurely (also the ridiculous expenses of maintaining a campaign). The 2004 race was all but over after Kerry won New Hampshire even though just two small states had awarded delegates. Before Iowa, Kerry was polling in single digits across the country and two weeks later he is the nominee. What changed? The media hyped the results, the voters bought into it, and the momentum carried it to fruition. No plan, however, can really prevent that without presenting other problems.