In the Arena

9 Days Till Iowa: Merry Christmas

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Not much happening today, of course. A very wise Santa left me some warm Iowa-wear, sweaters and gloves, for the coming week. But we do have my old pal David Yepsen’s evaluation of the campaign so far, from his new perch at the Paul Simon Institute at Southern Illinois University, alma mater of Walt “Clyde” Frazier who brought so much joy to us poor,  poor Knicks fans for so many year (an appropriate tip of the hat as the new season begins today).

I thought this passage from David’s piece was especially important:

It’s always wise to watch which candidate is attracting new people because they—or their message—are on to something. That was true with George McGovern in 1972 and Pat Robertson in 1988. In this race, the one candidate attracting hordes of new people is Mr. Paul. Many of them are young—and while Mr. Paul is unlikely to become the GOP nominee, those young adults will mature into a political force, just as Mr. McGovern’s antiwar factions and Mr. Robertson’s religious conservatives have done.

I’d add the Gary Hart gang from 1984 and the Obama brigades from 2008 as major sources of new political talent as well.

Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney appears to be weathering the Gingrich challenge. This, from the Boston Globe via Mark Halperin:

Romney 39
Gingrich 17
Paul 17
Huntsman 11
Santorum 3
Bachmann 2
Perry 1

Conducted Dec. 12 — Dec. 19, 2011. Margin of error 4.2 points.

 Seasons Greeting to all, and to all a good night!