The Republican race heads south as a complete jumble.
Michigan — Mitt Romney.
New Hampshire — John McCain.
Iowa — Mike Huckabee.
Now, after Romney won Michigan on Tuesday, the GOP contest is more up in the air than ever just four days before the South Carolina primary and Nevada caucuses. For more than a year, the field has lacked a clear favorite as polls indicate unhappiness with the bevvy of Republican candidates.
Mitt Romney scored his first major primary victory Tuesday, a desperately needed win in his native Michigan that gave his weakened presidential candidacy new life. It set the stage for a wide-open Republican showdown in South Carolina in just four days.
Three GOP candidates now have won in the first four states to vote in the 2008 primary season, roiling a nomination fight that lacks a clear favorite as the race moves south for the first time.
Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama stepped back from a controversy over race Monday night, agreeing that a prolonged clash over civil rights could harm their party's overall drive to win the White House.
The two leading Democratic contenders shifted course as Republicans pointed toward Tuesday's pivotal primary in Michigan, where Mitt Romney and John McCain both pledged to lead a revival for a state and an auto industry ravaged by recession.
It probably was inevitable that sometime during the increasingly acrimonious campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination a line in a speech or an answer to a question would provide an opening for those supporting the first viable black candidate to play the race card. It was as much a certainty as the fact that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's gender is an underlying issue with some voters.
Presidential primaries have evolved measurably, with specific components and histories that can be analyzed objectively. In felicitous manner, Dr. Jekyll has provided fact-filled dispassionate discussion of Iowa and New Hampshire separately in various publications.
Public political competition also unleashes primal tribal emotions, intense personal passions and great group drives. Mr. Hyde now seizes control to highlight this dementia, excuse me, dimension.
The young prince of Democratic politics glided into New Hampshire on a magic carpet of soaring poll numbers, great expectations, adoring crowds and a swooning press corps. The town halls and college auditoriums couldn't accommodate the thousands who turned out to hear his message of hope and change.
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have become embroiled in racially tinged disputes as large numbers of black voters prepare to get their first say in the Democratic presidential campaign.
The candidates and their surrogates are heating up their rhetoric, and it could prove to be combustible beyond South Carolina's Jan. 26 primary.
The opportunity for Republicans to hold onto the presidency in 2008 is far better than what conventional punditry would have us believe. But for Republicans to capture this opportunity, they are going to have to stop the destructiveness that has been fomenting inside the party and the mudslinging against their own.
As I wrote in a recent column, year-end highlights from the Pew Research Center show the Republican Party in a state that can be seen as either a glass half empty or half full.
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With nomination contests in lily-white Iowa and New Hampshire settled, minority voting power now moves into the spotlight.
Historical realities suggest that blacks and Hispanics won’t play much of a role in determining the Republican Party presidential nominee. But this year’s Democratic primary and caucus schedule was designed specifically to give increased influence to minorities, particularly Latinos.