Actually, since I've been traveling (or preparing to) for the last couple days, the little bits of news from the trail have been piling up. It was a bit of a bummer to wake up this morning and find the map of campaign stops blank. I guess the candidates have to take a break sometime, but their recent blitz has taken its toll on voters in New Hampshire. Here are some things that have happened in the last few days:
1) The Campaign Discussion Group Committee of Seven has picked a Clinton-Romney match up for the general election.* The Clinton political machine wrapped up a 5-2 victory over Obama on the Democratic side while Romney was only able to secure a plurality for the GOP nomination. Guiliani was a close second with two votes and Huckabee and McCain got one vote apiece. Depending on when the group reconvenes for pre-/post-Iowa discussions, I thought it would be interesting to hold another "primary" online to allow those who were unable to participate last Friday to weigh in and to see if those who did, changed their minds (Fine, let's put it in the vernacular of the season: flip-flopped). I'll make a stand-alone post later in the week, so stop by and give us your choice for each party (given up-to-the-minute information) and a reason(s) for that choice in the comments section.
2) In the post below, Rob points out that Guiliani can get by on name-recognition alone (probably the only candidate on the GOP side that can make that claim). Adam Nagourney at the New York Times puts together a nice piece here concerning Guiliani's recent issues. The prevailing sentiment from that article is that Guiliani perhaps peaked too early; a charge that could be levied against any of the top four Republican candidates. But as Chris Cillizza put it in putting together his rankings of the candidates, someone has to win the GOP nomination.
3) Paul (via Audrey Haynes) just sent over the results of a Pew Research poll looking at the dynamics of the races on both sides. And given the gap in candidate satisfaction among each party's voters, it should come as no surprise that Democratic voters, are more prone to shifts based on personal or tactical errors while those on the GOP side are focused almost completely on the ideological differences among their candidates. Republicans just don't know their candidates as well as they have in the past (That and there's no "heir apparent" for them this time around.).
4) This from today's AJC isn't news so much but it does reflect the prevailing thinking among the members of the group: that the GOP nomination is the one more likely to go to and be decided at the convention (or past Super Tuesday).
5) Finally, I think we'll all find it interesting that the FEC is stuck in limbo this holiday season as a standoff between the White House and Senate continues over nominees to the commission. The effect that having only two of six members in position will have on the commission and the role it plays in the primary campaign is unknown, but it is a piece of information to file away for a later time.
As always the comments section is open to any and all comers. So have at it.
* The Committee of Seven reserves the right to change its mind at any time and for any reason. And with less than two weeks until Iowa, those changes may come more often than not.