I enjoyed this look-ahead to the first genuine GOP election from Walter Shapiro writing for The New Republic, including the following helpful reminder of how unpredictable the New Hampshire primary is, even when compared to this most rocky of Republican roads:
The New Hampshire primary (my favorite event on the political calendar) has always been shaped by dedicated voters and equally dedicated late deciders (50 percent of 2008 GOP voters made up their minds in the final week). With a Saturday night debate (sponsored by ABC, Yahoo! News and WMUR, the dominant TV station in the state) and a Sunday morning face-off on “Meet the Press,” voters will have many valid reasons to shift their allegiances during the last-minute frenzy before the January 10 primary.
And equally, but for different reasons, this opinion piece from Slate editor Jacob Weisberg, writing in the FT (and thus behind a paywall) who dampens things a little by highlighting the vested interests of journalists (and, by extension bloggers, one would assume) in keeping the sense of uncertainty alive:
Journalists are most disappointed of all because Mr Romney gliding to victory is a weak story. Were the press any other industry, cynicism about its self-interest in promoting marginal challengers would prevail. Local television stations, many of them owned by giant media companies such as Fox, count on election-year revenue bumps from political advertising in important primary states.
We can expect, therefore, much amping up of a possibly ephemeral unpredictability, Weisberg says, and to hear more and more about ‘less and less likely alternatives to a Romney victory’.