Scrambled primaries should be good for business


The race for the Republican nomination did not figure to be settled in New Hampshire, but a lot of pundits seemed to think that the Democrats might be simply marking time until the convention. The upturning of the pollsters by Granite Staters have left both races competitive, and that means advertising dollars, almost certainly through Super Duper Tuesday.

Tracking polls on the Democratic side seemed to indicate a possible knockout punch from Barack Obama (D-IL) with the power to make Hillary Clinton (D-NY) an early also-ran, along with all of the other Democratic candidates. Clinton’s comeback win should inspire both well-financed candidates to spend, spend and spend some more at least through the massive coast-to-coast battle on 2/5/08. John Edwards (D-NC) followed his second place showing with a third place here and has vowed to continue his quest all the way through the convention. He could get some help in the upcoming South Carolina primary.

On the Republican side, John McCain (R-AZ) delivered a serious blow to Mitt Romney (R-MA) in Romney’s back yard. Romney still has life, however, with two "silver" second-place finishes and more money to spend. Iowa winner Mike Huckabee (R-AR) will be moving on more congenial turf, and Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) should be preparing for a big push after largely writing off Iowa and New Hampshire. The fading campaign of Fred Thompson (R-TN) is hoping to pick up steam in South Carolina. Ron Paul (R-TX) has yet to register in double digits among potential voters, but is doing quite well in the cash donation department, so he too should be good for business.

RBR/TVBR observation: According to, the last time Iowa and New Hampshire produced four winners was 1988, when Dick Gephardt (D-MO) and Bob Dole (R-KS) took Iowa, and George H.W. Bush (R-TX) and Michael Dukakis (D-MA) snagged New Hampshire. Matters are far from settled in both parties. And there remains a solid possibility that the massive scope of Super Duper Tuesday could prevent any one candidate from getting the upper hand, putting a huge focus and advertising investment on the handful of remaining states.