iuliani tries to stay
above the fray, pleased no doubt to see McCain and Thompson camps go after Romney personally for a couple of days, while still contending his tax record is superior to that of Romney and McCain. Others
notice Thompson is skipping the retail political activity. McCain doubles down
, blasting Romney (while his supporters circulate the now familiar list of gun, tax, and other policy shifts) and goes back to hit Rudy on the line item veto. (Rich Lowry notes
that the ” line-item veto was a fresh idea roughly in 1980, but its relevance today is close to nil.” To his credit, McCain has the intellectual honesty to concede the line item veto which the Supreme Court struck down was “written wrong.”) It is clear McCain is making the most of his record
–tough on spending, so so on taxes. Meanwhile, is Romney slipping in Nevada, another early state? He loses a straw poll
he personally attended and trails Rudy and Thompson in the latest Mason Dixon poll.
The latest Marist poll
shows Romney still leading in New Hampshire (with a 4.5 pt. margin of error). The rub there: Romney does very well with core Republican voters but comes in third with Republicans/leaning Independents. Independents on the day of the primary can elect to vote in either race. If the Democratic race is not competitive(e.g. Hillary wins Iowa and she is going in with the 20 pt lead she now enjoys) do these voters spill into the GOP primary to boost McCain and Giuliani? With all this, the October 21 debate next Sunday may be a barn burner.