Possible shake-ups in the race: NH in December? Newt Gingrich in the Republican race?

Plenty of analysis of the presidential primaries is being done on this website and by every other political observer. What Romney's Iowa lead mean for his chances in Florida? How much can Edwards hope to gain from a potential win in the Iowa caucuses? But all of this speculation is based on the premise that the states will vote in the order that right now appears most likely: Iowa in early January (probably the 3rd), New Hampshire on the 8th, Nevada on the 14th, Michigan on the 15th, South Carolina on the 19th, and Florida on the 29th. Then, of course, comes the mega-huge tsunami-esque February 5th.

Full analysis at CampaignDiaries.com.

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Governor Rankings: Only a few competitive races

Few people are paying attention to the 14 gubernatorial races that will be decided in the next 15 months (3 are happening this fall, and the 11 remaining are set for 2008). Yet, these contests will play a major role in deciding who holds control of Congress in the next decade: The governors who will be elected in those 14 states will hold control of redistricting after the next census, and each party wants to be ready for maximal gerrymandering in 2011.

With that in mind, let's rank these races, from the most vulnerable to turnover to the one where the incumbent party feels the safest. It immediately appears that very few of these races are likely to be contested at all, especially the ones that will be decided in 2008. Democrats and Republicans will swap Louisiana and Kentucky this fall, and then fight in only  two-three states next year. A stark contrast to the 2006 cycle.

The first 4 races are listed after the jump. The full rankings and detailed descriptions of all 14 races is available here, on CampaignDiaries.com

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Giuliani stages phone call from his wife during his NRA speech! - make sure this story is

The Republican candidates (and Bill Richardson!) were lined up to speak in front of the NRA, and this afternoon was the much anticipated speech by Giuliani, who had once called the NRA a group of extremists and was a major advocate for curbing gun-rights as the Mayor of NYC. Would Giuliani make a convincing case that he had a change of heart?

But the main news out of the speech was not what Giuliani said, but rather the fact that he received and answered a call from his wife in the middle of speaking!! The NYT article's accompanying picture is actually one with Giuliani talking on the phone.

Full post here.

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Tonight's IRAQ highlights (in case you had better things to do than watch TV all night)

Bush had a primetime speech tonight, and he predictably refused to yield an inch to Democrats. Bush saw success in Iraq, and claimed the surge has been working. He announced he would start pulling out troops and get them to pre-surge levels by this summer (though analysts said today that the details of Bush's plan would still maintain troops at a level superior to what they were before the surge).

The speech was followed by a flurry of network coverage. Most of the presidential candidates were lined up for interviews, and pundits were ready for extensive analysis. Here are the highlights!!

Read full report here here, on CampaignDiaries.com

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Thompson gains as Romney falls - but don't read too much into it

Thompson's bounce has been felt for a few days now. He caught up or passed Giuliani in national polls, and is threatening him in states like SC or FL. But now comes new insight that Thompson's rise is hurting Romney much more than Giuliani. In fact, Romney is rapidly bleeding his support to Thompson.

Full analysis here, on CampaignDiaries.com

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Dem Rep. calls for anti-war primaries against her colleagues!

Today came out news that Democratic Rep. Woolsey asked anti-war groups to challenge Democrats in primaries. She reportedly said this during a conference call with the Network of Spiritual Progressives. Said Woolsey, "You folks should go after the Democrats. I'd hate to lose the majority, but I'm telling you, if we don't stand up to our responsibility, maybe that's the lesson to be learned."

Predictably, this has angered Woolsey's fellow Democrats. Many are probably on edge given their voting record, and given the fact that Nancy Pelosi has already attracted a well-known challenger -- Cindy Sheehan. But there is much to say about the base's anger at Democratic inaction.

Full analysis available here.

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Thompson gets a huge bounce... while Democrats are stable!

Fred Thompson finally jumped in the Republican race last week, and voters seem to be responding. Two new polls indicate that Thompson did receive a bounce, and is closing in on Giuliani's frontrunner status. As for every bounce, the question is how long will Thompson be able to keep his momentum going - and whether the bounce will subside. The national Democratic race, by contrast, is remarkably static -- and will likely remain so until early January.

More at Campaign Diaries.

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Iraq Heats up Democratic race, as Dodd leads and Obama stays silent

September has been described by the Administration as the key month for the Iraq War debate. Gearing up for the congressional debate, the Democratic caucus is trying to find a coherent and unified strategy with which to press forward - should they seek to compromise with Republicans to pass a veto-proof bill, or should they pursue a harsher line and a firm timetable? The Politico previewed the disagreement between the leadership and the rank-and-file members. This compromise attempts are all the more frustrating that they come a few days after the very pessimistic and gloomy GAO report.

More analysis at Campaign Diaries.

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First Senate poll from Colorado - Tighter than expected?

The first poll of the campaign season from Colorado is being talked about extensively on CO blogs. With CO a key Senate seat, everyone was waiting for some indication of how the race was shaping up.

Full analyis and more Senate news here, on Campaign Diaries.

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More Trouble for Republicans: Hagel, Stevens, Weller and Davis!

A few days after it became obvious that the GOP was rooting for three of its congressional members to resign to have a better hope of keeping their seat comes news of even more ethical trouble from Republicans.

Read full analysis here, on Campaign Diaries.

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