Rasmussen has a nice daily tracking summary which proves rather conclusively that an early start and a lot of hard pushing blather will gain a candidate an early sense of weariness and an empty feeling in the bank account.
I understand that there have been multiple "debates" to date, trying to live up to Shakespeare's "poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more". In the main, I believe that they have suceeded. Perhaps if someone had chained me to a chair and kept a gun to my head to induce me to watch one, I could be absolutely certain.
If I am to believe the few reports that I've bothered to read, I suppose the greatest entertainment value has been provided by Giuliani's "growth" regarding issues of interest to social conservatives. I suppose he feels that it is necessary to demonstrate the absolute shallowness of his personal convictions but I'm not at all sure that his abasement will show a positive return among those he seeks to win over. If he pushes much harder he may lose a bit of the moderate and liberal support which is all that is keeping him floating at the top.
Overall, Rasmussen's party identification spread is narrowing but it's still a very long haul to get back to the 2-3 point negative spread that would mark a competitive environment for legislative races. The Democrats have managed to blow off several toes during their very overwrought oversight farce but they haven't blown a foot off.
There's still plenty of time and they're floundering quite nicely for the moment. So are the Republicans but they don't seem to be antagonizing the electorate as much.
While eyes have been focused on who will suceed in claiming "responsibility" for a troop drawdown that has been in the cards for two years, the Social Security balance has finally tipped to the point where payments are now in excess of taxes collected. One might think that the candidates were hoping that particular red headed step child wouldn't find its way home.
But it has.
UPDATE: Scott Rasmussen himself notes that Media Analysis Is Off on GOP Race.
It's The Curse of the Empty Page - further disproof of the maxim that "something is better than nothing", especially wrt political reporting.
Monday morning links
36 minutes ago