Iowa Public Television

 

Reporter's Roundtable

posted on October 19, 2007

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Borg: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION SCRAMBLE. ANOTHER HICCUP IN THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATING PROCESS AND MORE LIKELY. IOWA POLITICAL JOURNALISTS CONSIDER THE EVER-CHANGING NOMINATING CALENDAR AND THE LATEST POLLING ON THIS EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.'

FUNDING FOR 'IOWA PRESS' WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: WELL, WHATEVER YOU CALL IT, LEAP FROGGING, THE DOMINO EFFECT, OR ONE-UPMANSHIP, THE PRIMARY AND CAUCUSES SELECTING PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES IS UNCERTAIN, AND THAT IS A NICE WAY OF SAYING IT. IT'S REALLY UNDERSTATING THE SITUATION. SOME MORE ACCURATELY SAY IT'S A MESS. SOME STATES AND POLITICAL PARTIES IN THOSE STATES ARE IGNORING THE NATIONAL PARTIES, AND THEY ARE LEAPFROGGING, SO TO SPEAK, OVER IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE, IN THE TRADITIONAL LEADOFF PROCESS. AND THEY'RE INCHING THEIR PRIMARIES EVER EARLIER AND, REACTING, IOWA'S REPUBLICAN PARTY WILL NOW MOVE ITS CAUCUSES TO THURSDAY, JANUARY 3. IOWA DEMOCRATS, FOR NOW, ARE STILL HOLDING TO JANUARY 14. IF THAT HOLDS, IOWA WILL HAVE ITS FIRST SPLIT CAUCUS IN TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS. WE'LL GET THE LATEST THINKING FROM 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN, 'RADIO IOWA' NEWS DIRECTOR KAY HENDERSON, 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER MIKE GLOVER AND 'LEE NEWSPAPERS' CAPITOL BUREAU REPORTER CHARLOTTE EBY. NICE TO HAVE YOU WITH US, CHARLOTTE. AND WE'RE GOING TO GO ACROSS THE TABLE HERE TO KAY, FIRST OF ALL. KAY, GIVE US -- I SKETCHED IT BUT WHEN I SAID IT'S A MESS, GIVE US THE FULL-BLOWN MESS.

Henderson: WELL, IOWA REPUBLICANS, AS YOU MENTIONED, MET THIS PAST WEEK, AND SET JANUARY 3 AS THE DATE THEY HOPE TO HOLD THEIR CAUCUSES. THAT, OF COURSE, IS THE SAME NIGHT AS THE ORANGE BOWL, SO IOWANS WILL HAVE A DECISION IF THIS REMAINS SET IN STONE. THE REAL VARIABLE HERE IS THE NEW HAMPSHIRE SECRETARY OF STATE. HE HAS UNTIL MIDNOVEMBER TO SET THE DATE OF THAT STATE'S PRIMARY. THAT REALLY MAY AGAIN BE FRUIT BASKET UPSET ONCE HE MAKES THAT DECISION. AS YOU MENTIONED, IOWA DEMOCRATS HAVE YET TO MOVE. THEY MAY INDEED MOVE OR THEY MAY CHOOSE TO STAY ON JANUARY 14. IT'S UP IN THE AIR RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WE'RE WAITING TO SEE WHAT NEW HAMPSHIRE DOES.

Borg: WILL IOWA THEN REACT TO NEW HAMPSHIRE, CHARLOTTE?

Eby: YES. I MEAN REPUBLICANS SAID WE NEED TO TELL THESE CAMPAIGNS WHEN THE CAUCUSES ARE. THEY HAVE TO PLAN. THEY HAVE TO HIRE ALL KINDS OF THINGS, CATERERS, HOTEL ROOMS, BUSES. BUT DEMOCRATS HAVE SAID, YOU KNOW, WE'RE GOING TO HOLD OFF, WE WANT TO SEE WHAT EVERYBODY WANTS TO DO FIRST.

Glover: WHAT THE REPUBLICANS I THINK, DID, WAS A BLUNDER IN THE FIRST ORDER -- A STRATEGIC BLUNDER IN THE FIRST ORDER.

Borg: WHY, MIKE?

Glover: THEY DIDN'T NEED TO MAKE A DECISION WHEN THEY MADE A DECISION. CHARLOTTE, YOU'RE EXACTLY RIGHT. IT'S AWFULLY INCONVENIENT TO KEEP THE DAY OPEN, TO HAVE A MOVING TARGET OUT THERE. IT'S A HECK OF A BURDEN ON THE PARTY. IT'S A HECK OF A BURDEN ON THE CANDIDATES. IT'S A REAL PROBLEM BUT IT'S WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO DO TO KEEP YOUR CAUCUSES FIRST. THEY NEED TO WAIT UNTIL THEY SEE WHAT NEW HAMPSHIRE IS GOING TO DO. AND YOU'RE RIGHT, BILL GARDNER IS A VERY QUIRKY GUY AND WE DON'T KNOW WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO, BUT WE DO KNOW THAT IOWA WILL HAVE TO REACT TO WHATEVER HE DOES. AND REPUBLICANS, WHAT THEY'VE DONE, IS JUST GIVEN THE WHOLE COUNTRY A HARD TARGET: THIS IS WHERE WE'RE GOING TO BE; THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN SHOOT AT TO GET IN FRONT OF US, AND SOMEBODY WILL.

Borg: WELL, IF THEY HAD HELD OFF, MIKE, WHAT WAS THE SCENARIO THERE?

Glover: WAIT UNTIL NEW HAMPSHIRE MAKES THEIR DECISION. SEE WHERE BILL GARDNER PUTS NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND THEN REACT TO THAT, WHICH IS WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO ANYWAY.

Borg: I SEE.

Yepsen: NEW HAMPSHIRE -- BILL GARDNER WON'T DECIDE MAYBE FOR ANOTHER MONTH WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO. HE CAN MOVE THAT STATE'S PRIMARY PRETTY QUICKLY.

Borg: ANOTHER MONTH, DAVE, PUTS US RIGHT OUT TO WHERE IT COULD BE. I MEAN THERE'S SOME RUMOR THAT HE MAY -- IN FACT, HE SAID IT COULD BE IN EARLY DECEMBER.

Yepsen: HE SAID IT'S POSSIBLE BUT I DON'T THINK IT'S LIKELY. AND IN THAT CASE, THEN THE IOWA POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE GOT A CHOICE TO MAKE: DO THEY PLAY THIS RIDICULOUS GAME OF MOVING THIS INTO DECEMBER, WHICH WOULD REALLY DIMINISH THE CACHET OF THE EVENT. THIS IS THE START OF THE PRESIDENTIAL YEAR, AND SO I THINK THERE'S A REAL SENSE IN BOTH PARTIES THEY WANT TO DO THIS IN 2008. AND SO IF GARDNER MOVES HIS PRIMARY TO DECEMBER, IOWA IS GOING TO HAVE TO PLAY A REAL TOUGH -- MAKE A REAL TOUGH DECISION HERE: DO WE MOVE OUR STATE UP TO A RIDICULOUSLY EARLY PERIOD OF TIME, MAYBE DIMINISH THE QUALITY OF THEM; OR DO WE JUST SAY WE'RE GOING TO STICK WITH JANUARY 3 OR JANUARY 14 AND MAYBE DIMINISH THE EVENT THAT WAY? I THINK WHAT WILL HAPPEN IS REPUBLICANS HAVE NOW SET THE 3RD; GARDNER WILL MOVE THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY TO JANUARY 8. HE'S ALREADY SAID IT WILL BE NO LATER THAN THAT DATE. AND THAT WILL ENABLE DEMOCRATS TO THEN SAY, WELL, WE WERE FORCED TO MOVE OFF THE 14TH. THEY WANT TO PRESERVE THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR PARTY RULES, SO THEY COULD MOVE THEIR CAUCUSES THEN TO JANUARY 3 AS WELL. THERE WAS SOME TALK ABOUT JANUARY 5 ON A SATURDAY. IT'S A JEWISH SABBATH. I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY HOPE OF THAT. SO I THINK WHEN IT ALL SHAKES OUT, WE'RE PROBABLY LOOKING AT JANUARY 3. AND AS THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING, I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY DOUBT -- ANY REASON TO THINK THAT ANY OF THE IOWA TEAMS WILL BE PLAYING IN THE ORANGE BOWL.

Glover: THE POINT BEING, I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THE MOST LIKELY SET OF SCENARIOS, GARDNER HAS SAID NO EARLIER -- NO LATER THAN JANUARY 8. MOST BETTING IS THAT HE'LL PROBABLY GO ON JANUARY 8. MOST BETTING IS THEN THAT IOWA DEMOCRATS WILL GO ON JANUARY 3 WITH IOWA REPUBLICANS. BUT WHAT'S THE POINT OF MAKING THAT DECISION BEFORE YOU HAVE TO? WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO DO AND REACT TO IT THEN, BECAUSE WE GUESS THAT GARDNER IS GOING TO DO THAT BUT WE DON'T KNOW IF GARDNER IS GOING TO DO THAT.

Henderson: THE OTHER SCENARIO HERE IS IF DEMOCRATS DID INDEED DECIDE TO GO ON THE 5TH, REPUBLICANS HAVE ALREADY ESTABLISHED THEY'RE GOING TO GO ON THE 3RD. HAVING SPLIT CAUCUSES JUST LEAVES YOU OPEN TO ALL SORTS OF MISCHIEF, WHEREBY SOME PEOPLE GO TO THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUSES AND THEN THEY GO AROUND A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER AND GO TO THE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSES. SO IT'S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF BOTH PARTIES IN TERMS OF THE VOTING INTEGRITY OF THE CAUCUSES TO HAVE THEM ON THE SAME NIGHT.

Borg: WHAT HAVE THE OTHER STATES AS CATALYSTS HAVE CAUSED THIS --

Glover: MICHIGAN HAS JUMPED TO JANUARY 15.

Borg: I MEAN WHAT HAVE THEY ACHIEVED?

Glover: WELL, THEY -- WHAT IOWA ACHIEVES, THEY BECOME EARLIER IN PROCESS. THEY GET ATTENTION FROM CANDIDATES. THEY GET ATTENTION FROM VOTERS. THEY GET CAMPAIGN MONEY FLOWING INTO THE STATE. IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE BY VIRTUE OF THEIR POSITIONS, ATOP THE POLITICAL CALENDAR, THE FIRST TWO TESTS, GET ENORMOUS ATTENTION FROM ALL THE POLITICAL CANDIDATES, ENORMOUS ATTENTION FROM THE MEDIA, ENORMOUS MONEY FOR BOTH POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND FROM THE MEDIA. OTHER STATES WANT TO SHARE THAT. MICHIGAN, SOUTH CAROLINA, FLORIDA, ALL THOSE STATES HAVE JUMPED INTO THE MIX BECAUSE THEY WANT TO SHARE THAT ATTENTION.

Henderson: AND THEN, DEAN, THE MEDDLESOME PROBLEM FOR THOSE IN STATES THAT HAVE MADE THE JUMP IS THAT THEY WIND UP MAKING IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE THAT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT, BECAUSE ONCE THE CALENDAR IS COMPRESSED, A STUMBLE IN EITHER IOWA OR NEW HAMPSHIRE IS VERY DAMAGING FOR A CANDIDATE.

Yepsen: THE DEMOCRATS -- THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES ARE STAYING OUT OF FLORIDA. THEY'RE NOT CAMPAIGNING THERE. AND IN MICHIGAN, ALL BUT HILLARY CLINTON HAVE WITHDRAWN THEIR NAMES FROM THE MICHIGAN BALLOT. BUT THAT SAID, THE REPUBLICANS ARE STILL CAMPAIGNING IN THOSE STATES. AND SO BILL GARDNER SAID, YOU KNOW, THAT'S FINE FOR THE DEMOCRATS TO DO THAT, BUT THERE'S STILL A PRIMARY AND I'VE GOT TO PAY ATTENTION TO THAT WHEN I SET THE DATE FOR THE --

Glover: WHAT GARDNER WAS WORRIED ABOUT IS HE'S NOT ONLY WORRIED ABOUT IOWA BEING FIRST AND THEN A LITTLE TIME FOR A BOUNCE BEFORE NEW HAMPSHIRE, HE'S WORRIED ABOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE HAVING A LITTLE GAP BEFORE THE NEXT TEST. I MEAN ONE OF HIS CONCERNS IS A FLORIDA, IF A MICHIGAN COMES JUST DAYS AFTER NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY, THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY DOESN'T MEAN VERY MUCH.

Yepsen: WHICH IS ANOTHER REASON WHY I THINK JANUARY 3 IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE A LIKELY DAY FOR THE DEMOCRATS BECAUSE IF YOU DOES PICK THE 8TH, JANUARY 3RD, IN ADDITION TO BEING A JOINT DAY WITH THE REPUBLICANS, IS IT GIVES IOWA A FEW DAYS -- A FEW MORE DAYS TO HAVE IMPACT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. AND THE WHOLE REASON IOWA IS IMPORTANT IS BECAUSE OF THE BOUNCE YOU GET OUT OF HERE GOING INTO NEW HAMPSHIRE. IF YOU PUT IT ON 5TH, THE BOUNCE WON'T BE THAT BIG.

Glover: YOU TOUCHED ON IT, BUT I THINK ONE OF THE REASONS THE 5TH IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IS IT'S A JEWISH HOLIDAY.

Yepsen: UNLESS YOU DID IT AT 5:00 AT NIGHT.

Borg: CHARLOTTE, BUT HAVEN'T THE OTHER STATES, IN CREATING THIS SITUATION THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE, HAVEN'T THEY ALSO MADE THEIR POINT? THEY'VE SAID WE HAVE BEEN POLITELY GOING WITH YOUR RECOMMENDED TIMES AND LETTING IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE LEAD OFF, AND WE'VE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS WE WANT A BIGGER PIECE OF THE ACTION. HAVEN'T THEY REALLY ACHIEVED WHAT THEY ARE ULTIMATELY TRYING TO GET, AND THAT IS IN FUTURE ELECTION CYCLES, EARLIER RECOGNITION?

Eby: IT'S POSSIBLE. IT'S ALWAYS DIFFERENT HOW THEY DECIDE THE CALENDAR, AS WE SAW THIS TIME AROUND. YOU KNOW, IF MICHIGAN IS SEEN AS, YOU KNOW, BREAKING RULES AND GOING OFF ALL ON THEIR OWN, THEY COULD END UP BEING PUNISHED THE NEXT TIME THE CALENDAR IS SET.

Glover: DEAN, IF WE DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT THE CALENDAR IS GOING TO BE THIS YEAR, I DON'T THINK WE CAN PREDICT WHAT THE CALENDAR IS GOING TO BE IN FOUR YEARS.

Yepsen: BUT IT IS TRUE THAT THE COUNTRY IS REALLY FED UP WITH THIS WHOLE GAME, AND I THINK PEOPLE IN IOWA ARE FED UP WITH THIS GAME OF THIS JOCKEYING AROUND. SO THERE'S PRESSURE TO HAVE CONGRESS STEP IN AND IMPOSE A FEDERAL LAW THAT SAYS THIS IS HOW YOU'RE GOING TO DO IT. NOW, THERE'S SOME CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT, BUT WE'VE SEEN SOME SENATORS NOW START TO HOLD HEARINGS, MAYBE LOOKING AT REGIONAL PRIMARIES. EVERY FOUR YEARS, DEAN -- I'VE COVERED THIS GAME FOR THIRTY YEARS. EVERY FOUR YEARS SOMEBODY SAYS, WELL, THIS IS THE LAST TIME IOWA IS GOING TO GET THIS. AND SOME YEAR THEY MAY BE RIGHT, BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN FOUR YEARS IS THERE WILL BE A PRESIDENT SITTING IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND HE OR SHE IS GOING TO DECIDE HOW THEIR PARTY NOMINATES PRESIDENTS, AND IF THAT'S SOMEBODY THAT'S COME THROUGH IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE, THEY'RE LIKELY TO SAY, HEY, I DON'T WANT TO MESS AROUND WITH THE RULES OF THE GAME, I JUST ONE. AND THE PARTY THAT'S OUT OF POWER IS GOING TO HAVE A BIG INTERNAL DEBATE ON WHAT'S PROCESS, WHETHER THE EXTREMISTS ARE TOO EXTREME OR THE MESSAGE WASN'T EXTREME ENOUGH. AND SO THIS STORY WILL CONTINUE ON FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS JUST LIKE IT HAS FOR THE LAST THIRTY.

Glover: BUT WHAT WE HAVE, GOING BACK TO 1984 -- THE FIRST REAL DUSTUP OVER THIS WAS IN 1984, WHEN IT ENDED UP IN FEDERAL COURT WITH THE STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE SUING EACH OTHER OVER THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE'S POWER TO CONTROL IOWA AND TO TELL THEM WHEN TO HAVE THEIR CAUCUSES. AND WHAT THE FEDERAL COURT HELD -- AND IT'S STILL THE LAW OF THE LAND -- IS THAT STATE POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE A RIGHT TO SET THEIR OWN POLITICAL CALENDARS. NATIONAL PARTIES CANNOT IMPOSE A SCHEDULE ON IT. DIFFERENT MATTER WITH CONGRESS, ALTHOUGH THERE ARE SOME CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS RAISED THERE.

Henderson: AND DAVE MENTIONED THE BIG VARIABLE HERE: WHOEVER IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE IS GOING TO DRIVE THIS TRAIN IF FOUR YEARS, BECAUSE ONCE THEY TELL THEIR PARTY WHAT THEY WANT AND THE APPARATUS FALLS INTO PLACE, IT WILL BE VERY HARD FOR THE OTHER PARTY TO HAVE A NOMINATING CALENDAR THAT IS STARKLY DIFFERENT BECAUSE, AS WE'VE ALL SEEN, THERE'S GREAT PRESSURE FOR THESE CONTESTS TO OCCUR ON THE SAME DAY IN EVERY STATE.

Yepsen: I JUST WANT TO -- THE COUNTRY HATES IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE, BUT THE COUNTRY CANNOT AGREE ON AN ALTERNATIVE. SO THE INABILITY TO AGREE ON AN ALTERNATIVE MEANS INERTIA JUST KEEPS THESE TWO STATES GOING.

Eby: THE BEST ASSURANCE FOR IOWA TO STAY FIRST IS PICKING WINNERS THIS TIME AROUND.

Glover: AND IT'S ALSO -- THERE'S ANOTHER VERY PRAGMATIC THING THAT DRIVES IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE BEING FIRST. EVERY POLITICO, EVERY STRATEGIST, EVERY HANDLER WHO WORKS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES HAS GOT AN IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE ROLODEX. EVERY POLITICAL JOURNALIST IN AMERICA WHO COVERS PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS HAS AN IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE ROLODEX. THERE'S NOT A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THEM TO CHANGE.

Yepsen: AND, MIKE, TO THAT POINT, I MEAN THERE WILL BE A LOSING PARTY HERE, BUT THERE WILL STILL BE CANDIDATES WHO WILL COME OUT OF THE MIX WHO WILL BE ELEVATED. TAKE JOHN EDWARDS FOUR YEARS AGO. HE FINISHED SECOND IN IOWA. HE BECAME VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE. THEY LOST IN THE GENERAL ELECTION. NOW, ALL OF A SUDDEN HE WANTS TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT AGAIN. HE KNOWS HIS WAY AROUND IOWA. HE DOESN'T WANT TO CHANGE THIS PROCESS AND MOVE THE START DATE TO NEBRASKA. AND THE SAME THING IS GOING TO HAPPEN THIS NEXT TIME. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE SOMEBODY IS GOING TO WIN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE LOSING PARTY -- SOME OF THOSE CANDIDATES WHO DID NOT WIN THIS TIME WILL BE RUNNING AGAIN IN 2012, AND THEY'RE GOING TO SAY, HEY, IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE ARE FINE PLACES TO START, I'VE GOT A BASE THERE --

Glover: AND A ROLODEX.

Borg: AND, CHARLOTTE, THE CANDIDATES -- HE MENTIONED JOHN EDWARDS. BUT I WAS COVERING BARACK OBAMA THIS PAST WEEK, AND HE WAS ASKED ABOUT THIS CAUCUS UNCERTAINTY. AND HE JUST -- HE KIND OF BRUSHED IT OFF BY SAYING -- IN FACT, MIKE, I THINK IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN YOUR QUESTION THAT WAS ASKED. HE JUST SORT OF BRUSHED IT OFF AND SAID, WELL, I DON'T THINK IOWANS WANT TO INTERFERE WITH THEIR CHRISTMAS AND THANKSGIVING DAYS AND JUST -- HE WAS NOT GOING TO TAKE A STAND ON IT. IS THAT KIND OF THE WAY THE CANDIDATES ARE TAKING HANDS OFF, WE'LL GO WHEREVER IS VOTING FIRST?

Eby: THEY'RE IN A TOUGH SPOT. YOU KNOW, THEY'VE HAD TO TAKE THESE PLEDGES THAT THEY WEREN'T GOING TO CAMPAIGN IN MICHIGAN OR FLORIDA IF THEY BREAK THE RULES AND HOLD EARLY PRIMARIES, BUT YET THEY'LL NEED THESE STATES IN THE GENERAL ELECTION. THEY'RE IMPORTANT DEMOCRATIC STATES AND IMPORTANT ELECTORAL VOTES, AND THEY DON'T WANT TO MAKE THEM MAD NOW.

Glover: THERE WAS SOME ACTION TAKEN AGAINST FLORIDA WHERE THEY'RE SAYING, WELL, WE'RE NOT GOING TO SEEK THE FLORIDA DELEGATION IF THEY -- THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. WELL, IF I'M A DEMOCRAT, I THINK BY THE TIME I GET MY NOMINATION AND IT GETS AROUND TO THE NOMINATING CONVENTION, I MIGHT WANT TO SEEK THE DELEGATION OF THE FOURTH LARGEST STATE IN AMERICA AND ONE THAT I CAN'T WIN THE WHITE HOUSE WITHOUT.

Borg: WELL, LET'S START DOWN SOME OF THE CANDIDATES. AND LET'S GO DOWN, KAY -- FIRST OF ALL, THE REPUBLICAN FIELD JUST GOT SMALLER.

Henderson: CORRECT. SAM BROWNBACK DROPPED OUT. HE HADN'T MADE A LOT OF HEADWAY IN IOWA. I GUESS THE BIG QUESTION HERE IS, IS THERE ANY CANDIDATE AMONG THOSE REMAINING -- AND THEY'RE ALL REMAINING -- WHO CAN SORT OF GALVANIZE THE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE VOTE IN IOWA. IT'S BEEN SIGNIFICANT. IT'S, YOU KNOW, PARTLY THE REASON WHY GEORGE BUSH CARRIED THIS STATE LAST TIME AROUND.

Borg: BROWNBACK WAS GOING HEAD TO HEAD WITH MIKE HUCKABEE EARLIER THIS FALL IN TRYING TO SOLIDIFY AND BRING THAT CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE VOTE OVER TO HIM.

Henderson: RIGHT. BUT THEY STILL HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT HOW TO ENERGIZE THOSE VOTERS. THAT IS THE KEY TO VICTORY FOR THESE PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU HAVE IN RUDY GIULIANI -- AND MANY OF THE CONSERVATIVES HAVE SAID MCCAIN IS NOT OUR GUY. YOU HAVE FRED THOMPSON IN WHOM A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE POURED THEIR HOPES AND DREAMS, BUT HE HASN'T REALLY BEEN HERE ENOUGH FOR IOWANS TO GET TO KNOW HIM. SO IF YOU LOOK AT THESE TWO RACES, ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT THE DEMOCRATS. IN IOWA REALLY THE REPUBLICAN RACE IS THE ONE THAT'S MORE FASCINATING BECAUSE IT REALLY HAS NOT SOLIDIFIED YET.

Borg: DOES MIKE HUCKABEE BENEFIT FROM BROWNBACK PULLING OUT?

Glover: HE COULD. HE WAS COMPETING HEAVILY WITH BROWNBACK FOR THE VOTES OF SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES, BUT THERE'S A LARGER QUESTION HERE: WHAT DO SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES DO IN THIS REPUBLICAN RACE? AS OF RIGHT NOW THEY'RE ALL OVER THE MAP. THEY HAVEN'T FALL INTO PLACE BEHIND ANY ONE CANDIDATE AND, BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL OVER THE MAP, THEY'RE SPLIT, THEY'RE DIFFUSED, AND THEY'RE LOSING A BIT OF INFLUENCE. IF YOU LOOK AT -- JOHN MCCAIN HAS A COUPLE OF PRETTY ACTIVE RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES WORKING FOR HIM. MIKE HUCKABEE HAS MADE A PRETTY ACTIVE APPEAL TO THEM. MITT ROMNEY HAS BEEN VERY ACTIVE IN TRYING TO RECRUIT THOSE KINDS OF FOLKS.

Henderson: AND ALAN KEYES IS BACK IN THE RACE AND HE ALREADY DRAWS, YOU KNOW, A VERY SOLID CORE OF --

Glover: HE DRAWS A LOT OF APPLAUSE AND NO SUPPORT.

Yepsen: I THINK THE BIGGEST BENEFICIARY OF THIS IS MIKE HUCKABEE. I THINK ONE OF THE STORIES OUT OF THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUSES IS GOING TO BE THIS ARKANSAS -- FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR MIKE HUCKABEE. HE'S ALREADY STARTED OUT IN SINGLE DIGITS. HE'S ALREADY IN SECOND OR THIRD. HE PICKS UP SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES HERE. HE'S WELL LIKED. HE CAMPAIGNS WELL. HE CAN'T RAISE A LOT OF MONEY BUT HE'S PUTTING SOME EFFORT INTO THIS STATE. I THINK HE COULD BE A REAL SURPRISE FINISHER.

Borg: WHAT YOU'RE SAYING THERE IS HE'S NOWHERE NEAR TERMINATING HIS CAMPAIGN.

Yepsen: NO, NO, HE'S COOKING. HE'S GETTING A LOT OF GOOD MEDIA ATTENTION. HE NEEDS TO IMPROVE HIS FUND-RAISING. BUT I WANT TO GO BACK TO THIS QUESTION OF THE IMPACT THAT SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES HAVE. WE MAY BE PAYING TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO THEM. WE'VE BEEN FIGHTING THE LAST WAR. THIS IS THE FIRST NEW PRESIDENT THIS COUNTRY HAS PICKED SINCE 9/11, AND THE ISSUES HAVE CHANGED. IF YOU GO INTO THE REPUBLICAN -- THE POLLS OF LIKELY REPUBLICAN CAUCUS GOERS AND ASK THEM WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES THAT YOU WANT THE COUNTRY TO DEAL WITH OR THE NEXT PRESIDENT HAS TO DEAL WITH, TERRORISM, NATIONAL SECURITY, THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT ARE UP HIGH. IT'S NOT ABORTION AND GAY RIGHTS. EVEN AMONG SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES, ISSUES ABOUT NATIONAL SECURITY AND TERRORISM ARE AT THE FRONT OF THE PACK. THE NATIONAL DEBT, FOR EXAMPLE. SO A GUY LIKE RUDY GIULIANI, WE ALL THOUGHT, WELL, HE'S GOING TO MELT DOWN WHEN PEOPLE FIGURE OUT HIS POSITION. HE'S HANGING IN THERE BECAUSE EVEN A LOT OF SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES SAY WE'VE GOT MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES THAN ABORTION, GAY RIGHTS, GUNS.

Henderson: AND HE BRINGS UP A VALID POINT ABOUT HUCKABEE. I MEAN THERE IS A SCENARIO WHERE I SEE HUCKABEE COMES HERE, STAYS TWO OR THREE WEEKS IN ADVANCE OF THE CAUCUSES, AND WINS THE THING. I MEAN THERE IS THAT POTENTIAL WITH HIM. HE'S ABLE TO SAY KIND OF MEAN AND NASTY THINGS, BUT HE SAYS THEM IN SUCH A WAY AS TO NOT COME OFF AS A VICIOUS. HE IS A MASTER CAMPAIGNER.

Glover: AND WHAT HE'S DONE IS HE'S POSITIONED HIMSELF I THINK IDEALLY TO USE THE IOWA CAUCUSES AS THEY'VE BEEN USED, WHICH IS HE DOESN'T HAVE A LOT OF MONEY, DEAN, YOU'RE RIGHT ABOUT THAT. BUT IT DOESN'T TAKE A LOT OF MONEY TO COMPETE IN THE IOWA CAUCUSES. YOU CAN RUN A PRETTY EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGN ON A PRETTY LOW NUMBER. IF HE DOES THAT, IF HE PULLS THAT OFF, WINS THE IOWA CAUCUSES, SUDDENLY BECOMES HOT, THAT CONSERVATIVE MONEY I THINK WILL START TO FLOW TO HIM PRETTY FAST. AND IT'S AT THAT POINT CONSERVATIVES IN THE PARTY START SAYING, HEY, WAIT A MINUTE, WE'RE ABOUT TO NOMINATE RUDY GIULIANI, THERE MAY BE SOME OPPOSITION HERE.

Yepsen: I THINK THE OTHER REASON TO PAY ATTENTION TO MIKE HUCKABEE IS THIS GUY ALREADY LOOKS PRETTY GOOD AS A VICE-PRESIDENTIAL RUNNING-MATE. I MEAN RUDY GIULIANI, MITT ROMNEY, JOHN MCCAIN, FRED THOMPSON, YOU COULD DO WORSE THAN PICKING A FORMER SOUTHERN GOVERNOR LIKE THIS.

Eby: THE OTHER THING THAT HE'S GOT GOING FOR HIM IS HE HAS LOW EXPECTATIONS, SO AT THIS POINT HE'S BEEN KIND OF UNDER THE RADAR. HE HAD THAT SURPRISE SECOND PLACE FINISH IN THE STRAW POLL. SO HE IS WELL POSITIONED, AS COMPARED TO A MITT ROMNEY WHO HAS TO WIN IN IOWA OR HE'S IN TROUBLE.

Glover: I SUSPECT MIKE HUCKABEE IS NOT GOING TO LIKE THE DISCUSSION WE'RE HAVING RIGHT HERE BECAUSE WE MAY BE RATCHETING HIS EXPECTATIONS UP A LITTLE BIT.

Yepsen: LET'S LOWER MITT ROMNEY'S A LITTLE BIT. I MEAN YOU LOOK AT THE POLLS, MITT ROMNEY IS WINNING 30 PERCENT SINCE MAY. THAT'S NOT A GOOD POSITION TO BE IN. HE'S STATIC. HE'S SPENT A LOT OF DOUGH ON TV AND HE'S SPENT A LOT OF TIME HERE AND HE'S NOT MOVING. AND A LOT OF OTHER REPUBLICANS WHO WERE SAYING, WELL, WE'RE NOT GOING FOOL AROUND IN IOWA BECAUSE ROMNEY HAS GOT IT LOCKED UP ARE NOW SAYING, WELL, YOU KNOW, MAYBE IT ISN'T LOCKED UP.

Borg: WELL, WHAT ABOUT RUDY GIULIANI? YOU'VE ALL MENTIONED HIS NAME HERE, BUT IS HE GOING TO BE A TOP-TIER FINISHER THE WAY IT LOOKS RIGHT NOW IN IOWA?

Glover: THE WAY IT LOOKS RIGHT NOW, THERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT. RUDY GIULIANI IS UP IN THE POLLS. HIS NAME IS WELL KNOWN. YOU'RE RIGHT ABOUT ISSUES. HE'S GOOD ON THOSE ISSUES THAT A LOT OF REPUBLICANS CARE ABOUT. HE STILL LACKS THE ORGANIZATION AND HE STILL LACKS THE CAMPAIGN TIME IN IOWA. NOW, HIS PEOPLE ARE SAYING THERE'S STILL TIME TO FIX THAT, THEY'RE TO GOING TO FIX IT, THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE MORE CANDIDATE TIME, MORE ORGANIZATION TIME, THEY'RE GOING TO PUT A REAL PUSH INTO IT. WE'LL SEE. WITHOUT THAT IT'S DIFFICULT FOR ME TO SEE HIM RATCHETING TO THE TOP OF THE NATIONAL CAUCUS ON JANUARY 3.

Yepsen: GIULIANI LOSES WHEN A GUY LIKE SAM BROWNBACK GETS OUT. FOR GIULIANI TO DO WELL, HE NEEDS TO HAVE THAT CONSERVATIVE VOTE SPLIT UP, THE WAY THE FIRST GEORGE BUSH DID IN 1980. AND SO IF THE FAR RIGHT OF THE PARTY IS STARTING TO COALESCE AROUND ONE CANDIDATE, THAT'S GOING TO HURT RUDY GIULIANI.

Borg: WHAT ABOUT FRED THOMPSON, CHARLOTTE?

Eby: YOU KNOW, HE HASN'T BEEN HERE MUCH. WE HAVEN'T GOTTEN TO GET TO KNOW HIM AS A CANDIDATE.

Borg: HE HASN'T BEEN HERE MUCH. DOES THAT MEAN HE'S OVERLOOKED -- HE'S BYPASSING IOWA THE WAY THAT JOHN MCCAIN DID FOUR YEARS AGO?

Eby: WELL, HE GOT INTO THE RACE LATE, AND THERE'S STILL TIME FOR HIM TO RUN A GOOD CAUCUS CAMPAIGN HERE. HE'S AN ATTRACTIVE CANDIDATE TO MANY CONSERVATIVES WHO ARE LOOKING FOR SOMEBODY TO CARRY THAT CONSERVATIVE BANNER, BUT IT'S STILL UP IN THE AIR HOW WELL HE'LL DO.

Glover: AND IT'S NOT THAT HE HASN'T BEEN HERE, CHARLOTTE. HE HASN'T BEEN ANYWHERE. I MEAN WE HAD A STORY I THINK JUST YESTERDAY WHEN FRED THOMPSON ANNOUNCED AND A CAMPAIGN TRIP. HE WAS GOING TO GO ON A CAMPAIGN TRIP. WELL, IT WAS NEWS BECAUSE HE HASN'T BEEN DOING THAT. SINCE HE'S MADE HIS ANNOUNCEMENT, HE'S JUST FALLEN COMPLETELY OFF THE MAP. WHETHER HE'S SPENDING THE TIME BUILDING HIS CAMPAIGN ORGANIZATION, WHETHER HE'S SPENDING THE TIME SHAPING THE MESSAGE, WHETHER HE'S MAKING TACTICAL DECISIONS, BUILDING HIS STAFF, I DON'T KNOW. BUT HE JUST HASN'T BY A FIXTURE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL ANYWHERE.

Yepsen: HE MAY BE A GUY WHO PEAKED ON THE DAY HE ANNOUNCED.

Glover: OR THE DAY BEFORE.

Yepsen: WE'VE SEEN CANDIDATES LIKE THIS, A LOT OF HOOHA GOING INTO THE RACE, AND ONCE THEY GET IN, THEY DON'T DO WELL: JOHN GLENN IN '84, JOHN CONNELY IN 1980. THAT MAY BE FRED THOMPSON THIS TIME.

Borg: WHAT ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN? I MENTIONED HIM JUST A MOMENT AGO. HE'S SPENDING CONSIDERABLE TIME IN IOWA. GETTING MUCH TRACTION, KAY?

Henderson: YOU KNOW, THE POLLS WOULD SHOW YOU THAT HE'S NOT AT THIS PRESENT TIME. HE WAS ON THIS SHOW, OF COURSE, RECENTLY. AND HE IS A DIFFERENT CANDIDATE. HE'S SORT OF THE JOHN MCCAIN OF 2000 NOW. HE'S RELAXED. HE'S HUMOROUS. AND I THINK THAT'S MORE APPEALING THAN JOHN MCCAIN OF EARLIER THIS SPRING. I THINK BEING IN THIS POSITION IS A NATURAL FOR HIM. SO I THINK THERE IS SOME UPSIDE TO A MCCAIN CANDIDACY NOW THAT WE DID NOT SEE IN AUGUST.

Glover: I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS WE'RE GOING SEE AGAIN IN THIS ELECTION CYCLE, WHICH WE SAW IN 2004, IS I THINK THIS THING IS GOING TO BREAK LATE. I THINK THAT IOWA REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO TAKE A REAL HARD LOOK AT THIS FIELD AS JANUARY BEGINS, MAYBE LATE IN DECEMBER, AND SIT DOWN AND TAKE A LOOK AND SAY WHO HERE CAN GET TO THE WHITE HOUSE. I THINK AT THE END DAY THAT'S ONE OF THE KEY FACTORS THAT WILL MAKE THEIR DECISION. THAT'S WHY HOWARD DEAN MELTED DOWN LAST TIME.

Yepsen: AND HE DIDN'T START HIS MELTDOWN UNTIL EARLY DECEMBER. AND THE POLLS -- THE POLLING IN BOTH PARTIES, 53 PERCENT OF DEMOCRATIC -- LIKELY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS GOERS SAY THEY COULD STILL BE PERSUADED TO CHANGE THEIR MIND. YOU'VE GOT OVER 60 PERCENT OF THE REPUBLICAN SIDE. I THINK CAUCUS GOERS ARE PROFESSIONAL UNDECIDEDS. I MEAN THEY'VE BEEN TOLD SO OFTEN THAT THEIR VOTE IS IMPORTANT THAT THEY REALLY BELIEVE IT AND THEY TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY AND THEY'RE SMART AND THEY'RE EDUCATED AND THEY KNOW THEY HAVE A JOB TO DO FOR THEIR PARTY AND THEY TAKE THEIR TIME. THEY WATCH THE DEBATES. THEY PAY ATTENTION THOUGH TO STUFF BECAUSE THEY WANT TO PICK SOMEBODY WHO IS GOING TO WIN IN THEIR PARTY. AND YOU CAN'T MAKE THAT DECISION WHEN THE RACE HAS GOT ANOTHER TWO MONTHS TO GO.

Glover: THAT'S WHY I THINK THERE IS SOME -- TO WHAT KAY SAID, I THINK THERE ARE SOME UPSIDES TO A MCCAIN CANDIDACY BECAUSE I THINK THE JURY IS STILL OUT ON HIM. I DON'T THINK IOWA REPUBLICANS HAVE RULED HIM OUT AND SAID THIS IS NOT A GUY I CAN SUPPORT. THERE'S A CERTAIN GROUP OF IOWA REPUBLICANS WHO PROBABLY HAVE RULED RUDY GIULIANI OUT THAT SAYS I CAN'T GO THERE, THAT'S NOT AN OPTION FOR ME.

Henderson: YOU KNOW, ON BOTH SIDES, IOWANS HAVE A TENDENCY TO VOTE FOR THAT FRESH-FACED ALTERNATIVE AT THE VERY END. WHEN THEY'RE JUMPING ON A BAND WAGON IN THE LAST TEN DAYS OF THE CAMPAIGN. YOU HAD JOHN EDWARDS IN 2004 AND JOHN KERRY, FOR THAT MATTER, WHO WERE REALLY APPEALING TO THEM. IN THE REPUBLICAN SIDE THAT'S WHERE LAMAR ALEXANDER DID SO WELL IN 1996, BECAUSE IOWA REPUBLICANS WERE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO WAS NOT BOB DOLE.

Borg: CHARLOTTE?

Glover: I THINK THAT'S THE PROBLEM THAT JOHN EDWARDS HAS THIS TIME IS HE'S NOT THAT FRESH FACE.

Borg: OKAY. YOU GOT US INTO THE DEMOCRATIC RACE, AND I JUST WANT TO ASK CHARLOTTE: IS IT PRETTY MUCH BUNCHED AT THE TOP NOW BETWEEN OBAMA, HILLARY CLINTON, AND JOHN EDWARDS?

Eby: IT'S A VERY TIGHT RACE GOING INTO THE LAST FEW MONTHS, BUT WE STARTED TO SEE OBAMA AND EDWARDS GANG UP ON CLINTON IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS ON A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT ISSUES.

Borg: WHO BENEFITS FROM THAT?

Eby: WELL, WE CAN SEE HER EMERGING -- WE'VE SEEN HER EMERGE AS THE FRONT-RUNNER. THEY'RE GETTING A LITTLE BIT SCARED AND FINALLY STARTING TO ENGAGE IN THIS CAMPAIGN AND DIFFERENTIATE ON THE ISSUES AND DIRECTLY --

Glover: I'M TOLD BARACK OBAMA AND JOHN EDWARDS HAVE COME TO A CONCLUSION, WHICH IS IF THE DEMOCRATIC RACE KIND OF PERCOLATES ALONG AS IT'S GOING RIGHT NOW, SHE MAY WELL BE THE NOMINEE. SOMEBODY HAS TO COME IN AND DO SOMETHING TO SHAKE UP THE DYNAMIC OF THAT RACE, WHETHER IT'S COME UP WITH A BOLD NEW POSITION OF THEIR OWN. THE MORE COMMON OPTION IS TO FIND SOME WAY TO PUT A LITTLE BIT OF HER BLOOD IN THE WATER, FIND A WAY TO START DINGING HER UP A LITTLE BIT, RAISING HER NEGATIVES EVEN HIGHER THAN THEY ARE. THAT'S WHAT I THINK YOU'RE STARTING TO SEE.

Yepsen: AND THAT'S HARD FOR BARACK OBAMA TO DO BECAUSE HE'S FROM CHICAGO, YET HE'S GOT TO RUN THIS CAMPAIGN OF HOPE AND THIS STYLE CAMPAIGN. SO IF HE STARTS SCUFFING HER UP TOO MUCH, HE'S GOING TO LOSE HIS IMAGE. IT'S A DIFFERENT KIND OF RACE. I THINK THE POLLING WOULD INDICATE THAT HILLARY CLINTON IS A FEW POINTS AHEAD, BUT THAT FRONT-PLACE POSITION IS ALMOST A STATISTICAL TIE. AND, DEAN, BARACK OBAMA IS TRYING TO BRING NEW PEOPLE INTO THE PROCESS, YOUNGER VOTERS. THEY DON'T HAVE A GREAT TRACK RECORD OF PARTICIPATING. HILLARY CLINTON IS TRYING TO BRING OLDER WOMEN, BLUE COLLAR WOMEN, WORKING WOMEN, INTO THE EQUATION FOR HER. THESE ARE WILD CARDS. AND IF ONE OF THEM SUCCEEDS IN BRINGING NEW PEOPLE IN, THEY'LL WIN. BUT YET BOTH OF THOSE CONSTITUENCIES, YOUNG PEOPLE AND A LOT OF OLDER ONES, DON'T HAVE A BIG TRACK RECORD OF PARTICIPATING -- OF PARTICIPATING IN THESE CAUCUSES.

Borg: HOW SIGNIFICANT, MIKE -- YOU WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING ELSE, BUT I'M GOING TO ASK YOU HOW SIGNIFICANT THE UNION ENDORSEMENTS, SEIU PARTICULARLY, WELL ORGANIZED INFLUENTIAL OF IOWA FOR JOHN EDWARDS.

Glover: ENDORSEMENTS TRADITIONALLY IN IOWA POLITICS AREN'T THAT IMPORTANT. ENDORSEMENTS HAVEN'T IN THE PAST -- REMEMBER IN 2004, AFSCME, THE LARGEST UNION IN THE STATE, ENDORSED HOWARD DEAN AND IT DIDN'T DO HIM A LOT OF GOOD. IF I'M A DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE, I'D RATHER HAVE THE UNION ENDORSEMENT THAN BE POKED IN THE EYE WITH A STICK, BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE THE CLOUT IT USED TO HAVE. TO DAVE'S POINT, YEAH, BOTH BARACK OBAMA AND HILLARY CLINTON ARE TRYING TO EXPAND THE DEMOGRAPHIC OF THE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS GOER. THAT'S NOT THE FIRST TIME THAT'S BEEN TRIED IN PAST ELECTIONS. IT HASN'T WORKED TO DATE, WHICH IS NOT TO SAY IT WON'T WORK THIS TIME, IT JUST HASN'T WORKED UP TILL NOW.

Yepsen: WELL, IT DOESN'T WORK VERY OFTEN, MIKE. I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT, IT DOESN'T GENERALLY WORK. BUT, YOU KNOW, GEORGE MCGOVERN BROUGHT ANTIWAR PEOPLE INTO THE PARTY. PAT ROBERTSON BROUGHT SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES INTO HIS PARTY. SO YOU'RE RIGHT, IT DOESN'T WORK VERY OFTEN, BUT WHEN IT DOES, IT CAN PRODUCE A WINNER.

Borg: JUST SOME QUICK COMMENTS HERE ON THE OTHERS. BILL RICHARDSON, JOE BIDEN, AND CHRISTOPHER DODD, MIKE.

Glover: INTERESTING MEN; NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

Borg: THEY'RE NOT GOING TO --

Glover: THEY'RE NOT AT THIS POINT MAKING SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN ANY OF THE POLLING OR IN ANY OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL STEPS THAT I'VE SEEN. THEY'RE CLEARLY SIGNIFICANT PLAYERS IN DEMOCRATIC POLITICS. BILL RICHARDSON MAKES A VERY GOOD ARGUMENT THAT HE'S A SOUTHWESTERN GOVERNOR WHO CAN WIN IN A PORTION OF THE STATES THE DEMOCRATS HAVE TO WIN TO GET THE WHITE HOUSE.

Yepsen: I WOULD AGREE WITH THAT EXCEPT FOR JOE BIDEN. I THINK THERE'S STILL SOME POTENTIAL OUT THERE FOR BIDEN TO COME UP. HE'S GOT A LOT OF SUPPORT AROUND THE STATE. HE'S SPENDING A LOT OF TIME HERE. PEOPLE LIKE HIS CREDIBILITY ON INTERNATIONAL ISSUES. I'M NOT WILLING TO BE TOO DISMISSIVE OF HIM JUST YET.

Borg: ARE YOU SAYING HE COULD PLACE WELL IN IOWA, FOURTH OR --

Yepsen: YEAH. HE'S GOT TO FINISH A STRONG FOURTH TO JUST STAY ALIVE, AND THAT TRADITIONALLY ISN'T ENOUGH. BUT I'M JUST NOT WILLING TO DISMISS HIM AT THIS POINT.

Glover: YOU'VE GOT TO REMEMBER, WE'RE GOING TO GET THREE CANDIDATES OUT OF HERE.

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHTS. WE'LL HAVE ANOTHER EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS' NEXT WEEK, OF COURSE. AND OUR GUEST NEXT WEEK, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY. WE'VE JUST BEEN TALKING ABOUT HIM. YOU'RE GOING TO SEE MITT ROMNEY ON THE EVE OF THE ANNUAL RONALD REAGAN FALL DINNER HERE IN DES MOINES. YOU'LL SEE HIM ON 'IOWA PRESS,' 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT, REBROADCAST 11:30 SUNDAY MORNING. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY. ARCHIVE EDITIONS OF 'IOWA PRESS' CAN BE ACCESSED ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB. AUDIO AND VIDEO STREAMING IS AVAILABLE, AS ARE TRANSCRIPTS, AT WWW.IPTV.ORG.

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Tags: campaign 2008 Iowa politics