It's time for Yule logs and Saturnalia. It's time for giving and forgiving. It's time for more campaign ads? You got it. What did you think was going to happen with the New Hampshire Primary tucked right in after the holidays?!
This is your Primary Countdown for Dec. 14, 27 days to the Big Dance. Let's get it on!
Declaration of Independents: "What do you say we both be independent together, huh?" – Hermey to Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Clip to warm the day.
Speaking of Good TV Tussles: Ron Paul and Mitt Romney continue to tangle on the WMUR-TV airwaves, Bedford Patch Editor Ryan O'Connor reports. Though neither candidate is taking direct aim at the other, they've become the lone faces on local campaign commercials. Paul countered Romney's 160-ad buy of $91,980 that ran Dec. 7-13 with an 87-ad buy of $54,976 to air Dec. 13-20.
Meanwhile, Our Destiny PAC has not purchased any ads for Jon Huntsman since late November, and Rick Perry has seemingly abandoned last month's heavy Granite State ad push. And Andy Martin recently bought three ads for $1,715 for Dec. 7-9. Who in the h@ll is Andy Martin? Well, he's "the Right Republican for President of the United States."
Yeah, but how's it play in NH? It ain't all Newt here. At least not yet. Mitt Romney enjoys a double-digit lead among likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports. The Rasmussen snapshot: Romney at 33 percent, Gingrich at 22 percent, Paul at 18 percent, and Jon Huntsman at 10 percent. Gingrich actually lost 2 points from the survey two weeks earlier. Is Ron Paul surging to second in New Hampshire?
The Takeaway: "Just over half (53%) say they could change their minds between now and the January 10 primary."
Beating the Bushes for a Candidate? Ken Merrifield, the mayor of Franklin, noted on Facebook last night that he was "just phone-surveyed about Jeb Bush for President." The caller mentioned "consistent conservative twice, the mayor Facebooked. Hmmmm.
The Doctor is in: U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is back in New Hampshire today. He's in Amherst for a couple of stops, and he has a town hall meeting tonight at 7 at the Adams Memorial Opera House in Derry.
A Brief Timeout: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) welcomed the arrival of a vintage 1956 Navy XF8U-2 Crusader jet to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord. New Hampshire's own astronaut Alan Shepard help test the jet.
Game On (Still): NBC News will not make the Union Leader a jilted lover, jettisoning the newspaper from co-sponsoring the GOP presidential debate on Jan. 8 in Concord. As Politico reported, "despite the fact that the paper has already endorsed a candidate and allowed that candidate to be cited anonymously as an aide to his own campaign in a news story."
The UL, of course, endorsed Newt Gingrich and it would publish scathing anti-Romney editorials alongside those columns praising Gingrich.
Around the Horn:
- Mitt Romney: Why the Primary Calendar is against him, too. Really?
- Gingrich campaign fires aide who called Mormonism a cult. This again?
- The 2012 NH Primary lacks ground game?
Quote of the day: "Everybody who was profiting from them should pay the cost of having failed." – Newt Gingrich, in press release and video of his remarks in 2008 on Freddie Mac, courtesy of the Romney campaign.
What we'd like to see: More plaid woodsman shirts on the campaign trail, starting with James Pindell.
Primary tips or quips? Send 'em in to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter.