We talk a lot about Rudy being at the front of the Republican pack. And there’s no question about that if you look at the national polls. But it’s very hard to ignore that Romney has a commanding lead in Iowa and a solid lead in New Hampshire. While he’s yet to take the lead in South Carolina, he’s rising fast. And he’s got the right people down there working for him (right in the highly amoral sense of the people who tend to win the contests down there).
The delegates at stake in these contests are negligible. But these contests tend to be defined by those early contests. There’s always someone who thinks he can wait till the bigger delegates races to start racking up numbers but I’ve never seen that work.