There have been whispers for a while that there could be a December primary. Roger Simon now argues that it is increasingly likely that there could be a December 11th primary in New Hampshire.
On the Democratic side, that seems to favor Hillary Clinton. She is up some silly amount in NH. She is +20 in NH. A little momentum going into Iowa can’t hurt. This reduces the odds of a successful Barack Obama resurgence.
On the GOP side, this opens up the game much, much more. Mitt Romney was hoping to boomerang with Iowa. But, in RCP, Romney is only +4%. While his organization is either the best or second best. (behind John McCain) Who finishes first may well come down to a crap shoot between McCain, Romney, and Rudy Giuliani. It seems unlikely that Fred Thompson will be a first-tier competitor in New Hampshire. That means that he will be competing with, perhaps, Mike Huckabee for fourth.
Can Huckabee survive a 5th place finish? Could Thompson survive a 4th?
I have recommended that McCain and Giuliani skip Iowa. Is there similar advice for Thompson and Huckabee in New Hampshire?
What happens to Romney if he were to come in 2nd or 3rd?
If New Hampshire is first, do independents vote for Democrats? Less likely if Iowa comes first, and Clinton wins it. Then Obama might well drop out.