Granite Grok has an important corrective to the discussion about Ames:

I recognize that Mitt Romney gobbled up a lot of the hardcore GOP stalwarts early in the game. I have seen this for myself here in the Granite State. In an independently-orientating state like ours where more and more people are less willing to get all that attached to the party apparatus, I’m not convinced that having a lengthy list of the usual cast of characters as supporters wins the day. The events I’ve attended by Rudy Giuliani and John McCain appear to attract more ordinary folks as compared to Mitt’s, which featured many familiar Republican faces. Perhaps this will be what it takes to win the party primary here in NH. Are their numbers great enough? Or, will the less politically intuned voters outweigh their influence?

I think that they are absolutely right about open primary states like New Hampshire and South Carolina. These are states that independents will have an impact in. They are also states that Republicans who aren’t county central committee meeting junkies (I actually enjoy these meetings) will vote in these primaries.

I do think that Giuliani has an appeal to independents in theory, but the message might be hard. Electability is his message to Republicans. Independents won’t care about that. And NH independents seem to be militantly anti-war, which is akin to the argument he is pushing against to vocally.