Rasmussen: New national leader is ... Maverick?

Thus does our primary season come full circle. Ironically, just as he’s retaken the lead nationally, McCain’s looking like a loser again in New Hampshire. Both NBC and, ahem, ARG have Mitt back out in front in Iowa; if he wins there, he’ll have a boost in NH, where he’s still ahead of McCain by an average of five points. Not only that, but the independents Mac’s counting on to put him over the top probably won’t be there thanks to … Barack Obama, who’s lured so many unaffiliated New Hampshirites to register to vote in the Democratic primary that there simply aren’t many left to vote for Maverick. Long story short, if Mitt pulls it out in Iowa he’s probably going to pull out New Hampshire too, which in turn means he’ll likely run the table. Read this and tell me, how does that grab you?

One of the Fredheads, bless his heart, flagged the Rasmussen poll in another thread as cause for hope, noting that Fred’s only five points behind the leader. Um, he’s been at 12 percent or so for weeks now, guys. It’s not that he’s gaining, it’s that the leaderboard keeps shuffling around him. And in four days, someone’s going to be out to a big lead. Unless Fred surprises in Iowa, it won’t be him.

To see just how dirty it’s gotten, check this out. I wonder, which Romney opponent is the likeliest suspect in an attack based on religion? Hmmm. Oh, and be sure to read this, too. If anyone’s choosing their primary candidate based on electability, you had better start factoring Bloomberg into your calculations. Personally, I’m not at all sure that Mitt would do better in a three-way race than Huck would. Exit quotations, care of the NYT’s latest profile of our “Christian leader”:

“It’s gone,” said Ed Rollins, who once worked as President Reagan’s political director and recently became Mr. Huckabee’s national campaign chairman. “The breakup of what was the Reagan coalition — social conservatives, defense conservatives, antitax conservatives — it doesn’t mean a whole lot to people anymore.”

“It is a time for a whole new coalition — that is the key,” he said, adding that some part of the original triad might “go by the wayside.”…

“My fantasy out of this race is that Huckabee will create another Christian Coalition,” said Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, recalling the group that grew out of Pat Robertson’s 1988 campaign and became a political force for much of the next decade. “If you could have the equivalent of the Christian Coalition, it would be a bulwark for the Goldwater-Reagan wing of the party.”