This week saw some 'encouraging' employment statistics as the number of people who are 'actively seeking work' declined... the key phrase is 'actively seeking' this simply means that more people have given up on what has become a fruitless search and the short lived rise in Obama's popularity lasted as long as it took for people to un-spin the announcement.
The philosophies of the TEA (taxed enough already) party is gradually being drawn into the mainstream of the Republican Party with the fear that the Ron Paul supporters (which is the vast majority of young voters who know that their future is already mortgaged to the hilt and do not wish any further burden to be imposed upon them) will not support any other candidate in the election against Obama. It is difficult as a number of people are clearly well supported by the status quo, and the drive to change is not felt as keenly. But the 15% to 30% of each State's voters who identify themselves as Ron Paul supporters are voters whom the Republican party need to win the election.
The Caucus process seems to me to be preferable to the primary - the mere fact that people have to be willing to attend and listen to a debate in their neighbourhood, if they want to cast their vote seems infinitely preferable to simply allowing people to mark a cross on a piece of paper without knowing the issues, facts and thoughts that are driving other people's voting intentions. Through the Caucus process the ideas and how well those ideas have been circulated and the strength of a person's commitment to those ideas becomes paramount.
Results so far - Iowa (Santorum), New Hampshire (Romney), South Carolina (Gingrich), Florida (Romney), Nevada (Romney), Colorado (Santorum), Minnesota (Santorum), Maine (still counting but Romney or Paul)
So what's next? Well Arizona and Michigan vote on the 28th Feb, Washington State on the 3rd March and then Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusets, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia on the 6th March.
At this point about one quarter of the elections will have been completed.
What is clear is just how different the States are... Romney is doing badly in the South, the Republican Party cannot afford to have Ron Paul pull out as he alone is bringing new voters into the Party. Virginia will see a two man race between Romney and Paul and is a good chance for the right result to finally arrive. Gingrich does well in the South and Santorum does not show but the latest polls show that the writing may be on the wall for Gingrich's campaign come March the 7th. Santorum may just win by default in the end.