Thursday, September 27, 2007

Romney Memo: We Have An Uphill Fight In NH, Iowa

A Romney campaign source has e-mailed us an internal memo written by Romney strategist Alex Gagne.

In the memo, Gagne argues that Romney will gain in national polls, once Romney wins either Iowa or New Hampshire. Gagne also concludes that Romney is in the strongest position to win the Republican nomination.

Below is the part that relates to Romney's position in the Granite State.

"It is likely that Gov. Romney will continue to hover around 10% in national polls as he has for the past several months, and that he will gradually gain ground toward the end of the year as voters begin to pay more attention to the race. But we should not expect him to be competitive in national polls with better-known celebrity candidates like Giuliani, Thompson, or McCain until after Iowa and New Hampshire. By no means do we expect to win both Iowa and New Hampshire—no Republican in the modern era ever has. Giuliani is already on the air with radio advertisements in both states, and McCain is about to begin his television and radio ads in New Hampshire; we know we will have an uphill battle.

But also remember that no Republican has ever won the party’s nomination without carrying one of the two. This year’s calendar is more front-loaded than ever before and that means Iowa and New Hampshire will be more vital than ever to the process. As Susan Page of USA Today wrote a few weeks ago, this year “Iowa and New Hampshire are likely to be more important than ever. The momentum that victories in those states can provide will be enhanced by the rush of contests that follow.” Gov. Romney’s early state strategy has paid dividends thus far, but we should expect a tumultuous road ahead as the campaign accelerates.

Still, we should take a moment to be proud of our successes thus far—no one else has been able to make the same progress in Iowa and New Hampshire. No one has a sounder tactical and strategic course to victory—a course guided by historical landmarks, current successes and the most advanced campaign tactics available. And no one has Gov. Romney’s winning message that change begins with us as Republicans. As David Brooks said last Sunday about Gov. Romney’s message, “Thank God. Listen, Republicans need to show it's a new Republican Party. George Bush did in 1999. They’ve been marching to disaster without promising any change, and he's got to fill that in with some substance. But, finally some Republican candidate is going to answer that.”

Remember too that wins in the early states will give the victors an unprecedented earned media bonanza that no amount of advertising in the subsequent states could ever hope to match. Just as Aesop wrote, slow and steady still wins the race."