Taking Stock Of A Half Year In Politics

Let's take stock of the major developments in PY 2007 -- that's Political Year 2007. There are really only two.

One is -- Sen. Barack Obama tried, but has so far failed, to knock Hillary Clinton off her pedestal.

The other is: Sen. John McCain has been knocked off his pedestal. A different iteration of this dynamic has Rudy Giuliani replacing McCain as the frontrunner, but you'd have to account for the fact that Giuliani is down 10 from his early spring average.

The rest is really noise.

Consider: the USA Today/Gallup poll shows that seven percent of the less than 400 Republican samples would vote today for Mitt Romney. He leads in New Hampshire and Iowa, and he's also leading (or tied) in Michigan and leads in Utah. Those states represented about 6 percent of the population. Fred Thompson's voice and his blank canvass account for 19 percent of the sample. McCain holds steady with 18 percent. Rudy Giuliani still leads, but he's down four points (just within the margin of error). Romney dropped five points -- itself not technically a sign of significant movement.

Mason-Dixon's poll today is pumping up some press coverage, but it's almost impossible to read anything into it. For one thing, it appears to be an outlier -- McCain,in May, led in three of four public SC polls -- and Fred Thompson has yet to visit the state. Some folks on the periphery of the Thompson world do not believe he will even compete there.