Who Does The DNC Deem The GOP Frontrunner?

Ok, unfair question to ask. But there IS a metric. The DNC's research and press shops have sent dozens of research documents to reporters over the past year. The memos are an attempt to make the target softer for the Democratic nominee. (The Dem candidate researchers don't coordinate with DNC research czar Mike Gehrke, but they are uniformly grateful for the DNC's assistance). When a nominee is chosen, Gehrke will hand over a huge, ready-made research book, just like the one the Republicans' research director, Shawn Reinschmiedt, is preparing for the Republicans.

As of last Friday, Mitt Romney was featured in 59 seperate DNC releases, according to an entity that keeps track, followed by John McCain at 48 and Rudy Giuliani at 45. Fred Thompson is next at five, but obvious caveats apply.

What this means, simply, is that the DNC is paying more attention to Mitt Romney right now. Or maybe it means that the DNC has so much material on Romney that they can't help but release it in spurts. Or maybe it means nothing. Under the direction of DNC communications director Karen Finney, Gehrke has set up an integrated research shop that draws from resources in the Democratic state parties; Iowa's Democratic Party is especially aggressive. The DNC urges caution before we read too much into the numbers of releases.

Gerhke's team acknowledges the lesser-known candidates, too: Mike Huckabee's had four releases, Duncan Hunter has had two. Sam Brownback is the least of Gehrke's concern: he's been named in one release.

When joint attacks are included (yes, someone actually keeps tabs), Romney's tally jumps to 78.

Here are some of the titles:

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McCain’s Principles Can’t Keep Him Off the Campaign Trail
Rudy Giuliani's Crumbling Credibility Takes Toll on Candidacy
Giuliani's Credibility Crumbles as He Continues to Overstate Mayoral Record and Adoption Numbers
Which McCain Will be the "Last Man Standing"?
What We Didn’t Hear at Last Night’s GOP Debate
Fred Thompson Wanted to Cut Funding for AIDS Research
McCain’s Crumbling Campaign Comes to Michigan
Must Read: Giuliani Firms Had Potential Conflict of Interest
GOP Displays More Failed Leadership At Debate
More of the Same Failed Energy Policy from Rudy Giuliani