Will McCain Skip Iowa Again? "Everything Is On The Table"

"Everything is on the table."

That's according to a senior McCain adviser who has spoken with Rick Davis and other remnants of McCain's top campaign staff. The adviser said that the campaign's new early-state strategy was up for reconsideration, with some McCain allies pressing McCain to once again skip Iowa, putting all of his resources into New Hampshire and South Carolina.

The thinking is that McCain has a much better chance to win South Carolina this cycle in a crowded field with a Mormon candidate among Southern Baptists (Romney), a cultural liberal (Giuliani), and Fred Thompson, who has yet to build an organization in the state. McCain has earned most of the state's top endorsements and has a strong field operation there. There is no George Bush standing in his way.

So long as McCain won both New Hampshire and South Carolina, and provided that no one expected him to do well in Iowa, he could repeat, break through the firewall that kept him from winning last time.

The push back is fairly obvious: McCain did well in South Carolina in '00 and nearly beat Bush there because he did so well in New Hampshire and defied expectations. And McCain quickly ran out of money.... and has very little to spare now.