1 Days Until the Iowa Caucuses
It's the bottom of the ninth inning but the Iowa Caucuses are really only Game One in what could be a longer than expected presidential primary season with the race as tight as it is on both sides.
After approximately 2,336 events among the Republican and Democratic candidates and $34.6 million spent on advertising (including a whopping $9 million for Barack Obama, $7.2 million for Hillary Clinton and $7 million for Mitt Romney), it all comes down to a couple hundred thousand caucus goers in the Hawkeye State.
The final flurry involves expectations massaging, spin, exhaustion, candidate predictions on their place in the final standing (some measured, some confident), more exhaustion and lots of caffeine (but not for John Edwards who is sticking to Sprite). LINK
Romney was asked late this evening if he was going to win. "I sure am planning on it," before then adding, "but no predictions at this point," ABC News' Matt Stuart reports.
Earlier Wednesday, John Edwards was asked if he can beat Obama. "Can I beat him? Oh yeah," responded Edwards, ABC News' Raelyn Johnson reports.
When asked by a reporter with what Iowa caucus results he'd be "happy", the former Republican senator from Tennessee held up two fingers.
"Probably this position right here," Thompson drawled with a laugh, referring to a second place finish, ABC News' Christine Byun reports. LINK
The contenders are packing in as many events as possible in Iowa on Thursday – even John McCain is popping in for a quick day trip. Rudy Giuliani, however, is planning for Game Two and Game Seven and campaigns in New Hampshire and Florida.
Campaigns are encouraging supporters to get a van, round up friends and fellow supporters and get them to the caucus sites. They are handing out shovels and buying up salt in case of bad weather (latest forecast for Des Moines is windy with lots of sunshine and a high of 30) The Obama campaign has arranged for babysitting services so parents can go out and caucus.
Teresa Vilmain, Clinton's Iowa State Director, told reporters today that the campaign has 4900 drivers for caucus night (compared to the 350 that Kerry had in 2004) and 10,000 people in their rider/driver program.
The presidential candidates have gotten off very easy since the writers' strike in Hollywood shut down the late night comedy shows over two months ago. No jokes about their verbal gaffes, cackling laughs, pulled negative ads and bizarre press conferences – something campaign staffers are probably quite thankful for.
But on the eve of the first voting, David Letterman and Jay Leno are back on the air – Letterman with his writers after striking a deal with the union and Leno without writers.
ABC News' Kate Snow and Rick Klein report that that Hillary Clinton will make a cameo appearance on Letterman's Late Show tonight (perhaps hoping her appearance will cause him to go easy on her in his first night back at the desk?)
Snow and Klein report that Clinton taped a few lines for the opening of Letterman's show from snowy Iowa. Her campaign was mum on what she says and whether its funny.
"Ya gotta tune in!" Communications Director Howard Wolfson tells ABC News.