And we'll miss Iowa in part because . . . where else does the cast of characters include a woman who dresses her dog up like George Washington and claims he is an independent voter at heart, and a man who sells wedding ring to pay for a 40-foot bus called "The Huckabeast" so he can drive from Kentucky to support Huckabee? ABC's Jennifer Parker has the tale.
Check out the campaign schedules in The Note's "Sneak Peek."
Also in the news:
The Washington Post's Dan Balz casts the Democratic battle as less a war over ideology than over how to win.
"The candidacies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards represent a set of choices about the tone, style and generational image that Democrats, hungry to return to power, conclude will put them in the best position to wage a general-election campaign," he writes.
Adam Nagourney's New York Times take focuses on the rise of the economy as an issue for Democrats -- and the fading of Iraq.
"Even though polls show that Iowa Democrats still consider the war in Iraq the top issue facing the country, the war is becoming a less defining issue among Democrats nationally, and it has moved to the back of the stage in the rush of campaign rallies, town hall meetings and speeches that are bringing the caucus competition to an end," he writes.
"Instead, candidates are being asked about, and are increasingly talking about, the mortgage crisis, rising gas costs, health care, immigration, the environment and taxes."
The Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes and Amy Schatz see the caucuses through the populist lens of Huckabee and Edwards.
"Mr. Huckabee's campaign represents a new challenge to the historically business-friendly Republican Party, and so far none of his rivals have picked up his rhetoric. But Mr. Edwards is tapping into a long tradition of Democrats' receptivity to working-class appeals, and his main competitors are scrambling to echo the populism as economic anxiety has intensified among voters."
As the candidates already know, this is the most wired election we've ever had. An ABC News/Facebook survey "finds the Internet rivaling newspapers as one of Americans' top two sources of news about the presidential election. It's also the only election news source to show growth, doubling since 2000," ABC Polling Director Gary Langer writes.
"It's a group with the size and clout to change the way election politics happen in America," Langer writes.
"Seventy-three percent of adults now go online, the most in polls since the dawn of the Internet age. Forty percent use the Internet specifically for news and information about politics and the election, surpassing the previous high, 35 percent in a 2004 survey."
Columnist Robert Novak puts his predictions in writing (try getting that out of 10 different pundits): He pegs the GOP order at Romney, Huckabee, Thompson, and McCain; for the Democrats, Obama, Edwards, Clinton (3rd!), Richardson.
Washington Post columnist David Broder urges us to wait for New Hampshire before making bold assertions about the race. "The outcome of Iowa's first-in-the-nation voting is skewed by two big factors. The turnout is ridiculously small, barely 20 percent of the eligible voters. And those who choose to caucus are hardly representative of the population as a whole."