ABC News Political Unit's 2008 Presidential Invisible Primary Ratings, Vol. 1

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Media Coverage: As noted above, good press clips are essential in raising money. They also help a campaign create buzz, hire better staff, and strengthen the perception of electability. ABC News Political Unit Director Mark Halperin's Rule of winning a party nomination: In order for a candidate to win, two national political columnists must openly suggest he/she can, in fact, win the nomination, while also secretly wanting him/her to, plus two national political reporters must also think he/she can become the nominee.

Media Coverage
  Republicans
Potential Candidates
John McCain 1
Rudy Giuliani 2
George Allen 3
Mitt Romney 4
Mike Huckabee 5
Chuck Hagel 6
George Pataki 7
Bill Frist 8
Newt Gingrich 9
Sam Brownback 10
Tom Tancredo 11

Media Coverage
  Democrats
Potential Candidates
Hillary Clinton 1
Mark Warner 2
John Edwards 3
Tom Vilsack 4
Evan Bayh 5
Russ Feingold 5
Wesley Clark 7
Joe Biden 8
John Kerry 8
Bill Richardson 8
Tom Daschle 11

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Buzz/Momentum: You know a candidate who's hot when you see him/her, and breaking through to the wider media culture beyond just the political junkies is a sign that a candidate is creating a stir. When things are going well for a campaign, good days get even better, and truly bad days become avoidable. There usually isn't enough political oxygen during the Invisible Primary for more than two or three candidates at a time to enjoy any real momentum.

Buzz/Momentum
  Republicans
Potential Candidates
John McCain 1
George Allen 2
Mitt Romney 3
Rudy Giuliani 4
Mike Huckabee 5
Newt Gingrich 6
Sam Brownback 7
Bill Frist 8
George Pataki 9
Chuck Hagel 10
Tom Tancredo 11

Buzz/Momentum
  Democrats
Potential Candidates
Hillary Clinton 1
Mark Warner 2
John Edwards 3
Evan Bayh 4
Tom Vilsack 5
Russ Feingold 6
Joe Biden 7
Bill Richardson 8
Wesley Clark 9
Tom Daschle 10
John Kerry 11

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Netroots: Now that the blogosphere is a fully politically engaged battlefield, Republicans and Democrats will need to court this constituency of party faithful with a keen ability to both influence mainstream media and organize on the ground in states with early nominating contests.

Netroots
  Republicans
Potential Candidates
John McCain 1
Newt Gringrich 2
George Allen 3
Mike Huckabee 4
Mitt Romney 4
Rudy Giuliani 6
Sam Brownback 7
Tom Tancredo 8
Chuck Hagel 9
Bill Frist 10
George Pataki 11

Netroots
  Democrats
Potential Candidates
Russ Feingold 1
Wesley Clark 2
John Kerry 3
Mark Warner 3
John Edwards 5
Hillary Clinton 6
Bill Richardson 7
Evan Bayh 8
Tom Vilsack 8
Tom Daschle 10
Joe Biden 11

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Polling/Name ID: The 2008 cycle will prove challenging for the unknown since several of the candidates (John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and John Edwards) will be quite well known and, thus, will likely stay atop the polls for the great majority of the Invisible Primary season. But we do expect to see some movement among the polls in key states like Iowa and New Hampshire, where the candidates will be spending more and more time. Again, improving standing in the polls usually helps a candidate raise money.

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