Larry Sabato takes a doom and gloom look at governors this morning and rates Iowa as Leans Republican. His list of leading candidates includes Rants, but does not include Rod Roberts.
Nor, for that matter, does it list Jonathan Narcisse, who's filed campaign finance papers to run as an independent. That, of course, is not the same as filing nomination papers, which independents don't do till July and August. The party candidates' papers are due next month. So Narcisse has the luxury of assessing the lay of the land before making the final decision.
So does Bob Vander Plaats... who declined to take the Linn County GOP's "loyalty oath" to back the Republican nominee, but says he has "given no thought" to a third party bid. (Again, that deadline is post-primary, and Iowa has no "sore loser" law preventing a primary candidate from running independent in the general.)
What Vander Plaats has done is get 2008 caucus winner Mike Huckabee to come in for him on Feb. 24. There's still the prospect of this primary turning into a presidential proxy war. Will we see the Mitt make a visit for Branstad? And would that help or hurt?
BVP also has that all-important Chuck Norris endorsement, and this piece from "Paliban Daily" has been making the national rounds.
Chet, for his part, spent the first part of the week mending his labor fences, backing project-labor agreements (I'm not hearing much about open scope or Fair Share this session...) "Think Hancher II in Iowa City," writes O. Kay. Wherever that will be...