Today is Jan. 3. The Iowa caucus has arrived after a year of difficult campaigning. It amazes me that the race remains extremely tight, and even pollsters -- such as John Zogby -- don't want to predict the race's outcome.

Republicans

Soren Dayton at redstate.com attended a Rudy Giuliani event in New Hampshire, where he desperately needs to keep his third-place standing. Finishing low in Iowa and New Hampshire could be very humbling for the former New York mayor.

Josh Marshall analyzes Giuliani's most recent television ad. He finds the script has a rather awkward line about the "people perverted." It's a strange way to put it. See the video.

Christina Larson writes about Mike Huckabee's mannerisms. Huckabee manages to turn the tables on reporters and make their questions appear silly. Huckabee's best and worst enemy is without a doubt his mouth.

Jim Geraghty reports on a silly charge made in the attack ad that Huckabee's campaign produced but never ran. Massachusetts had no executions during Mitt Romney's term as governor. Duh. There's no death penalty in Massachusetts. Romney did, however, introduce legislation to reinstate capital punishment for some crimes, including cop killings and terrorist acts.

Captain Ed wonders if the recent surge in the Zogby poll numbers means that Fred Thompson will sneak into third place in Iowa. Rumors have surfaced that Thompson will pull out if he finishes lower than third.

Democrats

Taylor Marsh blasts Barack Obama for advertising on the Drudge Report. Drudge isn't exactly well-known for putting liberals in a good light, and it seems like poor strategy to support a site that will eventually attack you.

Jane Hamsher at firedoglake.com makes an excellent point about the Democratic caucus. Hillary Clinton's supporters tend to be older and community leaders, and are thus more likely to attract people to switch during the caucus.

Steve Clemons comments on a recent article in the Washington Monthly by Ted Widmer, a respected historian. Widmer compares Obama with JFK and decides Obama is no JFK.

Issues

Susan Blumenthal at the huffingtonpost.com posts a side-by-side comparison of all of the presidential candidates' health care plans. Health care often polls as the second most important topic, but I bet the economy will supplant that come fall.

Plutonium Page at dailykos.com reviews the last year's news on nuclear proliferation with a focus on North Korea. While progress has been made there, the problem probably will linger into the next president's term.

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