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updated 7/17/2007 5:06:57 PM ET 2007-07-17T21:06:57
ANALYSIS

Now that 2007 is half over and second-quarter presidential campaign fundraising and spending figures are in, it's a good time to look at the bottom lines of the fights for the two major parties' nominations.

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As noted here before, there are only two objective measurements of success in the presidential nomination races at this point: money and polls, with polls best defined as those conducted nationally, and in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Using cash-on-hand figures, there are haves and have-nots. The haves on the Republican side are former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who submitted a better-than-expected cash balance of $14.6 million in primary election funds, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with $12.1 million. Romney's figure included personal money, but if it spends, it counts.

None of the other candidates have a cash-on-hand balance of $2.5 million or more. With the implosion of Arizona Sen. John McCain's campaign, this is a two-way race until former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson enters.

The fundraising race is among Democrats, with Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York sporting cash on hand of $34.5 million and $33 million, respectively, for the primaries.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson have balances of $12 million and $7 million, respectively. None of the others is financially competitive.

Turning to polls, and working from pollster.com's trend line moving averages, we start with national surveys.

These numbers are important because they indicate broad standing and momentum, shape perceptions among partisans, activists and the media, and have electoral relevance with the de facto Feb. 5 national primary.

Among Republicans , Giuliani started his surge early in 2006 and peaked in February of this year with around 34 percent of the GOP vote. However, he has been nosediving ever since, averaging about 25 percent.

It looks like his numbers will soon intersect with the soaring levels of Fred Thompson, who has grown from about 1 percent at the beginning of this year to an average of 20 percent. Thompson's ascent has already passed McCain, whose numbers have been dramatically dropping.

It's important to watch Giuliani's numbers in the next round of polling, which will take into account the impact of McCain's implosion.

Polls by RT Strategies for the Cook Political Report and by the Gallup Organization have indicated that Giuliani is the top second choice among McCain's supporters, so it is possible Giuliani will get a boost from McCain's calamity.

Romney's numbers had been steadily moving up and among Iowa Republicans they have soared, due to his early wave of advertising and aggressive organizational efforts. He has moved from about 5 percent in September 2006 to about 25 percent, at the top of the heap with Giuliani, around the end of last month.

Meanwhile, Thompson's numbers have shot up to about 16 percent in Iowa, about even with Giuliani, who has dropped from 27 percent to 15 percent.

In New Hampshire, Romney's numbers have enjoyed a similarly strong upward trajectory, from about 14 percent at the beginning of the year to about 27 percent last month.

He has left Giuliani and McCain in his dust. Both are around 17 percent and in danger of being overtaken by Thompson, who has climbed from about 6 percent to 14 percent in about three months.

Among Democrats , Clinton has been holding steady nationally for about a year with around 36 percent of the vote, while Obama hit a 23 percent plateau in late March.

Although former Vice President Al Gore is unlikely to run, he has moved from about 12 percent at the beginning of this year to almost 16 percent recently.

Edwards has stayed flat at about 11 or 12 percent and Richardson has held steady at around 2 or 3 percent.

In Iowa, Edwards has moved from about 22 to almost 28 percent, compared with Clinton, who has been holding in a 23-25 percent range all year.

While Obama has dropped in Iowa from about 20 percent at the end of March to 17 percent recently, Richardson has surged from about 1 percent at the beginning of the year to almost 13 percent recently, aided by early advertising.

Clinton has been on the move in New Hampshire, moving from 30 percent at the beginning of the year to a bit above 35 percent in most recent polling. Obama has been holding in the 20-23 percent range and Edwards has dropped from about 17 percent to about 12 percent.

Like he has in Iowa, Richardson has been surging in New Hampshire, from about 2 percent to almost 10 percent, again boosted by advertising.

Several questions remain.

For Democrats, can Obama translate his fundraising prowess into upward political movement? His upward movement nationally and in Iowa and New Hampshire has been stagnant at best, if not dropping, for three months. Can Edwards hold on in Iowa? It's the only thing keeping him competitive. Finally, can Richardson translate his Iowa and New Hampshire momentum into something real?

For the GOP, can Giuliani improve his financial standing and capitalize on McCain's woes? Can Romney use his Iowa and New Hampshire momentum to rekindle his fundraising and push his national numbers up? And finally, can Thompson put this new interest in a bottle and put together a first-class campaign, which raises money and makes up for lost time? Lots of questions, and the clock is ticking.

Copyright 2012 by National Journal Group Inc.

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