(CNN) - The race for the 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential nominations started earlier than any other nomination race has in recent memory. Tom Foreman reports that it will also likely end earlier than any other nomination race has. But, the exact dates of voting in the early states is still not settled. Watch this report about the primary calendar's chaos.
Giuliani said he dreams of the Democrats flying to France.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Republican hopeful Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that he's been having a recurring dream lately. No, it's not visions of sugar plums dancing in his head– it's the top three Democratic presidential candidates and Nicolas Sarkozy, the new president of France.
As the former New York City mayor described it to an audience at a town hall in Des Moines, Sarkozy is flying from France to the United States, and in another plane - headed in the opposite direction and so near that the two "almost hit" - are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
As they pass each other, Giuliani continues, Sarkozy "waves to them very politely, and they wave to him very enthusiastically."
"[The Democrats] are going to France to figure out how they can get all these failed policies from France...and inflict them on the American people," Giuliani said. "[The policies are] higher taxes, more government control of health, more government control of education, more government control of who knows what–the air that you breathe!"
The GOP presidential candidate had nothing but praise for Sarkozy, who, he said, is moving away from the failed policies of France's past and moving toward implementing a lower income tax, eliminating the inheritance tax, and giving people the ability to send their children to any school of their choice.
Giuliani concluded the story by saying, "The whole world is going in the other direction– bigger free markets, more free trade, lower taxes, and we have three candidates for president who are going in the opposite direction."
"If you don't elect me, this country could be to the left of France."
During his stop on the campus of Drake University, Giuliani repeatedly singled out Clinton–her party's frontrunner–on fiscal issues, and said, "You can't promise all things to all people."
"I'm losing track now of all the promises of spending money."
–CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
From CNN Des Moines affiliate KCCI:
DES MOINES, Iowa - U.S. Sens. and Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd are longtime, respected members of the Senate. But the latest Des Moines Register poll showed them with single-digit support.
Biden and Dodd said they're not concerned about numbers.
"Anyone who can do well here in Iowa can go on. It's more important - not less important," Biden said.
Tsongas won a special election Tuesday night.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - What does a special election in Massachusetts have to do with next year’s battle for Congress?
A lot, Republicans hope. The Democrat beat the Republican in Tuesday’s contest, but the GOP sees victory in defeat.
The widow of the late Sen. Paul Tsongas won the special election to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Marty Meehan. The Massachusetts Democrat resigned from Congress earlier this year to become the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Niki Tsongas defeated Republican Jim Ogonowski, a former Air Force pilot whose brother was piloting one of the hijacked airliners that crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11, in a hard fought battle for the state’s 5th Congressional District, which partially borders New Hampshire.
Tsongas, whose late husband once held the same congressional seat before being elected to the Senate, topped Ogonowski 51% to 46%.
And that’s what the Republicans are crowing about.
Massachusetts is a very blue state and this district is dominated by Democrats. It overwhelming went for Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election and John Kerry four years later. Meehan won 67 percent of the vote in his 2004 re-election bid, and was unopposed last year.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Most Americans would like to see fewer illegal immigrants in the country, but only three in 10 say all of them should be removed, a poll said Wednesday.
Just 7 percent of those polled said they would like to see the number of illegal immigrants increased; 22 percent said they would like the number remain the same; 16 percent wanted it decreased "a little"; and 22 percent wanted it decreased "a lot," the poll of 1,212 adult Americans found.
Blacks and whites differed over whether the number of illegal immigrants should be increased, with 14 percent of African-Americans saying they did, versus 3 percent of whites.
About one in five (19 percent) of blacks said they thought all illegal immigrants should be removed from the country, versus more than a third (35 percent) of whites who said that.
Clinton holds a substantial lead over Obama among black women.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's lead over Sen. Barack Obama, her chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, is growing among African-American voters who are registered Democrats, and particularly among black women, a poll said Wednesday.
Among black registered Democrats overall, Clinton had a 57 percent to 33 percent lead over Obama.
That's up from 53 percent for Clinton and 36 percent for Obama in a poll carried out in April.
Among white registered Democrats, Clinton drew 49 percent support, versus 18 percent for Obama and 17 percent for former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, the latest poll found.
The question had a sampling error of plus-or-minus 6.5 points.
The former first lady's strongest support among blacks came from black women, 68 percent of whom identified her as their likely choice, versus 25 percent who cited Obama, the senator from Illinois who is African-American.
Black men who are registered Democrats were nearly evenly split, with 42 percent favoring Clinton and 46 percent favoring Obama. The sampling error of that question was plus-or-minus 8 points.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Members of the House of Representatives received over 2,000 petitions Wednesday from active-duty military personnel asking them to end U.S. involvement in Iraq.
Appeal for Redress, an organization that collects petitions from troops currently serving who are dedicated to removing U.S. troops from Iraq, held a press conference on Capitol Hill to deliver the petitions to Congress. Jonathan Hutto, co-founder of Appeals for Redress, announced that his organization would be sponsoring a forum for all presidential candidates to specifically address the war in Iraq, and to warn against military action against Iran.
If candidates accept, the forum will take place in South Carolina in February. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee was among the five lawmakers who voiced their support at the press conference. Lee said although she wants the occupation in Iraq to end, she does not want U.S. forces to believe that troop withdrawal signifies failure. "I don't want [the troops] coming home to the allegation of defeat,” she said. “For it was not a defeat on the battlefield, it was a defeat at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
- CNN’s Aspen Steib
Obama has raised nearly $1 million in the last day.
(CNN) –Sen. Barack Obama raised nearly $1 million in just over one day, his campaign announced Wednesday.
The Illinois Democrat sent an e-mail to supporters Tuesday asking for contributions to "close the gap" between him and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York. Third quarter fundraising numbers showed Obama to be $2.1 million behind Clinton in primary funds.
Obama’s campaign claims it had received $950,000 in donations between Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon.
- CNN Political Assignment Editor Katy Byron
Colbert said Tuesday he will run for president in South Carolina.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - He hinted at a possible run for the White House on CNN's Larry King last week, but Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert made it official Tuesday night: he's jumping into the presidential race in his home state of South Carolina.
"After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call….I am hereby declaring that I will enter the presidential primary in my native South Carolina, running as a favorite son," Colbert said on his show Tuesday night. "I defy any other candidate to pander more to the people of South Carolina - those beautiful, beautiful people."
South Carolina is one of four lead-off primary states that will likely play a crucial role in determining the eventual nominee of both parties.
On Larry King last Thursday, Colbert laid out his potential electoral strategy, saying he'd see how he did in South Carolina before deciding to move on to other states. (Watch Colbert discuss his political life on CNN's Larry King)
"I think maybe there's something I could offer the campaign on a state-by-state basis," he said. "I would target a state individually…a test run."
Colbert, author of the recently released “I Am America (And So Can You!),” also told King he'd seek to run as both a Democrat and Republican.
"I'd let the people decide what party I belong in," he said. "I don't dictate the people's actions."
In the interview with King, Colbert also brushed aside suggestions that it was a "cop out" to run in both parties, calling it instead courageous, because, "I could lose twice." (Related video: Watch more of Larry King's interview with Colbert)
In the slim chance that he wins a party's nomination, Colbert said Tuesday he'd consider either Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Russian President Vladimir Putin, or himself for a running mate.
"Colbert-Colbert - that's a strong ticket," he argued.
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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney