WASHINGTON (CNN) –- Thanksgiving’s over and the holiday season’s underway. And with less than six weeks to go until the first presidential primary contests, the race for the White House is kicking into high gear.
Next Wednesday, the Republican presidential candidates face off at a CNN/YouTube debate in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
In December, most of the action moves to Iowa. That’s because the Iowa caucuses, which officially kick off the presidential nomination voting, will take place on January 3, the earliest date they’ve ever been held. And with Christmas just nine days before the caucuses, will we see campaigning on December 25? Sens. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd were making the rounds on Thanksgiving Day. With so much at stake, it might be hard for the campaigns to totally go dark on Christmas Day.
Here’s why: While Sen. Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are the front-runners in the national polls, it’s a very different story in Iowa. Polls suggest it’s a dead heat between Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, and former Sen. John Edwards in the race for the Democratic nomination. And on the Republican side, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s on top, but polls in Iowa indicate the race appears to be getting tighter.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser