The need to lead the primary season by Iowa and New Hampshire does not serve the country nor the candidates well. Neither is representative of states outside of their region making a good case for a one day cross country primary. Let the candidates cover all the states beforehand then let us vote. And structure it so the media has to cover campaigns in all the states, not just a chosen few.
As it stands now New Hampshire is in a snit over a purported attitude by Bachmann. In actuality I think she thinks she has a better chance of winning Iowa and has limited resources to boot. So who wins? She's banking on a big win in Iowa to propel her through New Hampshire. If she loses Iowa she's done. It's a pretty flimsy way to run for President. Since she obviously hasn't caught on, should she pack it in now? If Iowa is her only chance then I think she's too weak to go further.
The same with Jon Huntsman, who in my humble opinion, is the best, most experienced man running and I don't give a fig about him being Mormon. But again, with finances tight, he's putting all his eggs in New Hampshire's basket. The result has been lack of visibility in the rest of the country. Suicide for an unknown. He'll have to win big in New Hampshire. People will still be asking who is Jon Huntsman?
Less likely for the job but highly visible are Cain and Paul. Why? Because they're out there! I don't think they have more money though admittedly I haven't checked. They're being prudent with it but spreading it around.
This leap frogging of primary dates isn't helping matters any. I really wouldn't want to attend a caucus right after the first of the year. I wouldn't attend one before Christmas! What's the rush? Tradition, in this case having to be first, should be ended! A lot can happen between the end of this year and the general election next and I don't want to make my choice too far ahead. I also don't want early states having undue influence. Perhaps they won't. Perhaps by the time later states hold theirs, the results of the rush to judgement by the early ones may fade as the candidates are more current as the election nears.
As with everything else going on in government these days, the whole process is a mess. But then we have a President who spent his career as a Senator campaigning for President and hasn't stopped in between campaigns to bother governing. Most incumbents stay in the White House and do their job. Times have changed.
The challengers have a tough time because we take their time away with early primaries and the President never stops. What will we have next November? I don't have a clue now and doubt I will even after the fact.