Down to the Wire

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent Everybody – it seems – loves a battle; a contest. Be it the All-Ireland finals, the World Cup or Wimbledon. We all love the head to head match between the two strongest teams or individuals. And the American Presidential election has all the qualities of one of these epic encounters, which is why so many of us find it so compelling. And because there are generally only two combatants, the battle is all the more …

Advantage Romney?

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent We were almost writing off Mitt Romney’s chances of taking the Presidency only a couple of weeks ago. His campaign was plagued with errors and was running out of steam rapidly. Then came the October surprise. Romney took to the stage in Denver and demolished a lacklustre Barack Obama.

When a win is not a win …

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent Pity Mitt Romney. Before Super Tuesday all the commentators said that if he won a majority of the states being contested, he would be strengthened as a candidate. But on Sober Wednesday that had all changed. He won six out of ten but still they were not happy. He was an ‘unconvincing’ candidate who ‘hadn’t sealed the deal’. Why the disconnect?

Ten Chances to Shine

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent For the four candidates left in the Republican race to become the nominee for the general election later this year, today, Super Tuesday, is a big day. It may not be the end of the world if they don’t do well, but it is close to being over if they fail to make a mark.

Romney takes lead to New Hampshire

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent, in New Hampshire So after Iowa, there’s New Hampshire. This tiny state has a better track record in predicting the winner of the nomination process than the midwest state and there is a lot at stake for all the candidates. For Mitt Romney, this is virtually home territory. He was governor of neighbouring Massachusetts and has been campaigning here for the last year. He still has a lead in the opinion polls, but that has …

Razor thin win for Mitt Romney in Iowa

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent,  in Iowa So after a pedestrian campaign that hadn’t caught alight, finally the American Presidential marathon is underway with a bit of pizzazz and a razor thin win for Mitt Romney. He hadn’t done much campaigning here in Iowa. The conventional wisdom was that this is such a conservative state that he didn’t stand much of a chance. Surely one of the tough right-wingers would come along and capture the hearts of the caucus goers? …

For a dull election, this is quite interesting!

Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent, in Iowa As the candidates keep up their hectic schedules in the final hours of the Iowa Caucuses, a picture of some sort is becoming clear. First, Mitt Romney appears to be doing quite well. Becky Beach, fundraiser and driving force in the Iowa Republican Party, has opted for Romney. She told us that it was a pragmatic decision, based on the belief that he could beat Barack Obama in the presidential election.

No one wins from Iowa, but there's plenty to lose

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent, in Iowa On the frozen fields of 100 counties, the candidates are trying to get voters to remember their name in the frantic last hours before they finally cast a vote. Or do they ever really cast a vote? The caucus system is an arcane and strange one and unique to a few states.