TERROR FIGHTIN’ HILLARY….I’ve been actively avoiding most poll blogging until now, but with the Iowa caucuses a mere four months away it’s probably time to start paying attention. Today’s LA Times poll confirmed a couple of obvious things (Hillary’s ahead everywhere and Dodd, Gravel, Kucinich, and Biden need put their egos back into cold storage and stop wasting our time) but also a couple of nonobvious things. Nonobvious to me, anyway.

First, Hillary Clinton is not only ahead in all three of the early caucus/primary states, but her supporters are more firmly in her camp than Edwards’ or Obama’s. Interesting! I would have guessed that Obama had the bigger corps of highly dedicated supporters. Second, and more important, Hillary leads not just in the general category of “more experienced,” but in the very specific categories of “best at fighting terrorism” and “best at ending the Iraq war.” And she leads by enormous margins. That may be wildly unfair (especially the latter), but it’s really, really important. The 2008 campaign is going to hinge on terrorism and the war, just like the 2004 campaign, and as long as Hillary has a massive lead on those two issues she’s unstoppable. Obama and Edwards better find a way to change that perception or else they’ll be roadkill come this time next February.

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