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John Gizzi reports the latest from the Iowa caucuses.

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Iowa Report: No One Wants to Be a Last Minute Prophet

John Gizzi reports the latest from the Iowa caucuses.

Des Moines, Iowa — With just over three hours to go before Iowa Republicans begin traipsing into churches, schools, and private homes to and cast the first votes in the ’08 nomination process, few outside the campaign staffs want to be last minute prophets.

The tightness of the GOP’s "Iowa Caucuses" and the intensity of the apparent two-man contest for first place was illustrated dramatically today when Claire Bolderson, highly-regarded broadcast journalist for the British Broadcasting Company’s "Newshour" Program, refused the admonitions of her presenter (anchorman) to predict the outcome of the Republican race — on live television, no less.

"[BBC Presenter] Julian [Marshall] kept asking me to call the winner when I was giving him my last report," Bolderson told me here at the Country Inn in Clive (Iowa), "And I finally told him ‘you keep asking me that and I’m not going to do it.’  It’s too close."

Just a few hours before I spoke to Bolderson, a former statewide campaign manager for a Republican campaign in Iowa discussed the outcome of the race in which an estimated 250,000 registered voters from both parties in a state with 2.9 million residents will participate. 

Declining to address the Democratic contest, the former campaign manager who requested anonymity told me that: "It’s obviously very close in the polls between Huckabee and Romney [a final Caucus day poll by John Zogby showed Huckabee increasing his lead over Romney] and Huckabee’s backers are very enthusiastic.  But, in the Iowa caucus system, which involves getting people to show up and cast secret ballots, organization usually trumps enthusiasm, so my instincts say Romney — but very narrowly."  The Republican operative is neural in the ’08 sweepstakes. 

One thing is certain:  by 9 to 9:30 PM, when all of the results are expected to be counted, the reluctance of the last-minute prophets will mean nothing.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ?ť and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ?ť and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â?ť video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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