Byron acknowledges Mitt’s clear and expanding leads in these two early-primary/caucus states, while adding that he’s lagging behind in the national polls. York’s opinion is that with the new mega-primary of February 5, which features some big states, the early primary results will be less important this time. That observation ignores most of the recent historical experience about primaries: The momentum gained by early victories in relatively tiny states can quickly turn those national polls around. But part of momentum is doing better than expected, and that’s why (as ol’ Howard Dean remembers) it may not be so great to be dominating Iowa at this point. Mitt conceivably may be peaking too soon, as John Edwards probably also is in Iowa. In New Hampshire, though, studies show that the famous independent vote that carried McCain to victory in 2000 will vote Democratic this time, and that will surely be to Mitt’s (and not, say, McCain’s or Giuliani’s) advantage.