Iowa Caucuses

I'm calling 'em this way:

1. Obama
2. Clinton
3. Edwards
4. Richardson
5. Biden

1. Romney
2. Huckabee
3. Paul
4. McCain
5. Thompson
6. Guiliani

Currently, I think Obama and McCain are going to end up winning the nominations, but a lot can happen.

Posted by Bryan on January 3, 2008 with category tags of

Madness! Obama will never win the nomination, and if he wins Iowa it will only be by a hair. My money's on Clinton for Iowa, then an eleventh hour Dean-esque collapse, with Edwards coming from behind to take the nomination. Never underestimate the power of a white man to sway American voters.

And I think Romney is pretty well on course for the GOP win, in Iowa and in general.. If one of the less popular candidates is going to make a comeback, I think it'll be Giuliani, not McCain.

I wish Jon Stewart was here to tell us what we should be thinking. Stupid writer's strike.
   comment by goodladd (#144) on January 3, 2008

Hmm, i am surprised to see that i don't agree with either of you. My money is on Hillary and Huckabee to take the early primaries, with Hillary going all the way for the Dems. Edwards will never outrun his unfortunate $400 haircut, and, as a trial lawyer, will have difficulty convincing people he is against special interests. Obama has an outside chance, but i don't think he's convinced enough people.

The Republicans are harder to read. I expect the real race to be between Guiliani, Huckabee, and McCain. Romney seems to be faltering already, and if he can't crush everyone else in the little primaries, he's done. Guilaini will be popular with tax and defence Republicans, though hated by the religious right. Huckabee is popular with the religious and populist voters, though hated by the current Republican power structure. McCain has credibility and name recognition across the board, and he's picked up a number of important editorial endorsements in the early primary states, and he may be a refuge candidate for voters fleeing from everyone else. If i had to bet, though, i would pick Huckabee to win the nomination.

I don't think Paul will go anywhere, except possibly a third party candidacy (he may find himself joined in this category by Bloomberg).

So, let the races begin.
   comment by stretch on January 3, 2008

First, I think the "caucus" should be renamed the so as not to give caucasians an unfair advantage.

Second, the rules for the Democratic caucus are about as ridiculous as Canadian nomination meetings. To vote, you can't show up late, and must sit through a tedious meeting for several hours, in which people hassle you to change your vote mid-meeting, etc. These are the types of meetings where the candidates with the biggest support from retired, life-long party members wins, because no one else shows up/stays through the proceedings. Life-long Democrats loved Bill and will come out for Hillary. Edwards, I am guessing, will also have a surprisingly good showing, just like he did in 2004. Obama's campaign is, I understand, a bit of a Children's Crusade, so his support could be weaker than expected on a cold night when university is still on winter holidays. So my guess is 1-Clinton, 2-Edwards, 3-Obama. This will really hurt Obama, and he will have a miserable week trying to save the furniture in New Hampshire (helpful hint- don't do this:

I understand that the Republican caucus rules are more like primary rules (show up, vote, leave: most votes wins), so I have no reason to think that race will be much different than the polls indicate.

   comment by chrisdye on January 3, 2008

So Chris, you think Obama's followers will walk through the Alps to the coast of Italy, only to be sold into slavery in North Africa?

Well, its still better than throwing your vote away on Nader. Zing!
   comment by stretch on January 3, 2008

i realise it's cheating to be commenting after the Iowa results have started to filter in, but have you guys been following this very closely? Clinton is far away from a shoe-in at this point - for Iowa or New Hampshire, or for the ultimate result. Iowa could truly go to any of the 3 front-runners, Edwards and Hillary being the ones with the most to lose. (If either come in 3rd, their campaigns have taken major, major hits.)

For the Republicans meanwhile, it seems very unlikely that Huckabee has the "machine" to sustain a full go at things, and McCain's sneaking back up in the NH/Iowa polls, victories in which would vault him past Romney as frontrunner. There are also scandal-rumours brewing around Romney, though, which makes things v unstable. I think Giuliani's probably toast unless he wins Florida, and the Florida polls are irrelevant until after the results from Iowa/NH come in.

My picks are:

Though if Edwards comes in 1st in Iowa, all bets are off, and if this push-poll thing lands on Romney, McCain seems the most likely to take the GOP nomination.

In an Obama vs. McCain or Obama vs. Romney general election, my money is on the black man.
   comment by sean on January 3, 2008

oh and those were my picks for the ultimate nomination, not iowa. i had no idea how that was going to go.
   comment by Sean (#34) on January 3, 2008

I pick Hucakbee and Obama.

Oh look! I win.
   comment by LePhil on January 4, 2008

It appears that I was very wrong. My political science degree is clearly worthless.

   comment by chrisdye on January 4, 2008

Huckabee may not have a "machine", but in states with many evangelicals, he doesn't need one. He has now proven he can win without one. He is their candidate. In entrance polls, Huckabee won 46% of the evangelical vote (1st place) but only 14% (4th place) among non-evangelicals. To me, this means that his campaign lacks support among non-evangelical conservatives and this will hurt more than the lack of a machine. (Though I'll grant that the lack of a machine hurts more with non-evangelicals who are less aware of him.) He'll be competitive in some states and non-competitive in others.

Romney is spending money out of his pocket. Look for him to bail if things don't turn around quickly. His whole strategy was to win Iowa and New Hampshire and build on those victories. He's not doing well in national polls. He needs those wins, and it looks like he'll lose New Hampshire to McCain.

McCain, meanwhile, is doing well in part because of the perceived success of the troop surge. (I say "perceived" because I don't really know enough about it.) He has lost a lot of cred among liberals for veering right on certain issues in the past coupla years and for his support for Bush, but this sort of hypocricy won't hurt him much with republicans.

Guiliani has a chance, but his decision to skip the early states has lost him a lot of media coverage. Ultimately, I think he's too liberal for most social conservatives. 9/11 this, 9/11 that.. It would have worked better in 2004 than 2008... if he had run as a democrat. (Snap!) His national numbers will continue to decline as people tune in to the race and learn new names.

Thompson has shown very little combativeness or savvy. He has conservative cred but no one is flocking to him. If he hangs on past Huckabee's collapse, maybe he'll pull in the Evangelical vote, but I think Thompson will bow out first. I've read one article that suggested he never really wanted to run in the first place.

The way I see it, for Ron Paul to win, he'd have to outlast 4 of the other candidates and have the frontrunner's campaign collapse in scandal. He could outlast the others given that money is coming in. I mean, Kucinich was the last to drop out in 2004, so Paul could stay in it. To win, he'd need both Oprah and Chuck Norris on his side, though.

Clinton: All it takes is for democrats to worry she won't beat the republican nominee and she's toast. She's way ahead in national polls, but she's vulnerable. Edwards or Obama has to drop out soon so that the Anti-Hilary vote can coalesce.

Obama: I don't think he can lose to Edwards because he's more serious and likeable. People remember the goofy, boyish Edwards from the 2004 VP debates. If Edwards quits early, Obama has a good shot. Then he needs a VP with foreign policy or army experience. If he's up against McCain, he'll grab Bob Kerrey.

Edwards: I don't like his chances. He lost to John Kerry, and both Clinton and Obama are more palatable than Kerry. Stranger things have happened, though.
   comment by Bryan (#22) on January 5, 2008


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