Monday, January 02, 2012

Iowa Caucus Predictions

Because it would just be chicken to wait until any closer to make them.

My predictions:

Paul -- 24%
Santorum -- 22%
Romney -- 20%
Gingrich -- 13%
Perry -- 9%
Bachmann -- 9%
Huntsman -- 3%

Plus or minus 1% on each, of course, with the minuses more likely toward the bottom half of the field.

The RealClearPolitics polling averages for the last 10 days show Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in tight -- within 1.1% of each other and closing in around 20% each -- and Paul gaining (with Rick Santorum surging up toward them). That can only be bad news for Romney.

The caucus rules for Republicans aren't as beneficial toward "activist-enthusing" candidates as the Democratic rules are (I thought they were, but Jake Porter corrected me on that awhile back), but it's still not just "walk up and fill out a ballot." You have to listen to some speechifying, etc. before voting. That benefits Paul (and Santorum) as well. Their supporters would walk six miles in the snow, uphill both ways, then wait in line for a month, to support them. A large portion of the Romney crowd will have trouble deciding whether to spend the evening at home with some popcorn, watching Lifetime® movies or hang out for more than 20 minutes or so for their guy.

Unfortunately for Paul and Santorum, it's not supposed to snow in Iowa on Tuesday. Matter of fact, after starting cold in the morning, it's supposed to pop above freezing for awhile. That reduces the "my supporters are like those bare-chested, purple-painted guys you see at every one of their teams' football games, even the exhibition games in Angkor Wat" advantage some, but doesn't eliminate it.

Of course, I could have this all wrong. It's happened before. The only thing I'm reasonably sure of is that Mitt Romney isn't going to come out of Iowa with anything that looks like a convincing victory. And hell, I could be wrong about that too.

Addendum: Could anyone have possibly predicted the "Santorum surge" a month ago? No? Actually, The Other McCain did ... and he's a little miffed that nobody writing about it now is acknowledging that. Thought I'd mention it both by way of "credit where credit is due" and because at my level of blog traffic a link back here from there is a sort of scale model "Instalanche" (which I like to encourage).

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