For what it is worth, here are my predictions for tomorrow’s caucus in Iowa.
While Ron Paul has been falling in the polls over the past week, I still believe he will pull out the victory, but by a small margin. The reason why is his supporters are loyal to a fault. They are organized and energized. They will show up tomorrow night no matter how much snow is on the ground or how cold it is. No other candidate has that sort of energy behind him.
Sadly, Romney will come in second. My thoughts on Romney becoming the nominee are no secret. Yuck. But I do believe that it is inevitable at this point. I will give his campaign credit where credit is due. Placing in the top three in Iowa is to paraphrase Biden a BFD. Romney is not the type of candidate that normally does well in Iowa. The largest part of the republican party are very social conservative.
Santorum will be the real stunner of tomorrow. He will have a top three finish. The problem is that he put all his eggs in the Iowa basket, and not getting a real return on it until now. He has no money and very little organization moving forward. New Hampshire is only 8 days away. Now Santorum is the type of candidate you would expect to do well in Iowa, but not in New Hampshire. He lacks any clear economic policy of consequence, so he will not get traction moving forward. I expect him to drop out right around South Carolina.
Perry will finish in the top 4. He also seems to be catching fire again. He also has social conservative creds that fit well with the average GOP’er in Iowa. Unlike Santorum, his campaign is still well funded, and he has real plans for the economy and shrinking government. So he can still catch fire down the road. He will do well in South Carolina as well.
Newt’s star has faded. He has little money and his inability to get on the ballot in Virginia and Missouri have shown the cracks of his campaign when it comes to discipline and organization. As late as 10 days ago he didn’t have sponsors to speak for him at every voting location. He may not still. Ultimately, people want to vote for a winner and the person who is most likely to run a good general election campaign. Newt ain’t it. If he manages to get to Super Tuesday, he may be able to pick up some steam and give Romney a run for his money, but does he have the money to last that long? Not likely.
Bachmann will finish dead last (Huntsman is not competing in Iowa) and will be dropping out of the campaign within the next 7 to 10 days. I have said all along she wasn’t in it to win it. She had something to prove to the leadership of the congress who didn’t back her desire for place at the leadership table.