After almost a year of dealing with these clowns, we’re off to the races!
This has the potential to be incredibly anti-climactic.
According to last-minute polls, Santorum’s surge seems to have plateaued, although there are lurking underlying factors: What did pastors tell their congregations on Sunday? Will Bachmann and Perry supporters recognize the futility of their efforts once they get to the gyms and churches and see that Santorum has the most visible support — and thus defect? What is the impact of Steve Deace’s endorsement of Gingrich? Will Santorum’s lack of ground game matter? It certainly didn’t for the similarly-broke Huckabee — but Santorum commands only a fraction of the energized Evangelical coalition that Huckabee had.
Tomorrow’s apparent good weather means bad news for Paul and good news for Romney. The former, whose support is the most intense, is depending upon limited turnout to bolster his numbers. That’s seemingly not going to happen. Still, he seems to have a locked-in base of about 20% heading into the caucuses.
I say that Romney wins by matching his 2008 performance against a weak, splintered field of also-rans. This will likely be followed up by a 50%+ finish in New Hampshire, creating a situation much like the Democrats had in 2003-2004, where, after a year of frontrunners trading hands, the obvious choice managed to come back at the end for an easy one-two finish.
Romney – 25%
Santorum – 22%
Paul – 21%
Gingrich – 14%
Perry – 10%
Bachmann – 6%
Huntsman – 2%
Bachmann drops out, Perry delusionally slogs on to South Carolina.
How confident am I that this will come to pass? Not very. I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul or Santorum sneaks by with a win. As Public Policy Polling put it the other day: we really have no freakin’ idea who’s going to win Iowa.
But there’s my best guess.