Monday, December 31, 2007

Iowa 2008 predictions

Starting the presidential election process with the Iowa caucuses is one of the silliest and saddest comments on American democracy. It's a horribly undemocratic and unrepresentative process as I detail in this BMG comment. But there's no way to alter the process so soon (I was about to say it is what it is, but that is apparently passé) so we may as well all try to mind-read these people.

Republican Primary:
1. Huckabee
2. Romney
3. McCain
4. Paul

You can't argue with sky-wizard affinity, and Huckabee's embrace of the most popular sky-wizard in this country gives him what money can't buy -- a first place finish. Romney is cruising to second based because he has everything going for him that money can buy.

As for third place, it's a bit of a toss-up between McCain and Paul. Giuliani is fading fast, and Thompson never really woke up and ran a race. Paul's support is geographically diffuse and very involved, the two key elements to caucus night victory. I really want to believe that he could score third, but you can't argue with momentum. Undecideds are breaking for McCain at a stunning rate, and that I think will push him into third.

Democratic Primary:
1. Clinton
2. Edwards
3. Obama
4. Richardson
5. Biden
6. Dodd

Clinton and Edwards will be essentially tied. She has the largest body of paid staff in state, and Edwards has a lot of unpaid but savvy locals. Given the diffuse nature of this farce, that will come in handy. It feels that Obama is fading fast in the face of reminders of how complex and demanding the job of the presidency is, and he's showing his true colors by reacting with a GOP attack on Edwards being a nasty horrible trial lawyers. If I thought he had a sense of shame, I'd say he should be ashamed of himself.

As for numbers 4-6, the results out of Iowa will be tremendously underrepresentative of their actual level of support because of the caucus mechanics. That said, I expect Dodd and Richardson to stick around through New Hampshire (then both drop out), and Biden to hang on until Super Tuesday.

All predictions guaranteed wrong or your money back.

No comments: