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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Predictions on Iowa? I really have no idea.

On the Dem side, I can make a case for any of the top three winning. In my estimation, it comes down to two questions: Does Obama get the big independent/new voter turnout? And do we see "second choice voters" break anti-Clinton?

As a prediction, I'm going to pick Obama because he seems to have the momentum and, my guess, more "second choice" voters, but my sense is that the Clinton campaign is running a far more effective machine rooted more firmly in the traditional Iowa establishment and knowing how to play the caucus game has historically won.

(An underspun element of the Edwards argument is that rural areas are slightly overweighted in the caucus system. Those areas aren't going to see an influx of new caucusgoers, and it's the area he's targeting in his new anti-corporate tone.)

On the Republican side, Romney seems to have hit a hard ceiling of support at around 30%. The key for Romney to win is if the non-Romney vote spreads out among other candidates besides Huckabee. This, I would argue was the goal of his "negative campaign," not specifically to win voters from Huckabee, but to keep the non-Romney vote from coalescing solely on Huckabee.

Update: I changed my mind. I think I'm going to pick Romney. I think the enthusiasm for Huckabee has been fading among those outside the religious right, and there's some evidence that Romney's been pouring even more money into his organization.

(But, let's remember that the GOP is a party where a clear majority still approve of George Bush, and people who are willing to homeschool and willing to go to school board meetings to push creationism will be more than willing to go to caucus.)

And, a pretty funny post about the GOP establishment's horror at the Huckabee movement.


  • Dems: Edwards squeaks out a win because of his relentless presence and his committed delegates. These are people who will show up and stick by him. Hillary comes in a close second largely on the power of the Clinton Machine. Obama is left high in dry the easily enthused, but equally unambitious, young and new voters... those who are happy to respond to polls, but not exactly motivated for the actual work of citizenry. The momentum in NH then shifts to Edwards.

    Repubs: Romney wins a squeaker over Huck, but both lose points from negative ads, misspeaks, and general creepyness. These disaffected voters gravitate to the newly resurgent McCain who, compared to his competitors, look the model of integrity and authenticity. Because McCain comes in a close third, far exceeding expectations, he comes out the golden boy. Very well positioned for NH.

    If any of the rambling nonsense comes to pass, I'll register as a consultant and move to Virginia. :)

    By Blogger -epm, at 2:40 PM  

  • EPM, The Edwards argument should also include his strength in the rural areas. In the bizarre caucus system, the rural areas are overweighted and that's the area where Edwards new anti-corporate populism finds some legs.

    And that would be my hope for the Repubs.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 8:58 AM  

  • I think you've changed my mind to Romney. I don't think the Huckabee support will be strategically laid out. The system rewards 51% wins, and you figure the Romney machine has been working on this math for quite awhile.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 11:30 AM  

  • I'm going to the caucus tonight. I'll let you know what I experience when I get back.
    My predictions though are Edwards, Obama, Clinton.

    I should be done by 8 - 8:30CST.

    I predict that Ron Paul will win, not by much but his signs are everywhere in my area. Probably 2 to 1 over Huckabee with Romney in the basement. Huckabee reminds me of my slightly retarded uncle(by marriage) that became a fundie after losing all his money in a ponzi scheme. I think he appeals to Iowans because they trust that "shyster" minister schtick he has going. Romney won't play because he looks like he thinks he's better than you but he's just Herb Tarlek in a nice suit.

    By Blogger Matt, at 12:19 PM  

  • If Ron Paul wins, I'll buy you a coke. His signs are in my neighborhood, too, but they're all on public land, so they could easily have been placed by just one person.

    The only place I think he might have a shot would be in or near a college campus. I simply don't see him reaching a critical mass anywhere else.

    And I agree about Huckabee. But to a large degree, that's what megaministers/televangelists are.

    I betting on the Romney organization. I agree he's John Kerry, but I have faith that they have the best plan and execution.

    ++++ And big props for the Herb Tarlek reference.++++

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:21 PM  

  • Herb Tarlek!!! HA!

    By Blogger -epm, at 4:41 PM  

  • I guess I won't be putting out my consultant shingle!

    By Blogger -epm, at 8:38 PM  

  • Hey Mike

    I was wrong on Ron Paul but if you weren't in the Hillary camp at the caucus then you were an "anybody but Hillary" caucus goer.

    When the Dodd, Richardsen and Biden people weren't viable in my precinct they went to Obama and Edwards.

    I'm happy with the results.

    By Blogger Matt, at 9:36 PM  

  • I would have thought Richardson's people would have gone to Clinton. By virtue of his time in the Bill Clinton administration if nothing else.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:42 PM  

  • EPM, I admit, I was wrong on Romney, but that's mainly because I just can conceptualize suuporting Huckabee. I just don;t get it.

    I really think all the second choice was anti-Clinton.

    Matt, 10 % for Ron Paul with no organization and not much advertising, especially with the media coverage he gets, is really pretty good.

    I am generally happy as well. Honestly, I see strengths in all the Dem leaders, but I'm a real sucker for a populist.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:24 PM  

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