Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Iowa caucuses: The predictions

More than 100,000 voters will head tonight to 1,774 precincts across Iowa and make their case to fellow caucus-goers about who should be the Republican nominee for president. Everyone then votes, and the results are called in to party headquarters and the media, which will declare their own winners and losers.

Who will be that winner tonight?

The latest polls say those winners will come from a top tier of candidates: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and the surging Rick Santorum.

The New York Times offers 5 things to watch, including the evangelical vote, Ron Paul's fade and Mitt Romney's margin. Romney doesn't have to win, Michael Shear says. A second-place finish - or even third - will be enough.

Politico says third will be disappointing for Romney. He needs a second-place finish - and 28 percent of the vote - or pundits will start the no-passion-for-Mitt talk again.

Romney, meanwhile laughs at second-place talk. "We're going to win this thing," he predicted to an Iowa crowd last night. After sleeping on it, he's not so bold: "I don't think I quite said that," he told MSNBC this morning.

What are pundits predicting?

American Spectator says Romney will win, followed by Paul and Santorum.

ABC News polled its political staff. The result: 6 predict a Romney win, 2 say Paul and one says Santorum.

The conservative blog Red State says Romney, then Paul, with Santorum and Perry fighting it out for third.

The Washington Post's political staff and columnists are split between Romney and Santorum: Romney gets 7 predictions, Santorum 5, Paul 1 and Gary Johnson 1.

Our view: polls and caucus results are often at odds in Iowa, but the top three of Romney, Paul and Santorum seems a good bet. Paul has the most enthusiastic supporters. Santorum has the not-Mitt momentum (without the scrutiny that comes with it - at least in time for tonight's voting). Romney has the resources to get people out to caucus.

Expect a Romney win, with Santorum surging into second and, for now, claiming status as the conservative alternative heading into New Hampshire and, more importantly, South Carolina, which will offer non-Mitts their possible last stand.

Peter St. Onge


Twodogz said...

I think Newt will do better than anyone suggests. I feel he has the most experience and knowledge and understanding of the USA and world than any of the other candidates.

TC said...

The winner...........OBAMA!!!!