Since I have a blog, here’s the obligatory prognostication of what’s going to happen after the Iowegians make their way to various churches, schools, and living rooms to caucus for the presidential nominees:
1. John Edwards, winning by at least 3 points above #2.
2. Barack Obama, winning by less than 2 points above #3.
3. Hillary Clinton, winning by at least 10 points above #4, if anyone gets enough votes to be fourth.
4. Bill Richardson.
1. Mitt Romney, winning by at least 4 points above #2.
2. Mike Huckabee, winning by at least 7 points ahead of #3.
3. Essentially a three way tie between McCain, Thompson, and Giuliani.
4. Ron Paul will bring up the rear.
Here’s the reasoning:
Edwards has the most supporters who have caucused before, and he’s maintained an organization in the state since coming in second there in 2004. With the race this close, turnout will be decisive.
Obama will come in second because he’s the most likely second choice of the big-three contenders. I’m betting that people are either for Hillary or against her–she’s a less-likely second choice.
On the Republican side, Romney’s got an organization Huckabee can’t match (when i was in the state two weeks ago, I was told Huckabee had 18 people on staff in the state compared to Chris Dodd’s 60+, though that was never confirmed), and the battery of negative ads that have crushed Huckabee’s lead means that could be decisive.