Iowa wrap-up: nailed it!!

I trust you’ll all forgive me a moment of gloating: so far my prediction of what would happen in Iowa, and what the consequences would be, is looking pretty good.

  • “a large majority of caucus-goers – on the order of 75% – are planning to vote for someone who isn’t Mitt Romney.”  Check.  In fact, Romney garnered a hair over 25% of the vote.
  • “Romney wins, the Santorum surge propels Mr. Sweater Vest into second, and Ron Paul lands in his usual third-place finish.”  Check.
  • “The spread between one and three isn’t more than 5 or 6 points.”  Check – it was about 4 points.
  • “The blow to Michele Bachmann’s campaign is fatal” Check.
  • “Perry has enough money to fight on for a few more states but never recovers” Check, as to the first part; Perry announced today that he will soldier on in South Carolina after saying last night that he was heading home to Texas to “reassess.”  The second part remains to be seen.
  • “Newt’s poor showing and lack of organization renders his campaign similarly unable to recover and returns his operation to what it was originally intended to be: a book tour.”  The jury is still out on this one.  I think it’s very unlikely that Newt will surge back into contention.  But indications are that he will do whatever he can to make Mitt Romney’s life miserable for as long as he can.  If that means staying in the race, he’ll do it; if it means endorsing Rick Santorum, he’ll probably do that too.  He clearly likes Santorum, and may well decide to angle for a VP slot if Santorum gets the nomination.
  • “Santorum, despite his strong finish, quickly fades a la Huckabee – his lack of money and organization in other states makes follow-up victories impossible.”  To be determined, of course.
  • “Ron Paul sticks around for a while as a thorn in Romney’s side, but never actually wins a caucus or primary.”  Also TBD, but I’m pretty confident about this one.

Just don’t expect a similar post when my predictions turn out badly.  ;-)


9 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Nice predictions!

    I think the toughest one might have been predicting Paul to only come in third, which surprised me given the cult-like devotion his hardcore followers have to the man.

    I think you’re right about Santorum’s future. His money and organization are pretty pathetic, which won’t hurt too much in SC and maybe FL, but will kill him come Super Tuesday. Plus, we’ve seen GOP’er after GOP’er fade once they’re in the spotlight. I doubt Santorum is much different (isn’t this the guy who lost his Senate seat by EIGHTEEN POINTS in a swing state only a few years ago?).

    I still think it’ll be Romney in the end, but this might be an example of long primary hurting the eventual nominee (unlike, arguably, the 2008 Democratic primary). Romney will be forced further to the right the longer Santorum stays in, and the establishment’s inevitable all-out push to save Romney’s bacon won’t go over so well with a good portion of the conservative base.

    Plus, Romney has shown a surprising tendency to make mistakes on the campaign trail, perhaps a consequence of him trying to figure out what his political positions should be on that particular day.

    Paul and even Trump making noises about a third-party run, especially after Romney locks it down, will make this even more entertaining.

  2. two bullet list

    A long primary battle didn’t seem to hurt Obama why must it hurt Romney? I think the longer and more contentious the battle, the more interested and informed the American people become. However, at the end of the day, the best chance for any of the potential candidates to beat Romney was Iowa. Accordingly, my list has two bullets.

    • Romney wins every state unifying the party and putting to bed the notion that 75% Republicans prefer someone other than Romney

    • Paul decides not to run as a third party candidate, Romney beats Owe-bama, No-bama, O-Bummer, Zero, The Campaigner in Chief easily

    • Simple reason

      The non Romney Republicans are more likely to be Pat Buchanan 1992 than Hillary Clinton 2008.

    • depends

      Why it didn’t hurt Obama: McCain’s choice of VP quickly healed most of the wounds from the primary battle. It remains to be seen whether any such phenomenon occurs after the GOP race is settled.

    • Negativity

      It depends on how negative the primary season is. Through recent primary seasons, many of the best (most memorable and lasting) attacks, like “voodoo economics” and Willy Horton, were actually dug up or initially wielded by primary opponents.

      If the primary opponents can keep it relatively clean and focussed on the issues, then a long primary season can strengthen the eventual winner. Like we saw in 2008 — there’s no doubt that Clinton and Obama partisans were nasty, but the candidates themselves did a good job of keeping the contest “clean”.

      This 2012 GOP nomination process, though, keeps threatening to turn dirty. If all the candidates start going negative on Romney, then when he wins the nomination they will effectively have handed the Obama campaign a huge amount of ammunition.

  3. yes WE did

    You’re not the only one who more or less got it right, David. And so you don’t jump on the obvious first, my predictions for New Hampshire:

    Romney: 41%
    Santorum: 19%
    Paul: 18%
    Huntsman: 9%
    Gingrich: 8%
    Perry: 5%

    sabutai   @   Wed 4 Jan 5:35 PM
    • I agree with you on Romney

      But I don’t think that Santorum beats Paul in The Live Free or Die State. Santorum’s showing in Iowa had almost everything to do with his appeal to Evangelicals. That dog doesn’t hunt in New Hampshire. The media bounce he’s getting might nudge his numbers up somewhat, but he’s been absent from the state. I think he finished fourth, behind Huntsman, who’s been up there doing the work.

      Romney: 42%
      Paul: 25%
      Huntsman: 12%
      Santorum: 8%
      Gingrich: 8%
      Perry: 5%

      • Yes and no

        With Bachmann gone and Perry irrelevant in NH, there are far fewer anti-Romneys. With Gingrich willing to immolate himself in his attacks on the Mittster, we’re really down to Paul, Huntsman, and Santorum as alternatives. I can’t see Paul gaining too many more votes, so I expect some non-evangelical Republicans — particularly those who call themselves libertarians but really aren’t — to plump for Santorum.

        sabutai   @   Thu 5 Jan 12:33 PM
  4. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results

    But well done

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