Predicting the winners of the Iowa caucuses is one of those blogging events that is just fun to do. I say that because there is no real way to predict the outcome of a caucus when turnout is key to victory, and Democratic participants can be lured to another candidate if their first choice is not ‘viable’ in their local firehouse or neighbor’s living room. There is no real way to gauge the mood of the actual caucus goers, and so one needs to rely on trends in the overall polling to even guess at the outcome. Even then most will not write down any predictions. Nonetheless I offer my predictions knowing that I have a real good chance of being so very wrong. Unless an animal is found in bed with a presidential candidate between now and January 3rd, this is what I think will happen.
I start on the Republican side because I feel that this is where a potential news story that is not foreseen might happen on Thursday. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee have been blasting each other and proving many ways why they are not the type of nominee that the GOP will require to win in the November election. Romney has flip-flopped on so many issues, and seems fake to many voters. Huckabee has social conservatives energized but has turned off many fiscal conservatives with his actions while Governor of Arkansas. The negative ads and talking points have been blazing, leaving I suspect many Republicans in Iowa concerned about the overall tone of the GOP message, and potential messenger.
While Rudy Giuliani and John McCain are on the ballot they are not seriously vying for voters in Iowa. But Fred Thompson is. While I have poked at the former Tennessee Senator here on my blog (he warranted it) I think that Thompson has a chance to make news. As a candidate with conservative credentials who can be viewed as a seasoned politician, I am going with my gut instinct and placing Thompson in second place to Mitt Romney. If this happens the news story on Friday will be Fred….Fred….Fred.
The top three GOP finishers in Iowa
On the Democratic side I am going to echo what my overall thoughts were on December 19th, on my blog. While I think Hillary Clinton will eventually win the Democratic nomination I think she faces a dust-up in Iowa. John Edwards has a message of corporate greed and economic concern will resonate with voters who have already fought for him once before on a cold winter night in 2004. I also think that Edwards will do well after other candidates are no longer ‘viable’ at the caucus, and he will be many folk’s second choice. Obama will suffer from too many fresh faces at the rallies, but not enough of them having the drive to get them to the caucuses. Howard Dean repeated.
The top three Democrats in Iowa
To my friends that want percentages…..you must be kidding!!