Independents and restless conservatives will create chaos for some, and excitement for others come Tuesday night in the New Hampshire Republican Primary. I am going out on a limb and predicting a major upset.
For the past week the numbers for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire have been falling, as has those for Rick Santorum. Meanwhile the poll numbers have trended upwards for Jon Huntsman, along with favorable movement for Ron Paul, though there was some leveling off for a period with Paul.
I think the Sunday morning debate for Mitt Romney was horrible, and the main beneficiary of that will be Hunstman. If the trend lines continue down for Romney, and the upward steam continues with independents flocking to Huntsman then there will be fireworks come Tuesday. That the Paul campaign is now attacking Huntsman is also a clue as to the movement in this race.
By all accounts the undecideds number somewhere around 15%, and most analysts place those voters as independents and moderate. If they break for Huntsman in the same percentage as the overall electorate seems to be turning for his candidacy then there is good reason to think that New Hampshire is going to do what it often does.
That is make for one heck of an Election Night.
Rick Santorum proved why a national campaign needs to be in place and ready to unfold when the time comes to make the big push. This week was one of the worst attempts at offensive positioning in politics that I have witnessed in a long time. Santorum was unable to move up his game and take advantage of what was handed to him in Iowa. Debating a high school kid in New Hampshire about gay marriage was just one of the low points from this dismal and morally incorrect candidate. Tuesday night will serve him right.
I think the names will line up come early Wednesday morning in the following order.
Huntsman (remember predictions are one of the fun parts of politics)
Perry (I will send troops back into Iraq…..will someone please just yank this guy back to Texas!)