Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Iowa Caucus Predictions

My predictions for the Iowa Republican Caucus, held today:

Top Tier: Romney, Paul, and Santorum

These three could finish in any order and it wouldn't surprise me. Romney has a slim lead in most polls, and is generally considered the most presidential and most electable, but he's had a hard time winning converts and his reluctance to commit fully to Iowa until late in the process could allow better organized competitors to outcompete him. Paul has a fairly large, highly committed base, but will be hard pressed to convince undecided voters to support him. Santorum has the momentum, but his organization is lacking and I'm not convinced he'll be able to get his supporters to turn out in large numbers. Plus, if undecided voters Google his name, they might not like what they see (consider yourself warned).

Romney 24%
Paul 23%
Santorum 19%

Second Tier: Perry, Gingrich, and Bachmann

Gingrich was recently in the lead in Iowa, but his support has collapsed and it's possible that polls have understated the depth of that collapse. Perry and Bachmann, meanwhile, seem to be gradually regaining some of their lost support.

Perry 12%
Gingrich 10%
Bachmann 8%

Third Tier: Huntsman and others

Jon Huntsman decided not to fight for this state. Who knows how he would have done if he had tried--pretty much everyone else had his or her turn in the sun--but as is, he'll wind up in the low single digits, and there will be a scattering of votes for minor candidates.

Huntsman 2%
Others 2%

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