Sunday, January 1, 2012

Merry New Year - Iowa Eve

Ok, here goes - The final Des Moines Register Poll results are as follows:

Mitt            24%
Paul            22%
Santorum    15%
Newt          12%
Perry          11%
Bachman      7%

Remember, the margin of error is almost 5% so this can mean that Mitt, Paul, and Santorum all have a shot at this.

Key things to watch:
  • Organization: key in Iowa as caucus turnout is relatively low.  This benefits Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.  Even several hundred votes can make a difference.
  • Do social conservatives rally around a "Mitt alternative"?  This explains much of Santorum's rise in the past week.  Mitt's advantage is that conservatives have yet to gravitate to one candidate.  In this scenario, one can win and have media momentum with a quarter of the vote.  Remember, Obama only beat Hillary by a few pints in Iowa in 2008.
  • Is there a barrage of negative advertising, a verbal slip, or other unforeseen event that can change this very fluid race?
  • Weather - the better the weather the higher the turnout.  Could be an opening for candidates with poorer organization.
Iowa provides good press and momentum for the next stop in NH a week hence.  However it has a very conservative electorate which in the past has not been very predictive of producing GOP nominees from its caucus.  Remember Mike Huckabee in 2008...

The Prof's final prediction based on polling, insight and (mostly) gut feel:

Romney    26%
Paul          23%
Santorum  20%
Perry        11%
Newt          9%
Bachman    9%
Huntsman   2% 


The Prof

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