Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Iowa Up, New Hampshire on Deck

The Iowa Caucuses are tomorrow night, and New Hampshire votes next Tuesday.

For the Democrats, look for Hillary to Eke out a narrow victory in Iowa and a wider victory in New Hampshire. Obama and Edwards will give Clinton a run in Iowa, but with the operatives at the caucuses armed with cell phones and blackberries, expect the fix to be in. A caucus is a two hour or longer meeting, which means you can walk in a Biden man and walk out a Clinton gal. No cameras in the war room this time, I’m guessing.

For the Republicans it is Romney v. Huckabee in Iowa and Romney v. McCain in New Hampshire. Romney will lose one or both of these. Look for a surprise second or third place finish for Ron Paul.

Massachusetts has quietly moved its primary up from March 4th to February 5th. That will give Massachusetts a voice in the first big round of primaries, as the presumptive nominee for both parties will likely get picked on February 5th when 23 states are set to vote. Ohio is still on March 4 (if it is still close, Ohio could be the kingmaker or queenmaker).

Reply: Robert Novak is putting Hillary at 3rd in Iowa, which is good news for Obama and Edwards supporters.

A: Hillary will win the 3-way. If the frontrunner loses, that helps everyone else: If Obama had the best chance to beat Clinton, Edwards could ensure she loses by throwing him a few votes and, if Edwards had the best chance, Obama could throw him a few votes. But since it’s so close they’ll both play for the win. Keep in mind that back in 1992 Bill Clinton finished 3rd in Iowa and 2nd in New Hampshire.

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