Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa Predictions

I'm not really in any place to be playing the prediction game in a serious way, which is why I don't put money into such things as those Intrade prediction markets, fascinating though they may be. Still, I have my hypotheses about how things will turn out tonight in the Hawkeye State, and I'm gonna man up and share them with you, dear readers, and let my powers of prediction be judged by time.


  1. Barack Obama
  2. John Edwards
  3. Hillary Clinton
Why that ordering? Well, it feels right to me. Obama's got the lead in Iowa right now, though opinions vary on how wide that lead is (or whether it exists at all, actually). The latest Des Moines Register poll shows him seven points ahead of Clinton and eight points ahead of Edwards, but that's just one poll, and could be an outlier. And all of this says nothing of the fact that these polls may not end up having sample populations that are truly representative of the tiny, tiny percentage of people who will actually show up tonight to caucus. Regardless, the three are running at least neck and neck by any reckoning, and I put Clinton at third place because I don't think that she's almost anyone's second choice, which counts significantly in Iowa. Add to that the fact that Kucinich has explicitly suggested that his supporters put Obama second, and the additional fact that the Biden and Richardson campaigns have been making motions in the same direction, and I come away with Obama taking the thing.

  1. Mike Huckabee
  2. Mitt Romney
  3. John McCain
The Republican process doesn't involve second choices, so the race is slightly easier to predict, but with all the volatility in the terrible, terrible Republican field, predictions are dicey at best. Romney and Huckabee seem like locks for first and second places, in some order, and McCain seems to be resurgent, especially with the promised support of Fred Thompson.

I'm no professional, and I'm certainly not a political insider, so take these predictions with the grain of salt they deserve. It's fun to play, though, isn't it?


P.S. Though I think that there's a lot about the Iowa Caucus, and about the Presidential Primary process in general, that's silly, as an Obama supporter, I can't help but be happy that it's there in this case, as it represents the absolute best chance he's got to gain the momentum he needs to catch Clinton. If we had a national primary, the contest would likely be over.