Monday, January 19, 2004

Iowa Predictions 

And the winner of the Iowa Caucuses will be ...

John Edwards.

Howard Dean will finish second, John Kerry third, and Gephardt dead last.

Yes, Edwards doesn't have the organization that the others three have, but he has one big advantage over everybody else: nobody hates him. Within each caucus, a candidate needs 15% on the first vote to be pronounced "viable". Since many of the caucuses will have only thirty or forty people, what will definitely happen is that at least one candidate will be pronounced not viable within that caucus. If a candidate is not viable, his supporters will have to choose another guy. Now does anyone think that many Dean supporters will have Kerry as their second choice (or vice versa)? I don't think so. So even though Edwards won't get the plurality in the first vote, he'll probably pick up the most second choice votes. And that's how he wins.

Why Gephardt will finish last: a year ago, he was polling at about 20%. He'll still polling at 20%. So in a full year of campaigning, he didn't pick up a single vote. This isn't a guy that people will settle for a second choice.

ALSO Viking Pundit has a blogsphere roundup of predictions. And no, I won't be turning in my pundit badge for picking Edwards.
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