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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

ELECTION NIGHT, THE 2012 IOWA REPUBLICAN CAUCUS





Tonight is the first round of the Republican Nomination with the Iowa Caucus.

My prediction:

Romney 21%, Paul 18%, Santorum 17%

Top 3 within 5% of each other

Perry 10%


RATIONALE

We have seen the sharp rise and slow fall of many Republican candidates for president. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich…

There is one candidate that has been holding steady at around 22%...

Mitt Romney, who ran for the Republican Nomination four years ago, the former Massachusetts governor from 2003-07, CEO for the 2002 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, co-founder of Bain Capital, and ran against Ted Kennedy for the US Senate in 1994.

Based on what I have read and observed from the sideshow that is the Republican Nomination, Romney is shaping up to finish in the top three in Iowa and establishing himself as the front runner for his party’s nomination.

Though if I was a Republican, I would be concerned about his inability to rise above 25, 30, the next threshold. Every time that a candidate has risen and fallen, that support has gone to another candidate who has experienced the same fate. And now we are at the point where the party is deciding who their nominee not just for President, but who will be representing their party’s ideals in the November general election.

Intrade has Mitt Romney at an 80% chance of winning the Republican Nomination for President. Again, he has yet to rise above 30% support in primary polling. Now of course, I would expect the number to rise as more candidates drop out of the race, but is that number going to rise because Republicans feel energized about Romney or they are begrudgingly accepting that he is their candidate?

I think Iowa will tell that. If Romney roars to victory, then he will easily cruise to the nomination in Tampa that is taking place late in the summer. However (comma) that scenario is very unlikely.

Another candidate that participated in 2008 is seeing the possibility that they could win Iowa. Texas congressman Ron Paul who had a long career as an OB-GYN and represents the libertarian wing of his party appears to be within striking distance of winning the state.

Paul’s message of anti-government and foreign policy isolationism has struck a chord with voters. He has taken a page from Obama’s 2008 Playbook and learned the lessons of previous campaigns. Paul has instructed his supporters to shave and not tweet and they are even holding dry runs for caucuses tonight. It is troubling that there are his newsletters from the 1990s that express extreme racist, homophobic, and misogynist views. He even has the support of David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who ran for governor of Louisiana in 1991.

Finally, we get to the recent Republican flavor of the month: Rick Santorum, the Senator from Pennsylvania who is representative of his party’s social conservative views.

Instead of Romney benefiting from Gingrich’s slow fall, there has been a Santorum surge forming, a bubble if you can call it. Eventually the bubble will pop and there will be another mess from a failed campaign.

Now, who drops out? I think Bachmann is very likely to drop out but I think it won’t happen until between New Hampshire and South Carolina. Along with Governor Rick Perry, those two are going to need South Carolina to move on to the next round. They may do well with the evangelical base there, but as of the most recent polling from December 2011 showed that Gingrich has a double digit lead.

So, conclusion…

It will be a close race. Bachmann and Huntsman will have some decisions to make as whether it is best to continue on or close up shop. Perry, like Don Quixote charging the windmills, will continue his miserable pursuit to the nomination.

Each of the top three will claim victory in some way, but the true winner in all this will be this guy…


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