I have no real inclinations about who will win in Ames, both because no polling is reliable (this is an event where candidates purchase “tickets” and win by bussing in the most people, basically) and because I’m not exactly in-tune with Iowa conservatives.
But I move forward undeterred!
Here are my predictions, for fun.
1st – Bachmann. She’ll edge out Paul and try to use the win to bolster (read: create) her “serious candidate” credentials. The fact of the matter is that probably either Paul or Bachmann will win, and both outcomes are not looked forward to by the party elders.
Also, Bachmann is going to be on all five morning shows Sunday. If she wins in Ames tomorrow, well, it’s going to be an awkward morning for just about all of Washington.
2nd – Ron Paul. Anything other than 1st place doesn’t really help him.
3rd – Pawlenty. If he doesn’t come in third (or better) he is slated to be written off by most in the media, from what I’ve seen.
4th – Santorum. I suspect he could make a surprise placing here. Maybe not though. As long as people never ever google Santorum he should be just fine.
After that, it doesn’t matter. Perry could finish in 4th from write-ins, maybe even 3rd. He is running some ads in the state telling people to write him in. Cain probably won’t place, but will probably give a rousing speech (candidates speaks for 15 minutes each before the final vote). McCotter will get like 4 votes. Palin could do alright as a write in candidate, but I wouldn’t expect anything higher than about 7th unless a whisper campaign to vote for her is started tomorrow morning (which would make for a hella interesting day). No idea how Gingrich will do, but if it isn’t better than 4th it doesn’t matter, and I can’t imagine it will be.
I feel like I’m missing someone.
Oh yea. Huntsman will probably finish last. He gave up on Iowa a long time ago.
Oh and Romney. He isn’t bothering to spend any time on the whole Ames shindig. He could finish top four, but it’s doubtful. Doesn’t matter how he finishes anyways, unless it’s 1st or 2nd, and it won’t be.
I suspect that Romney’s singular focus on New Hampshire may follow the path of Giuliani’s (doomed) focus on Florida in 2008, but that is a story for another day.
I might liveblog the speeches tomorrow if nothing else is going on. Until then~