Last Thursday was Iowa’s caucus night. It was a media bonanza. On the Democratic side Barack Obama took 38%, Edwards 30%, and Clinton 29%, while for the Republicans Huckabee ran away with 34% over Romney’s 25%. Thompson and McCain each took 13%, Ron Paul 10%, and Giuliani at 4%.
Apparently 60% of republican caucus-goers identified themselves as evangelical. They overwhelmingly went for Huckabee, and all Romney’s cash could only muster 25%. It got Huckabee a solid upset victory and perhaps more importantly, Romney a significant defeat.
Romney picked up a preposterous chunk of Wyoming but hey, it’s probably the only state where Cheney could be on the ticket and probably win! Now how preposterous is that?
The Republican contest is as, if not more, interesting because rather than having too many favorites, there just aren’t any.
McCain is slotted to do very well in N.H. and he probably will come out on top, but I doubt it will be HUGE. Romney will probably do well enough. In Iowa, we learned money can’t necessarily buy you a win but it can probably buy you ‘okay’ with reasonable assurances.
While McCain will likely take the republican lead in N.H., the state has a equal number of independents as republicans and democrats. He garnered a lot of support from them in 2000. This year they seem to be turning out for Obama instead. McCain is picking up mostly traditional party supporters. He has to share them with the rest of the ‘traditionalists’ though – Romney, Thompson, even Giuliani. And then there’s Ron Paul. He obviously has a lot of support and N.H. seems like the place where it’s likely to run strong. That could pull him up in the standings.
What I’d hate to see is Huckabee take Iowa (too late), McCain takes N.H and gets a bump, Romney then takes Michigan by only a moderate margin, Huckabee wins big in South Carolina, and the party puppet masters are left scratching their heads with no real frontrunner… just in time for Giuliani to snatch up Florida and plant his flag in the race. And if that doesn’t happen, Huckabee quite possibly sweep the bible belt and end up splitting the country with Romney or McCain. Wouldn’t that be funny… we’d have to add another color to the red state, blue state scheme. Ahh, reality… ain’t it a bitch?