The Democratic Contest:
Obviously, Iowa is a three way race. With the race virtually tie in Iowa, it is easy to see either Clinton, Edwards, or Obama emerge with a victory. With New Hampshire following close on its heals it also seems likely that the winner of Iowa, should it be Obama or Clinton, also carries New Hampshire. If that is Clinton, I believe the Democratic primary is essentially over. If it is Obama, will Clinton's national lead provide her with a firewall when Michigan, South Carolina, Delaware, Nevada, and Florida vote. Where does Edwards go after a Iowa victory.
One thing nobody is talking about is what a third place finish in Iowa does to the Clinton campaign. Although the Bhutto assassination highlights Clinton's advantage in foreign policy, the second choice votes appear to be going to Obama and Edwards. Will Obama supporters actually turnout on election day unlike the Deaniacs in Iowa? My guess is that Edwards is going to carry the day with his strong Iowa machine. The labor union and rural support network should make his voters extremely reliable and his strength in second choice votes should help to carry the day. The question then is who gets the second ticket out of Iowa.
The Republican Contest:
Please nominate Mike Huckabee!!!! I am close to sending this guy a donation to make sure he comes out of the Republican primary. If the Republicans nominate Huckabee, the Democrats would win in a rout. This guy has so many policy liabilities.
My guess is that Huckabee wins in Iowa, but by a much smaller margin than possible, effectively hurting his chances of winning the nomination in an early rout. New Hampshire then will be decidedly, ironically, by who wins the Democratic caucus in Iowa. If Obama's campaign appears to be done, independents will swing to McCain and McCain's reemergence will be complete. If Obama still seems to be a viable candidate, I think Romney will hold on to a slim victory. The question then is can anybody gain momentum before Florida and prevent Giuliani from getting into the competition.
Basically, the Republican nomination is a real mess. The only thing we can say for sure is that Fred Thompson must be the most ineffective campaigner on the face of the Earth.