A few weeks ago, back when it was still 2007 and I could still eat solid food (yesterday I ate soup!), I made a few predictions about Iowa.
If I had to bet--and I don't think I would, because there is no clear frontrunner in Iowa on either side right now, but if someone gave me two quarters and said, "Here, bet these"--if I had to bet, I would bet on Hillary Clinton and Willard "Mitt" Romney.I missed that, but hedged enough, I think, that I'm in the clear. Look, it was close, particularly for the Democrats. When you look at the totals, in fact, you see that Obama, Clinton, and Edwards are estimated to receive 16, 15, and 14 of Iowa's delegates to the convention--aside from a three-way tie, that's really as close as you can get to even.
Even if Clinton comes in second--I have a hard time seeing her third--the other two will have to work hard to stop her.That "I have a hard time . . ." aside is where I most blew it, because, despite the fact that she's being estimated to receive one delegate more than Edwards, she lost to him by about a quarter of a percent. In real terms, that's negligible. In rhetorical terms, that huge for Edwards. He's still the longest shot of the three, of course, but those few hundred extra caucusers are a big get for him.
If Obama can turn out independents the way he did students in Iowa, then this is over--two for two is going to be the media's definition of de facto winning, even though there could be time for Clinton to catch up.
So, Romney-Huckabee-McCain (probably) or Huckabee-Romney-McCainThe second of those two was right. Fred Thompson made a better showing than I expected, tying McCain for third--beating him, actually, by a couple hundred votes, though the full totals still aren't in for the GOP. Although for both McCain and Thompson, that's kind of academic, as they were a full 20% behind front-runner Huckabee, and more than 10% behind Romney.
Everyone is loving on McCain--he didn't campaign in Iowa but still did as well as people who did--but will it be enough to win him Hew Hampshire over Romney? We'll see.
Thompson's finish means the odds are about 50-50, I think, that Sean Hackbarth will really need a couch to sleep on next week. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden have already dropped out on the Democrats' side, and Republican Duncan Hunter will also find the exit soon.
In any case, I still don't see how our votes here on February 19 will matter much. In fact, most of the Milwaukee area won't even have reason to turn out and vote in local races that day--though I will have two primaries to vote in.
Here's the best news I've read, though:
Total Voter Turnout (approximate): 356,000Democrats are as fired up this year as we were in 2006. That's a very good sign.
Percentage of total vote
24.5% Obama (D)
20.5% Edwards (D)
19.8% Clinton (D)
11.4% Huckabee (R)