Sunday, December 30, 2007

Iowa Republican Race: Romney vs Huckabee

Recent surges for Mike Huckabee make him a real contender in Iowa, and president picker now thinks Huckabee could even win Iowa although Romney will certainly be close. We continue to predict a Romney win in Iowa.

Recent polls show Romney and Huckabee neck and neck, each with about 30% in Iowa. McCain's weak Iowa showing reflects the problems with a system that puts so much emphasis on Iowa, where (stupid and foolish) heavy subsidies for Ethanol are popular. McCain, much to his credit, has opposed these subsidies and lost a lot of votes for doing that. McCain is now a frontrunner in New Hampshire - a state he won against GW Bush in the 2000 race.

Unlike the democratic caucus process Iowa's Republican race uses a ballot process, thus the polls are more relevant because people will not have to "stand up and argue" for their candidate as they do in the Democratic caucuses.

President Picker predicts that Huckabee's popularity will soon fade with a poor New Hampshire showing and increasingly public scrutiny.

President Picker Predictions: Look for a small Romney victory in Iowa and a McCain win in New Hampshire, Giuliani continues to fade as will Huckabee. McCain cash problems will hurt him in South Carolina. Thompson drops out after South Carolina or even New Hampshire.

Iowa Democrats - Clinton, Obama, Edwards almost a dead heat?

Real Clear Politics has a great examination of recent Iowa polling, and averages the latest information to get these numbers:

Clinton 28.4
Obama 26.4
Edwards 25.8

Averaging has some challenges but probably paints a better picture than any individual polling effort. By this measure the race is pretty much a dead heat (though I HATE ther terms "statistical dead heat" because it misleads people into thinking there is no difference between different numbers. There is a difference. When two numbers are within the polls margin of error it still means the top person is "more likely" to win, but suggests far more uncertainty than if the numbers are outside of the margin of error.

For example Richardson with under 10% has virtually no chance of an Iowa top 3 placement, but any of the top 3 could win this race.

However, I continue to believe Clinton will win due to superior organization and strategy and the football game which will affect men more than women and thus Clinton's popularity among Iowa women will be enhanced, but the game is not likely to be fully reflected in polls.

Prediction: Clinton Wins Iowa and also New Hampshire.