Iowa PredictionsJanuary 03, 2012
The Iowa caucuses start tonight, with votes trickling in about 12 hours from now (the photo is one I took of a Democratic Iowa caucus vote that I observed in 2008). With the race quite fluid and Republicans dramatically changing their minds in polls during this campaign cycle, no one can honestly say they know how the vote will turn out tonight--especially since the caucuses are famous for surprises. However, here are my predictions on what will happen tonight.
3. As a result of the vote, this week will see a candidate or two drop out. If Bachmann does indeed come in sixth place (or even fifth), she will drop out. If Perry is in fourth place he will probably stay in until South Carolina, but will likely drop out if he places fifth. If Gingrich is in fourth place he will stay in and might even try to stay in if he is in fifth because his campaign seems less about being president than it is about getting attention so he can sell books and DVDs. As more candidates drop out, it hurts Romney as there are fewer candidates splitting the vote against him--but if he wins tonight it might be too late regardless how many candidates drop out.