"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Iowa Prediction

This is going out on a limb, but here are my predictions for the Iowa caucus:

1. Romney - by a nose.   Too much organizational strength, which matters in the caucuses.
2. Santorum - closing fast.   Great effort at "retail politics," and I also think he'll get a boost from evangelicals from the story that hit yesterday about his loss of a child in the 1990s, and the attack on his decision with his wife to bring the baby home for the funeral and to meet his other children.   Anti-Catholics may not understand this decision, but Catholics do, and I think Evangelicals will.  (See below.)
3. Paul - mildly fading.   The Paul supporters will come out, but I think he gets fewer Republicans and fewer Independents than he might have thought.
4. Perry - mildly climbing.   But it's not enough... there will be talk about him withdrawing after a disappointing showing.
5. Gingrich - fading fast.   And inevitably, in my judgment.   Too many people had the reaction: "We're not really going to nominate him, are we?"
6. Bachmann - also fading fast.   The hard-line conservatives are breaking from her and Perry to Santorum late.
7. Huntsman - not even trying.   Huntsman is hoping for a strong showing in New Hampshire.   This looks like the failed Giuliani strategy from 2008 redux.

So, at the end of the day, it looks like the conservative "not-Romney" vote may be coalescing around Santorum.   Which is probably just fine with Romney, since he's going to win NH big next week, and count on the inevitability talk (and the big money) to follow.


Here is Santorum responding to the attack on his decision about his baby by the liberal commentator Alan Colmes.   It's pretty gracious (and attractive) under the circumstances:

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