Today, I'm going to take some time to write out my predictions for the presidential race. (so that on the rare chance I'm right I can have proof.)
We're going into the New Hampshire primary Tuesday. On the Republican side, either McCain or Romney are out after it. McCain is definitely
out if he loses, Romney might keep throwing money at his dying campaign though if he loses, but is still ultimately done. My guess is McCain, he won the state in 2000 and there are a lot
of independents (assuming enough vote in the Republican primary.)
On the Democratic side, Clinton will be out if she doesn't pull of a win. Edwards is out if he can't pull of second place. All in all, I'm betting on Obama
again because of the independents and his momentum from Iowa. Huckabee
needs McCain to win to get rid of Romney. (politics makes strange bedfellows) If Obama
does lose New Hampshire, a state he should get, to Clinton, he might be done with. Clinton will be able to claim she's the "comeback kid." He won't drop out yet though. I think Edwards will come in third and be eliminated since he has an anti-corporation message that won't carry in New Hampshire, a state that is more adapted to globalization than Iowa and thus depended upon globalization.
So on the Republican side it will be Huckabee
versus McCain as we go into Michigan and South Carolina. (or Romney if he wins NH) Giuliani is holding off until Florida. I personally don't feel his strategy of ignoring the first few states and waiting until the big states and Super Tuesday is going to work. (If it did and he won the nomination, Iowa and New Hampshire wouldn't forgive him for ignoring them.) Giuliani right now needs Huckabee
to do well, so he'll take votes away from McCain in Michigan and South Carolina. McCain is screwed in South Carolina, he lost there in 2000, the large evangelical population will deliver Huckabee
a win there. That will probably eliminate McCain, although if he wins Michigan he might be able to keep going. (Michigan a must win for McCain. If Huckabee
were to lose South Carolina he's out, that's a must win for him.) That means Huckabee
(possibly McCain as well but probably not) versus Giuliani (which Giuliani wants) in Florida and on Super Tuesday. (It would probably aid Huckabee
more if McCain did campaign in Florida before he gives up.) After Super Tuesday we have a nominee. I'm betting and hoping on Huckabee
. It should be pointed out the traditional Republican establishment is against Huckabee
, so he is fighting that.
On the Democratic side, Clinton will have been knocked out effectively in New Hampshire, although she probably won't drop out, she's got the Clinton legacy riding on her. Edwards needs Clinton gone to have a shot. I think Obama
though wins against Edwards or even Clinton is she stays in. The black vote will go for Obama
in South Carolina. Definitely
by Super Tuesday, although my guess is before that Obama
has the nomination effectively sealed.
This brings us to the general election, Obama
. (I'm more willing to bet on Obama
getting the Democratic nomination than Huckabee
the Republican, for the record.) To be honest, the Republicans
have an uphill battle no matter the nominees. I think Obama
wins against any one the Republicans throw at him. On the other hand, if I'm wrong and Clinton won, its more up in the air, she's a polarizing figure. As a Republican I hope she gets the Democratic nomination. I don't think Edwards wins the Democratic nomination, but it would be easier for the Republicans if he won over Obama
as well. McCain might have a better shot at the general than Huckabee
, if he could get the nomination. He would certainly stress his foreign policy credentials, obviously not important in a time of war. However, a Republican president got us into it, and so the electorate might not trust any Republican to get us out.
The last time a sitting senator was elected president was 1960, JFK. Its immensely hard for a senator to win because they have a voting record. I think the clamor for change could probably outweigh that factor. Whatever Republican wins the nomination is going to have the make the case that they are a candidate of change. I think Huckabee
could make that case. What worries me about Huckabee
, even though I support him, is that he could be perceived as the evangelical candidate. He won 46% of the evangelical vote, but only 14% of the non-evangelical vote in Iowa. Obviously a large part of the Republican party is evangelical, which helps him get the nomination, but could hurt him in the general. He will have to overcome that perception, allowing him to keep the evangelical vote and motivate them to come to the polls, but not let that define his candidacy so he can grab moderates. He is not the typical Republican, so he'll have to work to grab the economic conservatives. He is very articulate, so I think he a good shot of doing that. As David Gregory of NBC News said on a panel, he hears Huckabee
talking about his faith in a way that is not exclusive and is how many people see their faith and is thus appealing. That's a good thing if he's going to win.
So if I were betting, Obama
wins, but I want and hope Huckabee