Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Nevada and South Carolina Predictions

I'm having a tough time posting as often as I might like, both here and at MyDD, thanks to a larger than normal homework load. Hopefully that will change next week.

In the meantime, I do predict that Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney will win their respective Nevada caucuses on Saturday, both by single digits over Obama and McCain. The culinary union's endorsment of Obama will certainly help him, but I don't think it will be enough to overcome Clinton's poll lead or her slam dunk answers on Yucca Mountain at last night's debate. (Never heard of Yucca Mountain? No worries, it's a non-issue in 49 different states.) Edwards could suprise, but I doubt it. He's stronger in Nevada than he is just about anywhere else, but the only major January NV polls (ARG and Research 2000) both have him in third, and he doesn't have the organizational strength of Obama's culinary endorsment.

Romney's win will come because of his sons' campaigning and his strength in the west (he won Wyoming, and you know he's got Utah and Idaho). Some folks are suggesting Paul could pull of a surprise win as the only Republican to run commercials in the state, but again, I doubt it - his polls aren't anywhere near first. I figure he'll finish behind Romney, McCain, Huckabee and Thompson (in that order), though I wouldn't be shocked if he took a narrow third over Huck and Thompson.

Admittedly, I don't know the demographic makeup of the undecideds on either side, and it was the all-female makeup of the NH undecideds that swung that race at the last minute. Turnout is also crazy weird to understand.

The all-important South Carolina Republican primary will also be on Saturday, but that's even harder to predict. McCain's leading all the recent polls, but I think Huckabee's built-in Southern evangelical constituency and the third-party attacks against McCain will give Huckabee a narrow win, with Romney a distant third and Thompson's lazy savior campaign collapsing. Florida may ultimately decide the GOP nominee on Jan. 29, with Feb. 5 confirming the decision.

Rudy who?

And now it's back to the Latin.

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