‘Twas The Night Before Iowa

In 24 hours, we will have a good idea as to which candidate won the Iowa Caucus, which candidates came in a close second and third, and which candidate (or candidates) decide to end their quest for the Republican nomination.  Here is what our friends from around the web have to say on the caucus:

TalkLeft:  “It’s the final night the long holiday weekend. Aside from the Iowa caucuses which I have no interest in, there’s not much to write about.”

Hopefully they will take more of an interest in the process once the Republican field narrows down to two or three viable candidates. Even if the primaries are not for your political party, you should always pay attention just so you can make an informed decision in November.

A Disgruntled Republican: “Despite Ron Paul’s favorable showing in Iowa, I think there is almost no chance he will be the Republican nominee. He is too far outside the political mainstream. Should he be the nominee, I think President Obama will be reelected in a landslide. Also, despite Romney’s top spot in Iowa today and his consistent holding on to about 20% of the Republican support nationwide, I do not think he will be the nominee. He is simply too moderate for most Republicans and has flip-flopped too often. I have been a Newt supporter but quite frankly am not encouraged that he can win the nomination. If he is the nominee, I think he could provide a strong challenge to Obama simply because he is so much more intelligent and informed than Obama and can better articulate his positions and has a good game plan for winning. In a debate, Newt will run circles around Obama and Newt can force Obama to debate. However Newt has a lot of baggage and with Obama’s vast campaign war chest we would see a very dirty campaign focusing on Newts negatives.”

That is a decent summary of the current Republican front-runners. The big question for the Republican leadership (not necessary the candidates) is how would they bring in the Ron Paul supporters if he fails to win the nomination, and keep him from running as a third-party candidate?

Liberal Values: “Another example of how little voters in the poll understand the actual position of the candidates is seen with Ron Paul. Those who see other Republicans as having view similar to their views say the same of Ron Paul. Regardless of whose views are preferable, it is clear that Ron Paul does not occupy the same portion of the political spectrum as other Republican candidates. This shows why Paul has surged in some Iowa polls, but once his views become known it is hard to see him surviving in GOP contests beyond Iowa and New Hampshire.”

This is why I said in regards to TalkLeft’s “apathy” that you need to be tuned in to the primary process. This is the dress rehearsal before the general election campaign where you can screen out which candidates do and do not match up with your views.

Questions and Observations: “That said, the GOP faithful are going to have to realize something – and before I say this, I want it understood it is not an endorsement of any of the above – they’re not going to get the perfect candidate. At some point they’re going to have to pick among those running and back that candidate if they want Barack Obama to begin planning his library. And it may entail holding their collective noses to do so … again.”

It is highly unlikely you will ever find a candidate that ever matches the “perfect” label. I could argue that even Ronald Reagan never met that criteria within the Republican party. And you don’t need “perfect,” but rather someone that is “complete” and competent.

Connecting.the.Dots: “This is the same Santorum who, after making headlines for zany comments on subjects ranging from Catholic priests’ child abuse to the Middle East, lost his bid for reelection only five years ago by 41 percent to 59, the largest margin of defeat ever for an incumbent Republican Senator in Pennsylvania.

Yet, here is a serious analysis that gives him a rising chance of actually winning the Caucuses based on his current momentum as desperate Rick Perry runs ads accusing Santorum as “proud of feeding at the earmark trough in Congress.”"

Iowa does tend to have a few surprises, and I fault a lot of that on the polling process. The Iowa Caucus depends on the ground game the candidate has, since it is a major investment of time by the Caucus goers in order to cast a vote. Unlike other primaries, where the voter simply arrives at a polling booth, casts a vote, and leaves, caucus goers spend hours listening to campaign pitches, debating the positions, and then voting. So could Santorum or Paul come out in the top three tomorrow (as polls suggest), or will we be “surprised?”

Chicago Argus: “WILL MITT ROMNEYwin? Will Ron Paul finish a close second place (as various polls of late indicate he just might)?

I’m more interested to see who finishes after them, and what becomes of the people who want those people to be U.S. president. Because if the Bachmann fanatics wind up remaining hard-core in their ideological leanings, then this primary has the potential to set the stage for an incredibly ugly general election cycle.”

That is a good point. Where does the support for “the losers” end up going after Iowa? It will depend on which candidate next best matches their personal views, and by seeing how those backers spread out among the remaining candidate can give you a good view of what is important to the Republican backers this year.

With that, let’s see what Iowa holds in store for us.  Like in the last election cycle, I will post the results once they are available.  Why not leave a comment below on who you think will (or shouldn’t) win and why.

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