Thursday, January 15, 2004


I thought of simply waiting until Sunday night to make my predictions for Iowa, but that seemed a bit too timid. So, here I am putting myself out there. Feel free to take me to task on Tuesday.

1. Dean-------28%
2. Kerry-------26%
3. Edwards----25%
4. Gephardt---21%

You read it here first folks. The first big shock of '04 is that Gephardt will finish fourth in Iowa. Kerry and Edwards have both surged in the past 7 days taking support from both Dean and Gephardt. Assuming this trend continues, a good chunk of the undecideds will break that way. I also guess that Kucinich's supporters will switch to Dean on second ballots as they have no other place to go.

I thought about Kerry pulling off the unthinkable and topping Dean, but I am not convinced that he has the foot soldiers necessary. Though, the point has been made that Kerry's army of state legislators may be enough to pull off a coup on caucus night. I would be shocked to see Edwards leap over Kerry and/or Dean as he does not have the grassroots support of Dean or the elite support of Kerry, but strange things sometimes happen in Iowa.

Gephardt has been hurt by his battle with Dean (I would argue both men have bruised each other) and lingering misgivings about a repeat of 1988 when Geppy won Iowa only to run out of money a few weeks later. And Gephardt himself has not been so convincing when I have seen him answer that question. So, lingering doubts and desire for a new face drive Gephardt into fourth in Iowa. The only question left is who he will endorse- my guess would be Kerry.

If that sort of endorsement came prior to NH, Kerry may have a chance of finishing first in the Granite State, which just a few weeks ago was looking like the shoals upon which his campaign would run aground.

This race seems to get weirder by the hour.


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