Although totally meaningless, it is sometimes fun to make predictions and commit them for further review at a later date. A sort of time capsule that remains open for viewing at any time. As such, and with all of the gravitas of a fortune teller, here are my predictions for the coming primary season.
Democrats: Although the race in Iowa has supposedly tightened up, I still think that Hillary will either win or come in a close second to Edwards. The reason for this is that Edwards has been camping out the most in Iowa, and has considerable support from the party regulars that he will be able to use. But Hillary has the advantage of the Clinton machine. Don't underestimate their ability to both get out the vote, and then to put the votes in the right places. If I remember right, Iowa has a threshold level of 15% for a candidate to be viable. That means that all of the Dodd, Biden, Richards and other supporters can be knocked off of their first choice by flooding precincts that have close support with her own supporters, and then persuade them to go with her inevitability. I just don't think that Joe Trippi (Edwards' campaign manager) has the ability to efficiently move supporters to the necessary precincts like Hillary's machine can. If Edwards wins, I think that he will fall to third at best in New Hampshire after Hillary and Barak. After that, South Carolina will probably be the nail in the coffin for Edwards, as the state rejects their native son and Hillary will sweep that state, and then all of the rest.
Barak will be poised for his return in 2012.
Republicans: Huckabee has been the media darling for the last few weeks, but that has also brought increased scrutiny. With Romney attacking Huckabee, they may be tied into a death spiral that will knock both down, although not enough to have a replacement winner of either McCain or Thompson. But, since the primary season has become so compressed, both Thompson and McCain will probably emerge as the new leaders after New Hampshire with McCain probably being the ultimate winner, but I am still hoping that "No fire in his belly" Thompson could pull off an upset in several Southern states, and actually make the race interesting.
Well, let's see what happens. Wish the Republic well. We will need it.