Friday, January 06, 2012
New Hampshire set to shape the rest of the race
After a somewhat surprising Iowa caucus, where Mitt Romney (above, campaigning in New Hampshire) literally squeaked by with a win over a strong showing from Rick Santorum, the New Hampshire primary will likely impact the rest of the battle for the GOP nomination. I did predict Romney to win in Iowa, but I stated that he would walk away with it.
Seven votes doth not a walk make. It turns out if a minivan full of Santorum voters made it to the caucus that night, Romney would have placed second.
The results are statistically tied, with both candidate expected to receive 7 delegates each out of the 25 that Iowa has once the results are verified. But it's the psychological boost that has helped Santorum emerge as a potential front-runner should he show well in New Hampshire.
Already his fundraising has drastically kicked up a notch, with (his campaign) reporting over $1 million donated in the immediate days following the caucus. Depending of how the vote turns out in New Hampshire, this may be either a brief speed bump in Romney's drive toward the nomination or it can be a sign that the Republican party is indeed too conservative for a relative moderate like Romney.
Keep in mind that although Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts, which boarders New Hampshire, it was four years ago when John McCain beat Romney by a margin of 37% to 31%. And that was well before all the hysterical caterwauling from the conservatives about "Romneycare".
OK, time for my prediction. My best guess is that Romney will win in New Hampshire but by a disappointingly small margin over a strong second-place performance by Santorum; Newt Gingrich will place 4th to a decent 3rd place showing by Ron Paul, and anyone left isn't even relevant.
Should this occur, the lead up to the two big contests in red states South Carolina (Jan. 21st) and Florida (Jan. 31st) will be very interesting.
Posted by CT Bob at 1/06/2012 04:40:00 PM