So here we are on the eve of the second day of presidential caucusing for 2008 and nobody is even talking about it with "it" being Wyoming's caucuses. As bad as it makes me feel, I don't plan to discuss it either. Instead, here are my thoughts about the upcoming primaries minus Wyoming:
I won't say much about the Democrat side other than sharing the idea that if Edwards and Obama split the anti-Hillary vote, and Edwards is likely to bail early in the process, those votes should shift to Obama giving him a huge boost in the more Hillary-favored states. After his comfortable victory in Iowa, he has momentum and looks more and more like a tough competitor to Hillary.
As for Republicans, it came as no surprise that Huckabee won in Iowa. What was unexpected by some, including yours truly, was the margin by which he won. Of course, the evangelical supporters Huckabee has in Iowa don't exist at that level in most other states, so Huckabee should savor the victory and hope the momentum helps carry him in other states. But the reality is, he doesn't have that kind of support in more than a handful of states, and he has no money to work on boosting his image in the other states. This is the high mark for the Huckabee campaign although strong wins in Michigan and South Carolina can help him hold on longer.
Romney didn't have to win Iowa, but a closer second certainly would have helped him. Romney will likely win in New Hampshire and probably win in Michigan by a narrow margin. If he loses either state by a significant margin, he is in trouble. But if he loses New Hampshire, he may begin losing supporters who will worry that he can't win it all. He is doing okay in South Carolina which is all he has to do to stay in the game provided he does well in New Hampshire and Michigan as expected. Likewise, finishing strong in Nevada and Florida coupled with a win or close second in New Hampshire and Michigan puts him in position to take most of the marbles on Super Tuesday.
Despite what some have said about McCain, I think he's definitely in the game. He may show strong results in New Hampshire and Michigan which could give him the boost he needs, but it gets tougher after that. If he can maintain his momentum with reasonable showings in Nevada and Florida, he may have enough to show some surprises on Super Tuesday.
Giuliani is getting more and more difficult to gauge as his numbers slide. Of course, his best is ahead of him with a possible decent showing in New Hampshire, and very good chances in Nevada and Florida where he will be duking it out with Romney in what will likely be close races. A couple of strong victories here will position him well for February.
Thompson won't last much longer and will soon shift his support to McCain. Many of his supporters will move to Romney's camp, however. If Huckabee fades quickly, he will be the next to bail and his supporters will split between McCain and Romney. This could have a substantial impact on the outcome for the remaining three candidates.
Anyone recruiting VP candidates?