On the Republican side, the Iowa average currently stands at Huckabee 26.6% to 25.8% for Romney, with everyone else at less than half those totals. In New Hampshire, the average is Romey 34.2%, Giuliani 17.8%, McCain 16.2%, and Huckabee 10.0%. While I don't think there is any way that either Giuliani or McCain stays ahead of Huckabee after Iowa, I also think that a 24.2% lead is enough for Romney to hold onto New Hampshire even if he loses Iowa to Huckabee. So, after Romney and Huckabee finish 1-2 in both Iowa and New Hampshire, I imagine they will duke it out in those same positions all the way to the end, with other candidates dropping off quickly.
Wow, Romney versus Huckabee. How many people called that one eight months ago?
On January 31st of this year I said:
To me, the biggest threat to Democrats wanting the White House is no longer John McCain, but ex-AR Gov. Mike Huckabee. He really sounded great on the Daily Show. My wife remarked that she had no idea that he was a GOPer until the label appeared. His anti-fat campaign is something that many Americans can get behind. After all, there are lots of overweight people in America. His story of losing hundreds of pounds is about as inspiring as Obama's to some.
On December 5, 2006, I said
On the Veepstakes, I see Romney, Giuliani, and Huckabee for the GOP and Warner, Obama, Clark, Vilsack, and Richardson for the Democrats.
Now I might not be 100% right all the time, but I totaly saw the Huckabee boomlet happening many moons ago.
As we get closer to Iowa, I will do my best to project who I think will win that and future contests on both sides.
Right now it looks like Obama has momentum from the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner a couple weeks ago. Polls show he is narrowly in first place (inside the margin of error). But the better indicator is that Hillary Clinton is going after him hard. She wouldn't do that unless she was worried he might win Iowa.
People say it is a dumb idea on her part because it might cost her 1st or even 2nd in Iowa. But she would rather have John Edwards win than Obama win Iowa because of the money factor.
Odds of winning the nomination: HRC=50% Obama=35% Edwards=15%
Huckabee might win Iowa. If so, Romney is done. Huckabee is surging fast nationally, in Iowa, and even in New Hampshire. The Republican field is so soft that who ever looks like a winner will win everything, just like the Dems in 2004. Romney needs to put Huckabee away in Iowa (no close 2nds for Huckabee either). If he wins big in Iowa, his New Hampshire edge will hold or expand, and even if South Carolina doesn't go his way, I can't imagine he doesn't roll up the next set of races and ultimately the nomination. That's why Giulliani (and McCain and Thompson)'s people must be trying to figure out ways to help Huckabee in Iowa.
Odds: Romney=40% Huckabee=35% Giulliani=15% McCain and Thompson=5%