Iowa Caucus: Setting the odds!
The Fix is a terrible gambler. (And, of course, gambling is illegal.) But that doesn’t mean we don’t love to dabble in odds-making — especially when it comes to politics.
With less than 24 hours left until the Iowa caucuses — yes! — we have set our final odds for the six candidates hoping to win the Hawkeye State on Tuesday.
They’re below. Agree? Disagree? The comments section awaits.
Mitt Romney (1-1): The former Massachusetts governor is the best bet to win the caucuses because he is the only candidate aggressively competing for the mainstream/establishment vote in the state. The five others in the race are trying to emerge as the social-conservative/tea party choice.
Rick Santorum (4-1): A Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night made plain that the former senator from Pennsylvania is the momentum candidate. Although he took 15 percent overall in the four-day survey, he was at 21 percent in the final two days — a sign that he is peaking in the waning moments. The key for Santorum is how much of the vote he can peel off other socially conservative candidates — most notably Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who, despite major spending in Iowa, doesn’t appear to be rising fast enough.
Ron Paul (5-1): The congressman from Texas has the most reliable base — between 15 percent and 19 percent — in the field. But his ability to grow beyond that has always been very much up in the air, and it’s even more so now as Paul has come under withering attack from the likes of former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.). Both Bachmann and Gingrich have painted Paul not only as outside the mainstream of Republican Party thought, which he is, but also as potentially dangerous if elected.
Newt Gingrich (20-1): If the caucuses had been held Dec. 3, Gingrich would have won. But his baffling pledge not to go negative combined with his inability to raise enough money to compete with his rivals (and their affiliated super PACs) on television doomed his chances over the past month.
Rick Perry (25-1): The Texas governor’s has struggled to gain any real traction despite outspending all of his rivals in the Hawkeye State. That struggle reveals just how damaging his disastrous debate performances were late last year.
Michele Bachmann (50-1): Need a sign of how fluid this race has been? The congresswoman from Minnesota was the Iowa front-runner when she won the Ames Straw Poll in mid-August. A little more than four months later, she is the heavy favorite to finish last in the caucuses.