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The Insiders
Posted at 01:22 PM ET, 01/03/2012

In the Iowa caucuses, the hay is in the barn

I’m overloaded with Iowa analysis. We will soon know who won, and everyone will chime in with why they won, and what it means. As they say in Iowa, the hay (or the corn) is in the barn. It’s time to wait and see what happens.

But, oh by the way, the 2012 race will return to Iowa. It is a must-win state for President Obama, and he carried it by 9.53% over Senator John McCain in 2008. Since then, Iowans have elected a Republican Governor, and President Obama’s approval numbers have gone through the floor. According to Public Policy Polling, President Obama’s job approval in Iowa is at 43%, and disapproval is at 52%.  As with other states, the problem President Obama has is mostly because of his handling of the economy.  And Iowa is suffering less from the recession than other states.  I’ve said for at least two years President Obama doesn’t have any problems that a few quarters of 4% GDP growth won’t solve.  Well, that’s not going to happen.  The polls will move around a lot, but it clearly shows the 2012 race is starting off with a lot of dissatisfaction with Obama in a state that he will critically need in his equation for 272 electoral votes.  But more about that in the months ahead. 

One last Iowa observation.  Of the six truly active candidates – Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Paul, and Bachmann – there are probably only two certain losers.  Ron Paul may win, but that’s discounted, because he lives in a parallel political universe from the rest of the candidates.  It doesn’t look like anything is going to happen that will really hurt Romney.  Santorum will beat expectations.  Whoever wins the Gingrich-Perry race will have a viable case to make in South Carolina.  But the loser between those two is probably finished, and unless Bachmann somehow finishes ahead of Gingrich and Perry, she’s headed back to the House.  I could continue, but I’ll show mercy.  Let’s all just wait a few hours. 

By  |  01:22 PM ET, 01/03/2012

 
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