Caucus Predictions: A Fool's Errand, but Popular Nonetheless
Fred Barnes on Fox News just predicted that Obama will best Clinton tonight, and that because of Clinton's formerly inevitable status, it will make worldwide news. That's a courageous move by Barnes only because making any predictions today is risky—any of the top three Democrats could win and either Romney or Huckabee could take the Republican race. I'm going to chicken out/be completely honest and admit that I have no real idea what's going to happen. I think the Des Moines Register's last poll will be correct enough to give Obama a slight win, but let's not put that in print or on a blog or anything. And I think Romney's long-established and well-financed turnout machine will give the former MA governor the win over Huckabee and his still-nascent campaign. But again, I'm not going to stand by that. Aren't you glad I'm here?
Let's take a look around the punditocracy and see what the predictions are of those a little ballsier than I.
Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics has this to say:
I'll be shocked if Barack Obama doesn't win. In fact, I think he's potentially sitting on a very big win. He seems to have upward momentum in the polls, his crowds are huge, and his message appears to still be connecting with voters and there is no indication that he's experiencing an erosion of support in the final hours of the campaign. In other words, all the signs are pointing to a strong finish for Obama.
As I've said before, that will open the door for him to run the table on Clinton in the early states, especially if she finishes third - which I think she might. I'm hesitant to underestimate the Clinton people or their organizing ability, but from what I can tell she has nowhere near the enthusiasm in her campaign or among her supporters to match Edwards or Obama....
On the Republican side, the two-man race is literally a coin flip. My sense is the campaigns themselves believe it is so close it could go either way. Romney appears to have the better organization, but the polls say Huckabee has the more committed supporters.
Tom Schaller at the American Prospect: