Only a fool tries to predict the Iowa caucuses

Which makes me, and others, fools.

Local politico Sandeep Kaushik is ready to throw down a prediction for the Iowa caucuses—with one big caveat:

Only a fool would try to predict the outcome of the Iowa caucuses. It’s a suckers bet.

Having said that, Kaushik offers a prediction, and even a point-spread. He says:

Edwards wins Iowa cleanly:

Edwards 34

Clinton 27

Obama 25

I think Sandeep has it pretty much nailed. There are, however, a few days to go, so the numbers might move a little bit.

My prediction:

Edwards 34

Obama 28

Clinton 28

Richardson or Kucinich comes in 4th

On the GOP side, I’m a little less specific:

Huckabee BEATS Romney, with McCain coming in 3rd

I invite my fellow HA contributors to add their predictions to this post!

In a surprise upset, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg wins the Democratic caucus, while Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel takes the top spot for the Republicans, despite the fact that neither is running. Or maybe vice versa. Because DC sage David Broder just couldn’t be that wrong.


  1. 1


    My wild-ass predictions:


    Clinton – 28
    Edwards – 26
    Obama – 23
    Kucinich – 6
    Dodd – 5
    Biden – 5
    Richardson – 3


    Huckabee – 38
    McCain – 17
    Romney – 15
    Thompson – 12
    Paul – 6

  2. 3

    YLB spews:

    There is a defining moment when the haze and the smoke clears and it becomes obvious who you have to support for the highest office in the land. That moment has come for me:

    “[Sen. Clinton’s] lesson is to give them a seat at the table. I think if you give drug companies and insurance companies a seat at the table, they will eat all the food. I think you have to take power away from them. I do not think they’re ever going to voluntarily give away their power. You have to take them on, confront them, and fight them. I think that is the way we have universal health care – you have to take them on, confront them, and fight them.


    The Republicans are hopelessly split and the beltway and Wall Street are now pushing Bloomberg to split the Dem vote.

    Sideline the billionaire, support the REAL Dem – John Edwards, the man with the most dangerous message to the beltway crowd – take the power from the corrupt corporate elites and give it back to the people where it belongs.

  3. 4



    Iowa is pretty hard to figure since so much depends on the relative machines. One thought from my Obamian POV, … essentially no one considers HRC their second choice. If Obama gets the second level votes, this could be a surprise.

    Another thought, months ago I raised the spectre of a REAL convention. At least numerically, that is beginning to look possible!

    Months ago the claim was the HRC needed to make 40% or better in Iowa and NH to go into the national scence with surety of going to the conventi0n with ~50%. If she deos not get the 50%, or at least 40% going into the convention, this thing will become chaos … we will be back into the back room deals!

    I’spect if we do get that far, HRC will be the candydate, but Edwards and Obama will be in awedsome bargaining position.

    OTOH, if HRC does not get through super Tuesday with at least 40%,l suspect she will be dead meat. I do not know bow Edwards can campaiogn natrionally ,, he does not have the money, but Barack’s money machine is awesome and barely tapped.

    Bottom line:

    NH+Iowa .. Hillary MUST not only win but get 40-50% of the toal vote.

    In not? We are off to a roller coaster.

    The Reprican situation is worse. As of the last day of 07, they have no viable candydates. The image of Mccain (who I kike) fighting it out with the Moromon Bishop (SIC) WHILE KAMIKAZES from Ron Paul to Blumberg circle the battle scene is music to aa dem’s ears. I do not mean to count ot RG either, Folks need to ‘member that the transvestite mayor has hired the worst of Robian Rumor mongers as campaign aids. He is utterly capable to launching death star!

    Oner last Ewok to consider … do jot ocunt OBL out. He must want a Bush like Prexyhood. His candydate has a nmae ..Guiliani! Imagine how OBL would work his subtle magic:

    hostage crisis
    bomb belts on the march in American shopping malls
    who DID sends out the anthrax?

  4. 5

    bluesky spews:

    jeezo. Get with the program. Don’t you all know that Hillary Clinton has been selected for us? Of course she will just squeak by, but intentionally, so that the stupid “first in the nation” caucus and primary appear to be legit. And why is it that 35,000 (or whatever the numbert) white people in Iowa, and a like number of white people in New Hampshire appear to direct the country’s choices? So very bizarre.

  5. 6


    Bloomberg is not going to split the Dem vote. He was an even more enthusiastic Iraq War supporter than Hillary. As far as third-party candidacies splitting the Dem’s, I’d be more worried about Paul (but even he will likely hurt Republicans more).

  6. 7


    YLB– I agree with you on the Democratic candidates. In 2004, I was the only Edwards supporter in my precinct caucus. I like the man, $400 haircut and all. He’s a billionaire, but he remembers what it’s like to work for a living. If only he were taller and had a deeper voice!

    Jana C.H.
    Saith JcH: If I can’t have Big Al, I want Little John.

  7. 8


    The smart money isn’t on who will win whatever, but it covers the spread and fades the shooter. There’s no percentage in predicting a “winner” since every candidate who finishes in the top three (maybe up to top five) will declare themselves to have “won.”

    Trying to predict a winner in something like this is like trying to predict the winner of the on-screen hydro races at Safeco Field; like, it really matters?

    Rumor has it that several on the Dem side are looking to have Dean Logan fly out from LA to tabulate cauci results…but it’s just a rumor.

    You have as much success tossing a deck of cards into the air and predicing which cards will land face up than you do predicting winners where the field resembles a cast of thousands. It’s like the tar baby: the more you swing, the stucker you get.

    The Piper

  8. 9


    You have as much success tossing a deck of cards into the air and predicing which cards will land face up than you do predicting winners where the field resembles a cast of thousands.

    Who cares?

  9. 10


    @7 Edwards’ fortune ..

    Billionaire??? I don’t think so.

    Just an overpaid, talented aggressive, ambitious lawyer trying to make up for not getting on the football team at Clemson.

  10. 13



    The point is, just as Will stated in his title to this thread, “Only a fool tries to predict the Iowa caucuses,” and my Momma, good Republican and DAR member that she was, didn’t raise no fool!

    Happy New Year!

    The Piper

  11. 14

    YLB spews:

    Lee – Bloomberg is a Wall Street billionaire from NYC. He’s not going to play in the red states. Bloomberg will play the success card to split off naive Dem voters and flip-flop on his record on Iraq.

    He won’t succeed (win anything) but the objective is the continuation of Republican policies. It’s a greedhead play.

    The establishment is panicking over the disarray among the Republicans and in sheer terror over the Dem Slate. The people are not enthusiastic over Hillary’s hard sell of a return to the 90’s or Obama’s Kumbaya message.

    That leaves a HUGE opening for a candidate who is speaking the truth about what it will take for the people to take back this country and that candidate is John Edwards.

  12. 15



    John Edwards is a divisive candidate running on a class envy platform that pits one group of Americans against another; he’s the personification of a divider, not a uniter.

    Only someone who steals my ballot and marks it up will ever associate my name with HRC or Barack Obama, but they’re so head and shoulders above Envy Edwards it’s not funny. It’s not just the $400 haircuts, but it’s the mansion, the way he treats his neighbors such that they loath him, his primping in front of a mirror (I can see the Republican campaign ads right now…like Dukakis in the tank), and his craven, hate driven vitriol.

    At least Obama appeals to people as someone who comes across as genuine…shallow in terms of experience and out to lunch in terms of positions on issues, but genuine.

    And HRC? While she reminds everyone of either a particularly nasty ex-wife or a mother-in-law from Hell, she’s a known quantity. That the more you know her, the less you like her is beside the point.

    Edwards reminds me of Huey Long, the Louisiana Kingfisher, who made presidential noises back in the 30’s. He’s also reminiscent in his style and divisive patronizing of George Wallace. Both candidates stirred angry passions, and both candidates suffered as a result.

    And it looks like Edwards and his pals in the SEIU are playing fast and loose with certain election rules, per what David Postman has on his blog.

    Given the “character” of both of them, why does this not surprise me???

    The Piper

  13. 16

    Roger Maggot's War spews:

    Alan Keyes takes it. Both sides. Leading to the Keyes-Borat fusion ticket that wins by acclamation in November.

  14. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 I go with Lee; I think Huckabee takes Romney out of the race, and McCain goes on to thrash Huckabee in the next round — and possibly emerges as the dark-horse nominee.

    As for the Dems, the latest polls tell me to expect a narrow Edwards win in Iowa — which, if it happens, could threaten to derail the Hillary Express. It wouldn’t vault Edwards into front-runner status, though. He would have to win in New Hampshire and several other early contests for that to happen. Between the three of them … gee, I don’t know. I think I’d vote for Dodd, but he’s not really in the running. Between the top three, I think I have a slight preference for Edwards.

  15. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 “He’s a billionaire”

    He’s not — nowhere near. He’s worth about $40 million.

  16. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 Wrongo, not finishing first in Iowa will be a clear-cut defeat for Romney, and getting beat 2-to-1 by Huckabee would be a disaster.

  17. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 Wrong again, crackpiper. It’s the Republicans who are waging class warfare, and everyone (except you and a few other hardcore wingheads) knows it.

  18. 22

    YLB spews:

    15 – There you go. The establishment line on Edwards with a heavy shot of neo-con insanity.

    That signals to me that Edwards is on the mark!

  19. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 Would you like to put money on that? Paid in advance to an escrow agent, of course (given the track record of wingnut trolls on this board paying their bets).

  20. 24

    Roger's Wade Crook Investment Seminar spews:

    Absolutely. Not.

    I’m a what’s-the-matter-with-Kansas kind of Republican (from Wyoming), so no money to spare for gambling or gamboling. Even on a sure thing like Keyes-Borat ’08.

  21. 25

    Roger's Wade Crook Investment Seminar spews:

    But seriously: Huckster’s not holding up this week. To know him is to love him less. Romney buys Iowa, as planned, then munches Manchester and its Union Leader.

  22. 26



    Hey! I offerred odds for all the Richard Pope partisans, but they chickened out. No guts, no glory…Wouldn’t put their money where their HA’s were. And I was willing to trust them even though Pope’s electoral disaster was about as obvious as rain in December in this neck of the woods.

    Besides, Borat is about to get killed off. See

    Additionally, he would be Constitutionally disqualified from running since he’s not a natural born U.S. citizen.

    The Piper

  23. 27

    Bob Barr, then ... spews:

    You mean there’s a Constitutional disqualification barring a dead foreigner from being VP? So how’d we end up with space-alien zombie-VP AlGore?

    Maybe ACLU-tard Bob Barr, who co-starred with Keyes in Borat, can take the second spot. Sort of like Shriver stepping in for shockin’ Tom Eagleton.

    And Cocaine Charlie Wilson can still run the guns, unless he’s dead, too.

  24. 28

    Down the John spews:

    $40 mil was a wild-ass-guess estimate of the net worth, in 2004, of GWB or Cheney. Edwards, then, was close to $80 mil. Very Hairy Kerry, with help from Teresa, was about $1 billion.

    Edwards remembers what it was like to work for a living? He claims to remember what it was like for his father to work for a living. Not the same thing.

  25. 29

    Zander spews:


    The Edwards Caucus watch party will be at the Spitfire on the 3rd. We’re hoping for a good night.


  26. 30


    @1 Lee

    You still miscalculated. Only voites over 16% will be counted by Dems in IA.

    Fortunately, there is way of determining how the low vote will split. The candidates have ordered sandwiches at the local supermarkets and the local food chains have used a cross analysis of their loyalty cards vs the candidates registration lists. They used this to estimate the numnber of The number of Tunfsh, roast beast, turkey on rye and vegan tofu to deliver. The cool thing about the food poll is that it cuts acreoss all the information.

    By assigning a sandwih score to each of the dems:


    Obama – 23 +12 =37
    Clinton – 30
    Edwards – 26 +6 =33
    Obama – 23 +12 =37


    Huckabee – 38
    McCain – 17
    Romney – 15
    Thompson – 12
    Paul – 6

  27. 32


    Thinking about this methodically:

    1. Start with the 12/29 Des Moines Register poll:

    Barack Obama 32%
    Hillary Clinton 25%
    John Edwards 24%
    Bill Richardson 6%
    Joe Biden 4%
    Chris Dodd 2%
    Dennis Kucinich 1%
    Unsure 6%

    Subtract 5% for Obama’s untested campaign organization and reliance on youth, and another 5% because of the covert racist vote that polls higher for him than it’s likely to actually vote. Add 5% for Edwards because of his over-performance last time and his strong ground operation. Reallocate 2/3 of the other votes equally between the top three candidates, along with the 5% covert racist vote (which reallocates a couple of percent back to Obama, but whatever).


    John Edwards 36%
    Hillary Clinton 32%
    Barack Obama 29%
    Bill Richardson 2%
    Joe Biden 1%
    Chris Dodd 0%
    Dennis Kucinich 0%

    How this affects New Hampshire is unclear. I suspect if Edwards does win he’ll get an 8% bump mostly at the expense of Clinton and Obama. Using the 12/28 ARG poll, that ends up with the same order as Iowa 29/27/23. A one-two punch by underdog Edwards, with Obama in third both times.

    I’ll stop there, as this level of prediction is foolish enough already.