Iowa Prediction: Edwards 1st, Obama 2nd, Hillary 3rd
So I will probably be dead wrong about all of this, but on the off chance I’m right I will look like a damn genius.
Edwards in 1st
He has been coming on very strong recently, mostly because of Hillary and Obama fatigue. I think the second choice will matter tomorrow, and Edwards is that guy for a wide majority of caucus goers, so he’ll be gathering up support from the second tier candidates who can’t pass that 15% threshold. Joe Trippi vindicates himself from 2004, but…see more below.
Obama in 2nd
Obama’s change message consistently polls the strongest among caucus goers, and it’ll help him pull out a 2nd place finish, which is a good spot for him. Reason being is that a lot of independents did turn out and this will buoy his argument that he’s the most electable Dem in the field. Also, it’s very important for Barack that Hillary places 3rd because she was expected to sweep through the country and this makes her strategy and her candidacy look very weak.
Hillary in 3rd
Bill skipped Iowa in ’92 and that really hurt Hill’s chances to win this one because she couldn’t leverage his wisdom and momentum. Still, she has the money to survive and it’s going to be a hell of a fight between her and Obama from here on out.
Iowa doesn’t prove to be the springboard Edwards had hoped for and he consistently finishes 3rd behind the Obama and Hillary camps. Once again there will be talk about the state’s arcane caucus rules and switching to some other locale for the first-in-the-nation contest. But nothing will ultimately happen and we’ll be having the same conversation 4 or 8 years from now.