Over a year of build-up to the presidential race finally ends tonight, with Iowans relieving our collective blue balls by voting in their first-in-the-nation caucuses. While Iowa is a small state that only sends a relative handful of delegates to the national party conventions, the candidates who win here get a boost that will improve their chances in the upcoming primaries. But which candidates are likely to take home the gold?
Ive been on the ground in Iowa since the Friday before last, and in that time, Ive visited at least one campaign event from every major candidate. The only candidates I havent seen are Chris Christie, John Kasich, and three of the Republicans who languish in the polling ghetto otherwise known as the undercard debate (though I did see Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum at Donald Trumps veterans rally). Based on what Ive seen, here are my predictions for who will win the Republican and Democratic caucuses, and where each candidate will place.
- Donald Trump: Its no contest. In my time in Iowa, Trump has consistently drawn the biggest, most enthusiastic crowds, as young and old alike gravitate to his nationalist plan to make America great again. The only thing that could potentially stump the Trump is the fact that many of his followers are first-time voters, and the Iowa caucus structure favors long-time, dedicated voters over dilettantes. However, the sheer level of support Trump enjoys may cancel this out.
- Ted Cruz: The previous Iowa front-runner, this lying greaseball has seen his poll numbers tumble after Trump raised the issue of his Canadian birth. Nonetheless, Cruz maintains a strong following among evangelical Iowans who are uncomfortable with Trumps New York values. With his campaign events drawing only a fraction of Trumps supportand mostly old people at thatthe most Cruz can hope for at this point is a second-place finish.
- Marco Rubio: The Tea Party darling turned cuckservative pin-up girl draws only small crowds of bored, elderly followers. However, Rubio has been picking up support from GOP establishment hacks who have given...