Iowa Caucus Predictions

At long last, the 2012 presidential primary season officially begins with today’s Iowa caucuses.

There has been a lot of shifting in the polls in the last few weeks, with Romney and Santorum on the rise and Gingrich (and Paul to some extent) on the decline.  Who will emerge victorious?  Who will exceed expectations and who will fail to meet them?  

Here are my predictions for Iowa:

1. Romney

2. Paul

3. Santorum

4. Gingrich

Romney and Paul both have the organization necessary to win, but momentum seems to be on Romney’s side.  Romney’s team has been very careful about setting expectations about Iowa, so I have to believe their increased engagement there in the last 10 days or so indicates they are feeling good about their chances.  I don’t think he’ll win big, but I think he’ll win.

Santorum’s surge might have started too late.  I think he would have needed another few days to have a chance of knocking off Ron Paul.  The downside for him of increased expectations is that anything less than a very close third-place finish will likely be treated by the pundits as a serious setback for his campaign.

What are your predictions?

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