Monday, January 2, 2012

Iowa's about to get frothy!

Rick Santorum, frothy presidential candidateRick Santorum will win the Iowa Caucuses on Tuesday.

But Tony, no poll has yet shown Santorum in the lead in Iowa and guru of election predictions Nate Silver, currently has him pegged at just a 21% chance to win, behind both Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, why would you be predicting a Santorum win?


Momentum: Rick Santorum is the only candidate with any right now. The table below is the difference in support between the two most recent PPP polls of Iowa; the most recent being released yesterday and the previous one being released on the 27th of December, only five days earlier.

Santorum 8
Gingrich 1
Perry 0
Romney -1
Bachmann -3
Paul -4
It's usually a mistake to read too much into momentum. Because Santorum is surging now, doesn't mean he will be surging on Tuesday. But there are solid fundamentals on which to rest this particular surge theory, the next bolded word for instance.

Likability: Iowa Republicans simply like Santorum better than everyone else, look at the candidates net favorabilty from the most recent PPP poll:

Santorum 30
Bachmann 15
Perry 13
Romney 4
Paul -8
Gingrich -14
The combination of the Santorum is surging meme and Iowa Republican's already favorable views of him, are likely to help him sustain his current momentum. At this point there just isn't enough time for his opponents to respond to Santorum's rise, as everyone is now shifting to GOTV mode.

Second Choice: Of the front runners, Rick Santorum is the most popular second choice. Again from that PPP poll these are how the candidates fare on the second choice question.

Perry 15
Santorum 14
Bachmann 13
Romney 11
Gingrich 11
Paul 8
One thing about the second choice question is that a candidates performance on the obviously more important first choice question will effect their performance on the second choice question. Meaning that when a candidate is chosen as someone's first choice, they have no chance of being that person's second choice. So the better you do as a first choice, the worse you will do on the second choice question.

But this could still end up being worth a little bit to Santorum on the margins.

Conclution: This combination of factors has convinced me that Rick Santorum, despite never leading in a single poll in Iowa all cycle, and despite his rather epic google problem will win the Iowa caucus's tomorrow and become the official, Iowa certified, not-Romney.

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