This weekend’s Primaries and my Predictions

I regularly debate a little with my co-workers about the elections and politics and we have been spending time each week before a primary picking our winners.

This weekend we have the SC primary and the NV caucus. Here are my predictions:

Romney (by 10 or more)
Huckabee (will not break 12%)

McCain (too close to call with Huckabee...I think it is a coin flip)
Romney (distant 3rd...maybe he will get 15% if he is lucky...but 3rd place still earns him delegates!!)

NV – Dems:
Clinton will win NV by a 5+ point margin

I went on to predict that Thompson will drop out of the race this weekend. And while Edwards is not doing very well he will stick it out until Super Tuesday and drop out that Wednesday.

Our debate ensued when I said that a win in SC for a GOP nominee is not as important as it once was. That set off a bit of a fire storm.

Historically speaking SC has been the linchpin in any GOP candidacy…you had to win either IA or NH and then SC to get the nomination but times have changed.

Due to so many states crowding the early part of the year we can not make to same assumptions about what a IA, NH, or SC win means anymore. In fact NH and SC delegate counts have been cut in half by the RNC due to them trying to compete with these other states (who like NH and SC are dealing with a 50% reduction of their delegates) this means while you may not want to deal with WY, MI, and NV these states suddenly mean something. Ignoring them does nothing. The issues presented by these states upping their primaries has had a major impact on this primary season and those to come in the future.

If this were 1996, SC would be key to the GOP nomination but this is 2008 and the primary calendar has been radically altered. Romney and Giuliani both saw this change as an opportunity to make a dent in states that had in the past been ignored and it is paying off for Romney and Giuliani's gamble is still to be seen.

Right now Romney is winning the delegate count by 10, a win in NV will put him over 25 ahead and even if Huckabee wins SC out right he will still only be in second place. Florida will ultimately go to McCain or Romney...if it goes to McCain then we are in for a long fight on Super Tuesday...if it goes to Romney then McCain Drops out. A third place finish for Huckabee in FL may be enough for him to bow out but I wouldn't put it past him to just hang in another week just to see how Feb 5th turns out but he will be out before the Wisconsin Primary.

Giuliani can still be a spoiler but it looks like the Democrat strategy of holding out until Super Tuesday may go belly up on him. He is dropping big time in the FL and California polls even his large leads in NY and NJ seem to be slipping in favor of another moderate, McCain.

If you have any predictions please lets hear them!!

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