Predicting the Nominees 2008 (Updated)
Over the next couple of days the various associate bloggers here at Outside the Beltway will be weighing in with their best guesses on who the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidency will be in 2008. It looks like I’m first in line. As the physicist Niels Bohr said, prediction is difficult especially about the future. And, yes, I know that Yogi Berra said it, too. He said it later.
I think that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee and Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee.
That really looked like a sure thing as recently as a few weeks ago but recent developments have thrown a bit of sand into my oily machine. Barack Obama is looking pretty good in Iowa as is Mike Huckabee. I don’t think that either will cross the finish line.
Hillary Clinton has the money, the organization on the ground, the determination to win, and, most of all, I think she has and will maintain the support of regular Democratic leaders. She continues to top the national polls without an appreciable downwards trend. Early indications suggest that Oprah Winfrey’s hard press for Obama hasn’t garnered him a lot of additional support.
All of that having been said it’s still possible for any of the top-tier Democratic candidates to win in Iowa, either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama can apparently win in New Hampshire, and it’s still not a metaphysical certitude who’ll win the Democratic nomination. But I think the smart money should still be behind Hillary Clinton.
On the Republican side, I think that Mike Huckabee will probably win the Iowa Republican caucus and that Romney will probably win the New Hampshire Republican primary. I also think that, following a Huckabee win in Iowa, regular Republican leaders will begin to coalesce around some one candidate who isn’t Mike Huckabee (for reasons nicely described by Rick Moran). My guess is that candidate will be Mitt Romney. I don’t think that’s their smart move but I think it’s their likely move.
So, that’s how I’ve got it figured. Ironically, I don’t think that either Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney are their respective party’s best candidates for the general election. I think those are John Edwards and John McCain, respectively. I’ve thought that way for a long time but I noted that some support for that emerged recently.
InTrade says that it’s Hillary Clinton for the Dems, Giuliani for the Reps, Clinton much more certain than Giuliani. Giuliani’s a possible but I still have my doubts that the Republican leadership will flock to his side.