Today, the Republicans in New Hampshire are going to make their decision about which candidate they’d like to see attempt to defeat President Barack Obama in the 2012 general election.

Here’s how I think it will turn out:

  1. Romney
  2. Huntsman
  3. Paul
  4. Santorum
  5. Gingrich
  6. Edit: Buddy Roemer
  7. Perry
  8. Cain
  9. Bachmann

I know Cain and Bachmann are kaput already. I’m pretty sure they both qualified for this primary before they exited the race, so they’ll probably have a few votes each. Cain had ~58 votes in Iowa, and he wasn’t even there.

Romney

Romney has had New Hampshire on lock this whole time. His lead is deteriorating, but it’s way too little, way too late. He’ll coast to an easy victory here… The only thing I dislike about this situation is that the stupid-ass pundits are raving about a candidate winning Iowa and New Hampshire back to back. They might have to STFU when the official vote count is received from Iowa in two weeks, and they determine that Santorum actually had more votes. I don’t see how you can get all happy about a virtual tie and then a definite win, but that’s television for you. \o/

Huntsman

I’m thinking and HOPING that Jon Huntsman will take second place here… One of the dumb things about how the pundits report the polls is that they like to give you the percentages for each candidate, but they don’t like to give you the percentage of people that are currently undecided or willing to change their minds. Last I heard, that number was ~45% were definitely going to vote for the candidate they said they were going to vote for, and ~55% were NOT DEFINITE that they were going to vote for that candidate (or didn’t select one to begin with). More people are “undecided” than are “decided”.

I think that a lot of the undecided people will vote for Huntsman. He’s put in the groundwork in New Hampshire that Santorum put in in Iowa. The worst I can see him doing is 3rd, but I believe he’ll take second by a few points over Ron Paul.

I’m biased on this one, because I’d like to see Huntsman get the nomination, because he had the best job creation record when he was Governor of Utah (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Huntsman,_Jr.), and I think he makes the fewest wacko statements out of the entire group of candidates.

Paul

Ron Paul should be in 3rd. His fan base is pretty consistent. He’s also consistent in what he says. There’s nothing you’re going to hear from him NOW that’s going to make you think about voting for him. You’ve already heard it and all the cards are on the table.

Right now, Paul isn’t planning to go to Florida, because he doesn’t have enough money to be effective there. You can’t go door-to-door in Florida.. You have to pay for a lot of television advertisement. He said that if he does well in New Hampshire and gets an infusion of money, he’ll rethink that position, and that he’s taking this election process one week at a time.

This check-to-check campaign mindset is to Romney’s advantage, because he has enough money to do whatever he wants, and run a parallel campaign in several states, simultaneously, while the rest of these dudes have to run serial campaigns and start all over from scratch in each state.. If they’re even registered (Only Romney and Paul are registered for Virginia, for example. It’s been speculated that Santorum failed to register for D.C. as well).

Santorum

Santorum should take fourth place.. Not because of anything he did in particular, but because Gingrich and Perry will do worse than he does.

The only reason Santorum did well in Iowa is that he receved this particular religious endorsement:

Rick Santorum Gets Big Boost From Iowa Christian Conservative Leaders

URBANDALE, Iowa: Rick Santorum received a big Iowa endorsement Tuesday that should help rally the splintered Christian evangelical community here around him. A social conservative leader in the state, Bob Vander Plaats, backed the former Pennsylvania senator just two weeks before the caucuses here, calling him “the Huckabee in this race.”

“I saw him as a champion for the family in the U.S. House, I saw him as a champion for the family in the U.S. Senate. I saw him as a champion for the family on the campaign trail,” Vander Plaats said. “I believe Rick Santorum comes from us, just not to us, he comes from us.”

I brought this up last month, in billcammack.com/2011/12/31/2012-republican-iowa-predictions/, but for some reason, the pundits refuse to discuss this and keep talking about a non-existent “Santorum Surge”.

There *is* no surge. Santorum was polling around 10% until he got that endorsement, and then, overnight, he was polling near Romney. Now, he’s back to polling around 10% because the group that endorsed him doesn’t have such a high percentage of people in New Hampshire.

I’ll be completely surprised if he does Ron Paul’s numbers, and he shouldn’t be anywhere near Huntsman when the smoke clears tonight.

Gingrich

Gingrich has many, many problems with his campaign, but the two of them are the attack ads that Romney and Paul’s supporters created about him (also shown in billcammack.com/2011/12/31/2012-republican-iowa-predictions/), and his current wife.

There are going to be A LOT OF FEMALE VOTERS this cycle. 🙂 They don’t take kindly to home-wreckers, because they project situations they experience onto their own lives and have seriously negative reactions to it.

Gingrich is the only dude that brings along the chick that was screwing him behind his wife’s back and that he ended up dumping his wife for, with. him. on. the. campaign. trail.

When women look at them together, they imagine how TIGHT they’d feel if their ex-husband or boyfriend was flaunting the chick that stole their man on national television.

In fact, Gingrich’s marital/infidelity history is part of what lost him the religious support that went to Santorum in Iowa… The only way for him to get back in contention for the nomination is for both Santorum and Paul to run out of money and drop out of the race.

Perry

Rick Perry.. as usual.. wasn’t smart enough to quit, after delivering his “Thanks for the support, y’all, but I’m going back to Texas” speech after getting trounced in Iowa.

Right now, he’s polling at 1% in New Hampshire, but he’s not campaigning there. He went directly to South Carolina, which is the next stop for this carnival.

If Perry gets waxed in S.C., he needs to hang up his spurs for real this time, and stop wasting people’s money that they donated to his campaign… Once they hit the South, that’s where Perry and Santorum are supposed to start SHINING, so if they don’t, they’re finished.

Perry’s the low man on the totem pole, and he’s definitely going to South Carolina, so you can bet that all six of the remaining Republican candidates will be there.

Romney or Obama

Ultimately, like I’ve said this entire time, Mitt Romney is the Republicans’ only hope to defeat President Obama this cycle, and even *those* hopes aren’t great.

The only way Romney won’t get the nomination is if all but one of the extraneous candidates drops out immediately after South Carolina, and the vote becomes Romney vs. Not-Romney.

It’s always been that way, but there are several candidates that are splitting the Not-Romney vote, so he’s winning with 25% support from his party… As soon as everyone else drops out, 25% won’t be enough to defeat 75%. Gingrich knows this, and intends to remain in the pocket until Santorum and Perry get shaken out.

So, I don’t think New Hampshire is going to weed anyone out, but I think it’ll give a more realistic view of where the candidates stand, nationwide. Romney and Perry have a lot of money left. Santorum and Paul don’t. Gingrich and Huntsman are in the middle.

It would be interesting to see Huntsman/Romney and then Huntsman/Obama for the Presidency, but I think it’s actually going to be Gingrich/Romney and then Romney/Obama.

EDIT: I left out Buddy Roemer (www.buddyroemer.com). Good Luck to him today! 😀

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