Well friends, it's today. The first votes will be cast in the 2012 Presidential campaign tomorrow as part of the Iowa Caucuses. Yesterday, I told you who I urge you to support when Biblical Conservatism officially endorsed Newt Gingrich. Regardless of what happens tonight, I intend to continue to support Newt and to vote for him when my state's primary comes around.
The polls have been so fluid it's nearly impossible to predict what will actually happen. It's a fair bet to say that the winner will be one of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, or Ron Paul. I wouldn't be surprised to see either one of these three men win.
For the record, if Congressman Paul wins, I don't think this means he's now a legitimate candidate for the nomination. I have said before that I think Ron Paul will do better in Caucus states because of the nature of his supporters. Paul's strength is garnering support and making those supporters passionate. Given the right atmosphere at a caucus this could bode well for Paul. (For the record, only 11 states have caucuses instead of primaries and those caucuses make up less than 1/3 of the delegates, also none of the caucus states are winner-take all.)
If Mitt Romney wins, this may be the beginning of the arranged marriage we all fear. I've said before that I can live with Mitt Romney, and I do feel he is a better candidate than John McCain was in 2008. As a matter of fact I voted for Mitt in my state's primary in 2008. I can live with Mitt, I just hope for better.
Which brings me to my choice: Newt Gingrich. I believe Newt is the best conservative leader in the race. I do hope Newt wins, but I do expect him to finish top 3. I also expect him to finish in second in New Hampshire next week and win South Carolina handily.
Bottom line, friends, is we could see Ron Paul win Iowa, Mitt Romney win New Hampshire and Newt Gingrich win South Carolina. Which means an awful lot can happen. There will be no clear cut path for anyone, I believe, unless one candidate sweeps the three first contests (which I doubt).
On one final note: Given that the Iowa Caucuses will close later tonight and I work in the morning, given the time differences, my reactions to the Hawkeye Cauci will have to wait until Thursday.
Things are about to get fun. Buckle up and let's see what happens!