I chose to remain silent during the recent round of Ron Paul posts. It wasn’t because I had nothing to say but it was because I didn’t think he had much of a chance to win Iowa. Last night shook out exactly like I thought I would which doesn’t make me a mystic but instead points to a predictable Republican electorate in 2012.
So what’s next? A look at the pre-Super Tuesday primary schedule is pretty revealing.
10-Jan New Hampshire
21-Jan South Carolina
February 4–11 Maine
I expect Romney to win NH pretty easily. Because he has spent all of his time there Huntsman could secure 2nd. I see Gingritch or Paul with a surprise third and Santorum taking 4th.
Next is South Carolina and Santorum is well-positioned for a win there. Previous primary seasons do not show momentum from NH translating to wins in South Carolina. Also, Santorum’s evangelical slant will be well-received in the Palmetto State. I see this as his first win.
Next we have Florida and this one may be for all the marbles. Florida has such a diverse electorate that both Romney and Santorum (assuming each has a win and discounting the virtual tie in Iowa) have solid support in the state. Romney will appeal to older voters and moderates while Santorum will again have the more conservative and evangelical vote. It’s too close to call as to who will come out on top. Much will depend on the victory margin for Santorum in South Carolina. If he wins big there he will have a better chance of taking Florida. If it’s a squeaker I believe the odds favor Romney.
Beyond Florida the schedule mostly favors Romney with the exception of Arizona which has become the defacto capital of Tea Party America. If Romney takes Florida Super Tuesday may just be a formality.
Or the electoral gods might shine on me and Huntsman could take the whole thing. If that happens get your nets ready because there will be flying pork across the land.