OK, it’s time to think about how this straw poll in Ames is going to turn out.
The big question is: At the end of the day, who’s No. 1?
Not that it matters – at least not to those finishing No. 2 and lower in the poll of Iowa Republicans who’s schedules were open and were so motivated to uses a free ticket to hear free music and eat free food and, oh, by the way, cast a non-binding vote for their favorite candidate for their party’s presidential nomination nearly seven months before the real straw poll takes place at precinct caucuses and nearly a year before a nominee will be, uh, nominated.
Quick answer: I don’t know. But I can lay out any number of scenarios that along with a couple of bucks will buy you a decent cup of coffee at any of a number of local coffeehouses.
Ask any of the myriad Iowa political operatives who have been through straw polls and precinct caucuses and you’re likely to get a similar answer. Ask enough of those folks and you start to hear enough similar answers to start to think you’ve got a handle on the likely outcome.
And then someone says something like, “Unless Sarah Palin shows up in Ames.”
There you are, back at Square One.
Think you’ve got it figured out? Your best effort could win you a decent cup of coffee at my expense (Well, I’ll probably bill it to the boss — not The Boss, but my boss) at one of our fine local coffeehouses. Details later.
So, after covering countless rallies, round-tables and breakfast, lunch and dinner (supper?) speeches by the various candidates, a couple of things appear less murky than all the other things. Here’s my two cents’ worth (remember, I have to save the big bucks to buy coffee):
If you’ve got the straw poll figured out, let me know. Send me your predictions – order of finish, each candidate’s percentage of the straw poll votes and total number of votes and I’ll buy coffee for whoever comes closest.
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