Congratulations to Mike Huckabee on his Iowa Caucus win! It is amazing to me that a guy with little money and “no chance to win”, as many of the pundits said, could pull an upset like this. I know this is a great moment for the candidate and his family, as well as his staff, including our friends from Virginia—I know you are having a blast Vincent! Congrats!
The airwaves are full of political analysts spouting off the reasons for the Huckabee and Obama wins. I think it’s simple. They both successfully tapped into a deep desire for change within their respective parties, and I think within our entire country. This desire for change is incredibly powerful. Think about it. If one year ago, someone had told you (or me for that matter) that Clinton and to a lesser degree Romney would lose the Iowa causes, you would have thought they were nuts. Clinton has been presumptive nominee since Kerry’s loss in 2004. She may still win the nomination but this certainly shakes things up a bit.
Where does this leave the various candidates? I believe the Clinton machine is powerful enough to overcome these early losses. She’s just going to have to work a whole lot harder to win than anyone ever thought. Obama now has to capitalize on the Iowa momentum, something I am not sure he can do.
On the Republican side, Romney is definitely the big loser. If these two candidates had been equal in money and organization and the results had been tighter, it might not be so damaging. But Romney had a lot more money and an established organization and he still had his hat handed to him. A Huckabee or McCain win in New Hampshire will deliver another blow to Romney. Most candidates would probably drop out after those two losses. Romney may have the money to stick around for a while.
Speaking of dropping out, I think Thompson will be the first top tier candidate to throw in the towel. He will have zero momentum coming out of Iowa or New Hampshire and a South Carolina loss takes him out of the race. Ron Paul on the other hand is here to stay. My guess is he goes to the September Convention having not conceded anything. Should no candidate reach the magic number of Delegates before the Convention, Ron Paul, and his dedicated 10%, will be a major player at the Convention.