This straw poll really only has meaning within political nerds. Look historically at and there is no hedging: It is entirely irrelevant (as to who will win).
That being said, I’m a nerd. And I’ll take any poll, any election, any analysis, anywhere. So, the polls have closed and the results will be in soon. Here is my prediction:
Michele Bachmann: 26%
Ron Paul: 19%
Tim Pawlenty: 16%
Rich Santorum: 9%
Mitt Romney: 8%
Herman Cain: 7%
Newt Gingrich: 5%
Rick Perry: 5%
Sarah Palin: 3%
Thaddeus McCotter: <1%
Jon Huntsman: <1%
Bachmann is going to win, it’s just how big. Paul could still pull off an upset, but since he was expected to win last month, it’s not much of an upset. This would be more about Bachmann’s rise in Iowa. It was reported hours ago that she ran out of bus tickets and had to buy more. Her tent has been packed all day. In total, 6000 given out. Paul: 4000.
Pawlenty’s booth has been as busy as Paul’s, reportedly. Will they vote? Who knows. Romney is hard to figure out. Iowans are insane about this process. When you ignore them, you get punished — and that’s when they like you.
In the end, there is no way to gauge what this means for the field or Bachmann. He is from Iowa and she has practically lived in Iowa for the last two years. As one of her constituents, many of us joke about how she spent more time in Iowa while being the #1 target of of the Democrats in 2010.
She has to win. She knows it. Is she peaking too early? Even Huckabee fizzed out, and he at least won the ACTUAL Iowa Caucus. McCain proved what matters. Not Iowa. Not New Hampshire. The real campaign starts with South Carolina and everything afterward.
I’ll be back with another writing, post-results.