February 1 is fast approaching (thank God). Who will pick up in the early races? Who will prevail overall? A few quick predictions here:
On the Democratic side:
- I think Bernie Sanders has a good shot of defeating Clinton in NH. This will give him some momentum moving forward — but my guess is that it will be temporary. Hillary Clinton will regain steam and pick up the ultimate party nom with a pretty substantial lead.
On the Republican side:
- Trump’s polling numbers are higher than ever these days. I realize I’m in the minority in saying this, but I don’t think he’s going to clutch the nomination. Why? I don’t know. Gut feeling that his fans either won’t show up to vote in large numbers, and/or that another candidate will get a sudden boost with the early states and will (finally) eclipse his campaign in all its narcissistic glory. I’m not counting out Rubio or even Kasich as a contender.
- I think Ted Cruz will win the Iowa caucuses. Trump *might* win NH, though I’m (again) not counting out Kasich or Rubio as a dark horse there. If Cruz wins both early contests, he’ll be tough to oust as the top candidate. In which case — may God help us all.
- Final pick for Republican nominee? I’ll go with Rubio.
Polls and stats are fun (and everywhere right now), but ultimately unreliable. Realistically, all any of us can really do is guesswork at this point. Time will tell us soon enough!