Why Mitt Romney will not win the Iowa caucus

October 30, 2007


Four reasons to bet against the former governor of Massachusetts

As I mentioned two days ago, I have bet against Romney winning the Iowa Caucus. I have done this for the following four reasons.

1. Romney’s supporters are less likely to vote

The decision to move the Iowa caucus to January 3rd (or earlier if New Hampshire holds its primary in December) will mean that those whose commitment to voting is weak will be much less likely to spent an evening caucusing than before. Looking at the crosstabs on the latest Rasmussen poIl, and taking only those certain to participate in the caucus, Romney’s lead shrinks to only 2 points above Huckabee (24 to 22), which is well within the margin for error.

2. Romney’s poor national polling figures will have an impact

Despite the large amount of money that he has spent on the contest, Romney is still performing badly in national polls. According to the weekly Rasmussen tracking poll he is joint fourth with Huckabee, who has run a shoestring campaign. More importantly, he is 6 points behind Thompson, his other rival for the right of the party. The national trend lines from Pollster.com are only slightly better, with Romney in fourth place, 4.2 points behind Thompson. Of course, national figures don’t directly translate into success in specific states. However, it would be impossible to completely ignore Romney’s weakness in this area and it definitely will have an impact on the voters in Iowa, especially if he falls behind Huckabee.

3. Things can only get better for Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson has currently been running a poor campaign, paying little attention to Iowa (and New Hampshire) and producing an underwhelming performance in the Michigan debate. However, as he gets into his stride, as his improved performance in Florida suggests that he will recapture some of the support that he lost earlier this month. He also recognised that he needs to begin actively campaigning in the primary states more often. This should chip away at Romney’s support.

4. Romney’s support has peaked.

Although this goes against the Pollster.com trend-lines, which show Romney’s support trending upwards, I believed that Romney’s support can only go down. As of early October, Romney has had the airwaves in Iowa all to himself, since no other Republican has run a single television advert in the state. Since this is obviously going to change, it will be interesting to see whether Romney ratings will start to fall when Thompson begins putting commercials on television.



  1. Hahahahaaaa…is your middle name “STUPID”?

  2. Mitt is following the tried tradition of primary elections held over the past 3 decades. In similar cases where small-state no-name Governors come out victorious the rely on the early primary wins for the free press and momentum. Carter, Dukakis, and Clinton took all this to heart. None of these candidates were polling above 14% before Iowa but they all came out on the other end of NH with over 34%.

    Mitt is right where he wants to be. He has huge dedicated staff in Iowa with tons of money to throw at any upstart. He’ll win. Not by a monstrous margin but he’ll take Iowa and do nicely in NH. I’m not sure he’ll win NH but Nevada, Michigan, and even SC are swinging his way. If he wins 4 of the 5 his momentum will be tough to beat.

  3. If Thompson does well won’t that hurt Huckabee? Romney’s organization is unmatched. Romney has trended up for a month since the Rasmussen numbers you report. Who knows what will happen but it seems like your betting against logic.

  4. Mitt planned his organization long time ago because as a very successful leader, he knew what to do. He also got the money to back it up for a long time. He’s working very hard for name recognition and I believe America will eventually find out. Many who heard him came out loving him. He’s got the whole package no other candidate has.

  5. Preparation is the name of the game in politics and sports. If you have a good game plan and a good team to carry it out chances are you will win. Romney has done what needs to be done in the early primary states. He has obviously studied the process and hired the right people and put them in the right places. His only real competition is Rudy and Rudy, frankly, has a lot of personal baggage that some people may have problems with. \

    Rudy is making a major tactical error by not vigorously contesting the early states. It might not too late to keep from getting run over by a Romney steam roller. Mo is the name of the game. Once Romney gets it because of his organization in the early states it might be all over.

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