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Ranking the Republican candidates

December 9, 2007

Giuliani is overvalued while the way begins to open up for McCain

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The race is still as murky as ever. Giuliani has a clear lead nationally, but there is considerable value in Fred Thompson and still some value left in John McCain. Even if I promised this three weeks ago, I am going to continue these reports every Sunday until the Republicans have a nominee.

Rudolph Giuliani – It is important to remember that Giuliani has several advantages. Apart from a large warchest, national name recognition, the fact that his name is not Mitt Romney, Giuliani knows that if he ends up in a two-way contest with Huckabee he has the support of every non-evengelical Republican, including the neo-libertarian Norquist faction of the GOP. He also has a put himself in an extremely strong position by racking up a victory in New Hampshire. However, his poll numbers are falling and people are starting to see John McCain as the stronger anti-Huckabee candidate. The ‘sex on the city’ scandal is starting to seep into the national media. Estimated chances of winning the nomination are around 30%. Price on Intrade.com 39.5-40.7. OVERPRICED

John McCain – Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Straight Talk Express. McCain may have not run the best campaign but he has continued to plug on and if he wins New Hampshire it is difficult to see either Huckabee or Thompson stopping him wrapping up the nomination in South Carolina. However, I have a horrible feeling that he could be blindsided by a unforseen event, or Romney could bounce back from the dead and win New Hampshire. Estimated chances of winning the nomination are around 25%. Price on Intrade.com 8.2-8.3. UNDERPRICED

Mike Huckabee – Huckabee seems to be running away with a victory in Iowa. However, the recent revelations over his pardons and his stated views on homosexuals and AIDS in the 1990s could push him back into being yet another Evangelical flash in the pan. Even if this might antogonise his base he really needs to make dealing with the latter revelation a top priority. He also needs to soldify his lead in Iowa so that it is immune to a Romney advertising blitz. His chances of winning the nomination are 25%. Price on Intrade.com 19.8-19.9. UNDERVALUED.

Mitt Romney – The probability of Romney winning has gone up in my rankings because of Fed Thompson’s collapse. He desperately needs to pull off a victory in both Iowa and New Hampshire. If he manages to win New Hampshire he will be in a very strong position, if not he will be out of the contest. Estimated chances of winning the nomination are about 15% Price on Intrade.com 18.8-19.9 OVERPRICED

Fred Thompson – His only hope is that Huckabee wins in Iowa and then implodes and that the candidate who wins the New Hamsphire primary is bloodied, letting him win South Carolina. It’s a long-shot but if he pulls in a good third in the Hawkeye state (anything above 20%) then it might seem more plausible. Estimated chances of winning the nomination are about 5% Price on Intrade.com 5.1-5.2. FAIRLY VALUED

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