Andy Busch reminds us of the 2004 Democratic primary contest in Iowa in which Gephardt and Dean (the front runners) beat one another up so badly that John Kerry was able to win it and then take New Hampshire, and you know the rest of it. Andy thinks that there may be a parallel between that and today’s GOP race in Iowa. He thinks there is a good chance that the Romney-Huckebee battle for first place may end up turning into a victory for McCain. Read the whole piece and see if Andy can persuade you that lightning can strike twice in the same place!
I agree that the parallel is very, very imperfect. The move to Kerry was to blandness and electability and fueled by the voters' common hatred of Bush. Nice try to stir our thoughts up, though.
I must agree with Peter that this is a pretty silly analysis. Kerry was a nobody candidate that had no ideas or record pinned to him. He was much more a Thompson candidate who just waited to announce until 3 weeks before the caucuses. As such he was everything to every Democrat, just as Fred was, and people didn't have time to get to know if there was anything there. McCain on the other hand is the best known candidate in either party. He is not obscure like Kerry, and the Republican voters are extremely knowledgable of his positions. McCain has no chance in Iowa. If he rises (a prospect I do not dislike because other than Huckabee he's our best), it will be in New Hampshire. I think his time is past.
Andy is missing it by a country mile.
Real short answer: No.
HOWEVER, if you define victory in a vague, nebulous fashion, as merely exceeding expectations, if you do that, then anything is possible. For we're not sure how the thing is going to be played, how it will be spun.
McCain's continued presence can be spun as a "victory," especially in as much as the rest of the Party grew hostile to him in the wake of the attempted immigration "reform."
It's a bit early to speculate how the Iowa primary will be spun by those who "place" and "show."
I think the rest of the nation has long grown weary of the quirks of Iowans and the citizens of New Hampshire.
And that's what Rudy is banking on. And that's what Romney is dreading. For Romney has bet the Mormon farm taking Iowa and New Hampshire, creating momentum, and ending the race before it truly begins.
Good luck with that Mitt.
Iowa is not quirky; it's a pretty normal Republican electorate out there.
I think it all depends on who Rudy supporters view as the smallest threat. Since Huckabee has been gaining momentum, a surprise McCain victory would not be all that surprising. In fact, this whole Huckabee farce is making him look better and better . . .
There are only about 15% Rudy supporters in IA.