Finally there will actually be citizen participation. In Iowa there is no snow this year, but there are many Evangelical Christians on the ballot and many candidates still have a lot of money with which they have only now begun to help the Iowa economy. owa TV has been deluged with advertisements for the final blitz.
Romney has it all but enthusiasm. Paul has troops, ideology, money, momentum, and a very scary record. Gingrich has the mouth, very strange ads, and declining poll numbers. Santorum, put all his eggs in the Iowa basket and appears that he might survive to fight another day, although no one knows where. Perry has so much money he does not know what to do with it. Bachman is the Tea Partier who peaked months ago and may be going home after Tuesday.
They all need to play little Iowa for all it’s worth, because little New Hampshire is waiting one week later. South Carolina and pivotal Florida are also in play for the month of January. While national polls may still be unclear, Romney is trying to run as inevitable with everyone else running as anyone but Romney.
Romney clearly has a lead in New Hampshire, where there is an election and not a caucus. Even though both Iowa and New Hampshire permit independents to play, it is results which will be read by the country; not the rules or who actually voted or who won under which system and who won under the other. In the eyes of the voters it is wins and losses which will create the snowball effect.
Despite the fact that many analysts are predicting a dramatic decline in public participation after the uptick in 2008, nevertheless it should be quite a ride until November 6, Election Day 2012.
Remember, Iowans always like to surprise.
Let the New Year begin.