Objectively on the ground here, it is doggone cold. Also, it seems the Santorum surge has ended, or at least stalled. On CNN last night, Mary Matalin noted that a number of people unconnected to campaigns say the surge is stalled out.
The caucuses will be tonight. For years the media has treated Iowa as the Super Bowl, but this year, with proportional delegates, it really is more the pre-season. This could go on a while. My guess is that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are first and second. Rick Santorum or Rick Perry will probably be third. Santorum because of his late surge. Perry because of organization.
If Iowans want to see the second coming of John McCain, they’ll support Rick Santorum like they supported Huckabee and we’ll get a moderate named Romney who won’t really fight in the general election.
As Dan McLaughlin notes, if Iowans hand third place to Rick Perry, they’ve not only given him a guaranteed life line (one he’d probably get in fourth place too), but they have also ensured he will be the GOP nominee.
I’ll be bringing you updates throughout the day from the ground in Des Moines, IA both here and on radio from 9am to 1:00 p.m. ET. You can listen here. Tonight, I’ll be on CNN starting at 6pm ET.
Let the games begin.