Romney before Super Tuesday
States that support a candidate in one nomination cycle tend to support them again four years later, especially if the candidate is in a stronger position the second time around. On this alone, Mitt Romney should be expected to be more likely than not to win in Michigan (where his father was governor), Nevada, Wyoming, Maine, Massachusetts (his home state), Montana, Utah, Minnesota, Colorado, North Dakota and Alaska. I may have missed a particular reason he won’t win a particular one of these again (while Huntsman would probably win in Utah if it were an early primary, it’s unlikely to factor in at all, scheduled for June).
With this and current polling trends in mind, Mitt Romney should fare quite well in the primary and caucuses before Super Tuesday on 6 March:
- 3 January – Iowa: Romney polling ahead
- 10 January – New Hampshire: Romney polling ahead
- 21 January – South Carolina: Gingrich polling ahead
- 31 January – Florida: Romney marginally ahead in latest poll; predicting him rather than Gingrich, polling second, assuming Gingrich loses steam after poor IA and NH finishes
- 4 February – Nevada: Romney, based on 2008
- 7 February – Colorado: Romney, based on 2008
- 7 February – Minnesota: Romney, based on 2008; even if it is Bachmann’s home state, she’s faring very poorly
- 11 February – Maine: Romney, based on 2008
- 28 February – Michigan: Romney, based on 2008
- 28 February – Arizona: no lead
- 3 March – Washington: no lead
This is unscientific, so if you have better clues on any of these, let me know. And I don’t mean to suggest either that he would lock out any contenders before 6 March, even if he wins all these, as he could win them only marginally, with rivals taking plenty of delegates from these contests too. And there are ten contests on Super Tuesday that could change things a lot. But if he wins both Iowa and New Hampshire, he will be the first Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1980 to do so. Not a bad start at all so.
Edit: But Romney is only marginally ahead in the Iowa polls. If Rick Santorum or Ron Paul win, I’d still see most of the above panning out the same, except with Romney in a weaker position against Gingrich in Florida.