Craig Robinson at THE Iowa Republican (is that like THE Ohio State University?) looks at the Public Policy Polling survey of Iowa Republican caucus preferences, candidate by candidate. This is prompting a few Random Deeth Thoughts, in order of poll finish.
1) A Romney Iowa win, unlikely and unpalatable as it may seem, can still happen but it's more luck than skill. Mitt Romney seems to have a ceiling of support around 30% in Iowa, and make that a bit less as he loses some of his `08 support. If the field stays splintered and Ames doesn't force too many people out, Romney can do what Bob Dole did in 1996: score in the upper 20s and finish first.
1a) There's not room in the field for Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman.2) I know that early on I joked "Morrie Taylor + Alan Keyes = Herman Cain" but now it looks more like he's filling the Steve Forbes niche, plus whatever residual part of the Trump support was for Generic Businessman as opposed to Bigger and Better Birther. We can check Cain out on Monday as he makes the BVP FAMiLY Leader tour.
3) Tina Fey said it best the Saturday before the 2008 election, standing next to John McCain: "I'm either runnin' in four years or I'm gonna be the white Oprah so, you know, I'm good either way." Palin is runnin' for White Oprah, not for president.
4) Newt Gingrich is the Fred Thompson of this field: the idea of the candidacy seemed better than the reality.
5) There's not room in the field for Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Fortunately for Bachmann, Palin is not in this field.
5 1/2 ) There's not room in the field for two Minnesotans.6) The old joke goes something like this:
A large multinational dog food company decided to come out with the latest and greatest dog food. They had their research scientists design the most nutritious combination of ingredients, containing all the essential vitamins and amino acids required by dogs. They had the marketing department put together a most colorful advertisement and a catchy jingo was thought up for their TV commercial. And they spent gobs of money on TV advertising and splashy full page magazine ads. The engineers designed equipment to make this dog food in the most efficient manner, and the packaging department designed a beautiful box for it. The sales force was trained, and every supermarket chain had shelf space devoted to the dog food.That's Tim Pawlenty.
It did not sell.
So the company CEO gathered his top executives together to have a meeting to discover why. He asked each department "Why isn't our dog food selling?" The research department said there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with their formulation. Marketing was completely stumped. The sales force was mystified. No one had a clue as to what was wrong. Finally, after a long pause, a new employee sitting in the back of the room finally got the courage to say "But the dogs don't like it!"
7) Ron Paul has a ceiling and a floor of support so close together it's a crawl space. Will make 80 percent of the online noise and take 10 percent of the vote just like last time. That 10 percent will be indigestible by any other candidate, so Paul will continue through the last primary then endorse one of the third party candidates, with no consequences within the House GOP caucus. Just like last time. And just like next time only with Rand. (There's not room in the field for Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.)
8) Rick Santorum is the Sam Brownback of the field, Roy Moore is the John Cox of the field: most likely to vanish after Ames. Who did I forget? If I did it proves the point. Oh, yeah. There isn't room in the field for Buddy Roemer, period.
9) He'll be kept out of debates and probably Ames, but if enough Democrats follow Ed Fallon's suggestion to ratf*** the process to "save the caucuses," Fred Karger will finish ahead of somebody "legitimate." (Democrats: the best way to save the caucuses for 2016 and beyond is to re-elect the president who got his critical early win in Iowa.)
10) This, unless Palin is actually doing something, is the field. Republican Jesus, in the form of Jeb, Christie, Obi-Wan Kenobi You're Our Only Hope, or Zombie Reagan, will not arrive on a white horse to save the day.