I'm teaching a class on party nominations that conveniently starts the same day as the Iowa Caucuses and ends the week of Super Tuesday. Anyone want to bet on whether the Republicans have a nominee before my class is done? Anyway, here are some important links I'll probably be using in class:
- Josh Putnam explains the delegate allocation rules for all the Republican contests. The quick version: the GOP has made some slight nods toward proportionality, but the contests are still overwhelmingly winner-take-all.
- Also from Putnam: the primary & caucus calendar. He's even put together a version you can download for iCal, Outlook, or Google Calendar. Total stud.
- Matt Glassman thinks Romney is the near-certain nominee, but explains why everyone has an incentive to make the contest seem more uncertain than it really is.
- Ron Paul seems to be cruising toward a win in Iowa, and Nate Silver thinks Paul will do better than the polls currently predict.
- Jonathan Bernstein handicaps the current Iowa poll standings, noting the volatility and closeness of the contest. Basically, anyone other than Huntsman and Gingrich has a non-trivial chance of winning.
- I predicted Newt's collapse a month ago, but whatever. Predicting Newt will lose is like predicting Rocky will win (episodes II through V only).
I'm with Matt Glassman in the sense that I think that it's all over but the shouting. After all the non-Romneys have had their days in the sun, who's the one actually peaking in Iowa as the actual election day approaches - Romney. I know that it's a caucus and he probably won't actually win, but I'm just saying for the guy who has been the frontrunner all along the stars seem to be aligning quite nicely.
I will take the bet and say Romney clinches the nomination (unofficially) before your class is done.
What's at stake?
I'm guessing you're right -- his nomination will probably be a mathematical certainty by mid-March. But I'm not sure he'll have sufficient pledged delegates by then, or if he'll give an acceptance speech, or if all the other candidates will have dropped out.
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