One Month Until Iowa: Bragging Rights Thread

OK, then. We’re an official one month until the actual election cycle begins. The Iowa caucuses are on February 1st and that’s one month from today.

**Your challenge: ** Determine the outcome of the Republican Caucus as far in advance as you can.

The rules:

Each contestant should choose at least 4 places in the caucuses. i.e. List the top four finishers in the caucus. Please include your anticipated percentage, as well.


  1. Trump: 38%
  2. Cruz: 20%
  3. Rubio: 15%
  4. Bush: 10%

You may go further if you wish for additional bragging rights as you see fit but you’ll be graded on your top four.

Feel free to provide your justification and such. You may change your choices over the course of the month at your whim. So if you’re #1 drops out for whatever reason you’re not stuck with a choice made bad by events. But additional bragging rights for those who make their choice first and stick with it.

Speaking as a scientist, accustomed to working with data, the only responsible statement I can make is that I haven’t a clue what will happen. And this counts as a prediction: I’m confident that, once we see the Iowa caucus results, I still won’t have a clue what happened.

Trump: 25%
Cruz: 28%
Rubio: 20%
Bush: 12%
But I’m reminded of the Simon and Garfunkel song:

Anyway you look at it, you lose.

This early it’s almost just guessing, but I’ll still play:

Cruz: 29%
Trump: 28%
Rubio: 10%
Carson: 10%
Bush: 6%
Huckabee: 4%
Santorum: 3%

Cruz 32%
Trump 28%
Rubio 13%
Carson 6%
Jeb! 5%
Rand Paul 5%
Christie, Huckabee, Kasich, Santorum and Fiorina: 2% when rounded to single digits

Cruz 34%
Rubio 20%
Trump 19%
Carson 8%
Bush 7%
Others each 4 or under.

But second and third could easily be flipped.

Cruz will get his supporters to the caucuses. Trump won’t. IMHO.

Cruz 41%
Trump 24%
Rubio 16%
Carson 6%

That’s certainly my expectation. But I think that means a maybe 20% dropoff between his polled support and how he does at the ballot box. GOTV only means so much.

Cruz will keep on surging, Trump will stay above 30% in the Iowa polls but they won’t all show up, Rubio will finish a ‘respectable’ but distant third, more due to a lack of competition for the third spot in Iowa than anything else, and Carson’s support will continue to erode. Most everyone else will be in the white noise, with everyone else but Huckabee and Santorum more focused on New Hampshire anyway.

(It’s always possible that Huck might swing 4th place away from Carson, not that that will matter much. 4th place in Iowa and $3 gets you a cup of joe from Starbucks.)

WAG based upon the responses above adjusted by met estimation the SDMB bias factor:

Trump: 35%
Cruz: 27%
Carson: 9%
Bush: 7%

I wold NOT put money on this. The only thing I would put money on is Trump will end up first or second.

Cruz 37%
Trump 25%
Rubio 20%
Carson 8%

Trump 31%
Cruz 20%
Rubio 13%
Bush 7%

While I think Cruz is likely to win, I’m rooting for Trump.

Cruz- 35%

Cruz - 35%
Trump - 28%
Rubio - 12%
Carson - 8%
Bush - 5%

I do think that if Trump ends 2nd Trump will remind everyone about how unreliable Iowa is as a predictor of who will become the nominee. And he will point to the next states were he is ahead of everyone.

Trump - 34%
Cruz- 34%
Carson- 15%
Rubio- 8%

Of course he will. And if it is a close second with the polls not being extremely far off then the spin will even sell. If it is a big gap then it defines the narrative no matter how he blusters it.

Well, lets look at the Iowa result in 2008: Mike Huckabee (34%), Mitt Romney (25%), Fred Thompson (13%), John McCain (13%). McCain did go to win the nomination btw.

The point here is that even with that big gap the narrative then did not work for Huckabee.

Again, the results matter less than the meeting or exceeding expectations. McCain had pretty much skipped Iowa and Huckabee went into caucus day expected to win there, leading fairly consistently in the polls. And McCain had been consistently leading in NH and won there by a bit more than polling had predicted.

Those went according to expectations.

If polls say Iowa should be close and then it is not then his saying “Well Iowa does not mean much and look what the polls say about New Hampshire!” starts to ring a bit hollow.

That’s why we play 'em, kids. Sometimes they’ll surprise you. Iowa may not be indicative but it can winnow out some of the second stringers.

Hell, I should’ve had a contest to predict who comes in last. That’d be a harder pick!

Now when do you put up the NH and South Carolina bragging rights threads? :slight_smile:

FWIW I am going with a very close NH with Rubio Cruz and Trump all within a few points of each other. Given that it is proportional first place only matters in terms of perception but I am betting it won’t go to Trump. Space then the Christie and Kasich cohort but not enough to keep them in.

South Carolina will be with winnowing and the remaining Carson support mostly moving to Cruz and the others’ support mostly moving to Rubio. I think it will be close despite the fact that Trump has had a commanding lead there all along. He might still win and even lead delegate count at that point (SC is winner take all and the other two proportional) but the big multi-state ones next in line will be solidly read as a three way: Cruz, Trump, and Rubio, whether or not the others all officially drop or not, and Rubio as the one appearing most acceptable to establishment GOP voters benefits in that case, even as it is heavy in more rural states.

A month out, of course. And no complaints that it’s too early. If you wanted certainty we wouldn’t have been kicking this around for a year already! Get your Sherlock on and figure it out!