It's not unreasonable to say I take more than a passing interest in the popular manifestations of democracy. That is, the official soundings of public opinion. You know, elections and all that. I'm neither a political scientist nor a statistician, but I do very much like numbers when they cloak such passion within the regimental columns of a spreadsheet.
In the United States, they are about to commence their eleven month odyssey of political quantification, culminating in the promotion of someone to a position that has become increasingly irrelevant to the rest of us. Still, they take it seriously, and so do I.
The wee mid-western state of Iowa enjoys its quadrennial moment in the sun -- buried though it is in snowfall -- this Friday morning our time, when it convenes its cute little custom of party caucuses. We are spoilt enough to have both Democratic and Republican contests this year, and both parties will host their opening gambits in Iowa.
Nationally, opinion polls suggest that Hillary Clinton holds sway over Barack Obama for the Democrats. John Edwards (vice-presidential candidate to John Kerry in 04) is providing some intrigue in outright third place. None of the other Democrats are really viable, and are interesting in as much as when they pull out, and to whom they hand their baton when they do. For the Republicans, Rudy Guiliani (sometimes written as 9ui11ani) has long possessed the mantle of front-runner, but in a development that only the American political dynamic seems capable of throwing up, he suddenly has a right-of-field challenger in Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governer and television evangelist with some mildly odious ideas. Mitt Romney (a Massachusetts Mormon) and John McCain (GWB's also-ran in the 2000 GOP primaries) round out the field of serious potentials for the Republicans.
I feel obliged to make some predictions from this very distant vantage point. Firstly, I know the folly of attempting to divine outcomes at this stage, because both Iowa and New Hampshire are influential, and another 48 states will respond to the changing winds that swirl right through primary season. So I don't have a victor for either race. With that said, I feel foolhardy enough put a few assertions down:
Joseph | 2 Jan 2008