Tame debate, wild rideYesterday's Republican Presidential debate in Des Moines was the last one before the January 3rd Iowa Caucus, and it was also incredibly tame. So much so, in fact, that you had to be left wondering if the candidates thought that the issues actually mattered in the debate. The things that were discussed were the kind of things you would expect at any Republican debate, and the answers were typical and sterile. For the most part they were good answers, but no one really stuck out. Perhaps the candidates were afraid of going negative, or (more likely) the continuing ice storm outside had the minds of the locals on other matters, and the tenor of the debate showed that.
The most obvious sign that Mike Huckabee appears poised to win Iowa and Mitt Romney-in spite of earlier numbers that showed him well in the lead-may finish second or lower is that Romney's camp is already trying to downplay Huckabee's good showing. When we are at a date this late before Iowans vote, that all but amounts to a concession of defeat in Iowa on Romney's part.
I have real problems with Huckabee, mostly because I don't trust him on taxes and his immigration position (terrible while Governor of Arkansas) seems to be constantly changing of late. He has to be given credit, however, for running a nearly flawless Iowa campaign up to this stage in the game. His Iowa campaign has been so good that if he does not win Iowa at this point, it will be because his campaign on the ground has fallen apart. If the numbers hold up as they are, it appears that Huckabee will win in Iowa while Mitt Romney will run away with New Hampshire.
Fred Thompson is in a tight race with Mitt Romney in South Carolina, but he still leads in several States in the Deep South, so if Fred can hang on long enough for those Primaries he still has a shot.
I have a feeling this Primary season may be a wild ride, and just maybe the nomination won't wrap up as quickly as we have all previously thought.
Labels: Presidential Election