I can't predict squat about the Iowa caucuses, so I'll just post Bob Novak's predictions, from the latest ENPR (linked here). We'll know soon how accurate Mr. Novak is, and read the whole thing to analyze his reasoning.
1st Place: Mitt Romney
2nd Place: Mike Huckabee
3rd Place: Fred Thompson
4th Place: John McCain
1st Place: Barack Obama
2nd Place: John Edwards
3rd Place: Hillary Clinton
4th Place: Bill Richardson
I don't put much stock in the Iowa caucuses, in any case. Forcing folks to "caucus" for their second choice is unseemly. It makes for interesting political theater, though. This is shaping up to be a very competitive race, in both parties.
I still don't know who I'm going to vote for on Feb. 5th, so I don't envy those poor souls in Iowa today. This early primary season is not a good thing. It's going to leave a long time for the nominees to screw up, in some way. I'll bet at least one party gets "buyer's remorse" before the conventions, but won't be able to act on it.
That actually happened with Kerry, to a degree, though he still got more general election votes than Gore did, 4 years earlier. It could happen on either side, this year. Whatever happens in Iowa, the nominees should be known after the Feb. 5th "Super-Duper" primary day, at the latest.
There's a slim chance that the GOP race may not be decided by then, but I can't speculate on the different ways that might happen. I'll write about it, if it happens. As I implied above, I preferred the longer primary season. I have a feeling that "those days are gone."
Thanks to Mr. Novak, for the predictions, and a hat tip to the DRUDGE REPORT (find it yourself!), for the link.