The Iowa-New Hampshire tango
Allowing for the usual caveats (nobody knows nuthin’), it occurs to me Mitt may be heading for a double reversal of fortune: He could lose to McCain in New Hampshire but beat Huckabee in Iowa. The critical difference between an underattended caucus and a mass-audience primary is that Iowa is an organization state whereas New Hampshire is an enthusiasm state. It’s clear that McCain is generating enthusiasm in NH, whereas it’s unclear Huckabee has the organization in Iowa. (On the Dem side, John Edwards does appear to have the organization.)
A Huckabee loss in Iowa would burst his bubble as surely as it did Howard Dean’s. On the other hand, a narrow Romney victory in Iowa would make him a Comeback Kid of sorts and push him to a close second to McCain in the Granite State, positioning him well for Michigan and South Carolina.
On the other hand, something entirely different might happen. Who knows, huh?