The Hotline had an item on the National Journal’s “insiders poll” today. A hundred Republican and a hundred Democratic insiders are asked to predict who will win the presidential nominations of each party. On the GOP side, Allen edges out McCain, with 365 points to 337 points (points are based on how many votes for first place, second place, etc. a contender gets). Romney finishes third with 168, and Giuliani fourth with 149.
I think that’s about right, although I would bunch up Allen, McCain, and Romney a little closer. The obvious advantage Romney has is that he’s not in Washington and he can be quite strong if he adopts a vigorous conservative reform message. Allen has had a great year in terms of inside buzz (with the exception of the debacle in the Virginia gubernatorial race). The question is whether he can translate it into something more substantive after he knows what kind of challenge he’s going to face in his Senate re-election race next year, and (if its not a serious one) feels freer to let loose.