I made some predictions about NH last week, and I thought it was worth revisiting them here and making some more going into SC and February. Specifically, I predicted:
With that said, I predict there will be four candidates making it out of January – Romney, Paul, Santorum and Huntsman. Santorum got his ticket “punched” in Iowa – he’s established himself as the credible “Family Values” conservative. Paul has his 20% and probably won’t change. Romney clearly has both the organization and the money to weather a long campaign, and is likely to win both of the first two states.
Huntsman is the surprising one, but I expect him to be New Hampshire (and, by extension, the moderates’s) Santorum – he’ll beat expectations, take 2nd place over Paul by a narrow margin and start to gain some serious attention by voters in some of the early states.
While Huntsman did well in NH, he didn’t get 2nd like I thought he would – he didn’t get the last minute surge that Santorum did in Iowa. I’ll admit that that prediction may have been a bit of a “homer” prediction – I personally like Huntsman, and thought that more people would respond to him than did. He’s polling so poorly in SC that I think it will be hard for him to make a case for his viability going into February – he would need to significantly exceed expectations in Florida* at the end of the month for my prediction to hold true.
So with that, I’ll amend my prediction – three tickets out of January, for Romney, Paul and Santorum.
*Edit: News as of this morning has Huntsman dropping out and endorsing Romney. I kept my original paragraph in because I plan on doing a post-election recap of my predictions, wanted to have my (wrong) prediction on the record.