Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney has decided to make a play for the Iowa caucuses after all. But The Hill columnist Brent Budowsky
doesn’t think he can win, but does believe that Ron Paul can win.
The former Massachusetts governor “will lose Iowa because when Iowa Republicans meet on caucus night [Jan. 3], conservatives will tend to unite in each community behind the conservative candidate who can defeat Romney in that community,” Budowsky writes. “Ron Paul can win Iowa because his supporters are very highly motivated and his campaign is very highly organized. He will outperform his rising poll numbers.”
Budowsky says Romney could drop as far as third. He can’t yet predict who will win Iowa because that depends on whom conservatives unite behind. Newt Gingrich is the most likely selection, but Paul or Michelle Bachmann are possibilities as well, Budowsky writes.
“Paul is an interesting wild card in Iowa. He can win Iowa, and if for some reason Newt falls back, I suspect he will win,” Budowsky states. “The media has always underestimated the premium of passion, conviction and organization in the Paul campaign.”
Budowsky disagrees with those who maintain that the nomination will be decided early. “In my view this nomination will be decided, at the earliest, on Super Tuesday,” he writes. “The tendency will be for conservatives to unite behind one candidate by Super Tuesday, and that candidate will have a clean shot at Romney by Super Tuesday and beyond.”
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