It's posts like this one that keep me going back to FiveThirtyEight. This kind of electoral and poll analysis play to his statistical strength. The rest, wherein he invokes his liberal condescension and plays Obama apologist, makes me want to bang my head against the wall, repeatedly. There's nothing learned in those posts and the tone makes them practically unreadable.
Back to his 2012 Republican primary post: There is a lot about this race that is unknown, like, who's going to run? There are so many names out there, even guessing who might be in it in 2012 is a crapshoot. Now add to that the difficulty of analyzing the prospects of various candidates who may or may not be running in 2012.
Of the 3 mentioned in the post title, readers know my preference: Romney, then Palin, and I don't care for Huckabee at all, and I'd love to vote for General Petraeus, though it's unlikely he runs.
The whole post is worth reading, I'll just excerpt the part on Romney:
Conversely, Mitt Romney's paths might look something like this, and are probably somewhat more straightforward than Palin's.I'm headed to CPAC next week and will get to listen to Romney and a number of the other potential Republican candidates in 2012. I'll also get a sense of base enthusiasm for 2010 and a number of other things.
Romney Plan A. Win Iowa. Win New Hampshire. Game over.
Romney Plan B-1. (If Palin is knocked out) Lose Iowa. Win New Hampshire. Win Nevada. Sweep orange states on the basis of organizational strength. Veer slightly to the left, emphasizing electability and cleaning up in delegate-rich states like California and New York. You probably outlast a Southern opponent like Huckabee, perhaps even fairly easily. A Midwesterner that could win states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania might be more challenging.
Romney Plan B-2. (If Palin survives) Lose Iowa. Win New Hampshire. Win Nevada. Split orange states with Palin on the basis of organizational strength. Hope that gold or purple states came up next, in which case you should build up a substantial delegate lead. If so, the party infrastructure may start to close ranks around you. If green states come up instead, Palin is tougher and you're in for a war of attrition with flagging momentum.
Watch for lots of CPAC-related posts 18-20 February.
If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.