Deace’s 2012 Iowa Caucus Power Rankings


The Iowa Independent has asked me to be one of their anonymous panelists helping to update their rankings of who would win the 2012 Iowa Caucuses if they were held today. I agreed to participate, but I don’t like anonymous.

That’s why each time I submit my rankings I will then post them under my actual name here so you can know exactly what I think and why I think it. Of course, I’ll do so after they post the original story as to not steal their thunder.

Here are my rankings as of March 14th, and please keep in mind this is my analysis not my preference (I do not have a preference at this time):

1. Newt Gingrich

Until a true alternative in the conservative grassroots emerges his name ID, resume, and resources makes him the frontrunner because he’s the easiest candidate for the establishment to rally around.

2. Michelle Bachmann

She’s the candidate positioned the best to emerge as that grassroots alternative by building a winning coalition of Tea Party activists and Christian Conservatives.

3. Tim Pawlenty

Will likely be a lot of people’s second choice which is both good and bad. There certainly isn’t room for both he and fellow Minnesotan Bachmann, who has lot more charisma and a lot higher name ID, at the top of the Iowa power rankings.

4. Herman Cain

Has already assembled some impressive Tea Party grassroots support and shouldn’t be underestimated considering Iowans’ traditional sympathy for Caucus underdogs.

5. Ron Paul

With no fight on the Democrat side, Paul could conceivably get a lot of crossover support from younger, college-aged voters who rally to his libertarian message, especially when it comes to money, deficits, and government spending.

I don’t believe either Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee are running at this point, so I did not rank them. I also believe that Mitt Romney will put forth a token effort at best in Iowa as well, if anything at all.

  • Erik Martin

    Thanks for the new blog entry Steve. I have a feeling this election will eventually be different once the candidates make their way around the state . A lot of people are tired of the usual big talk but no real assertive cuts on the budget. I am tried of the establishment politicians who are who they were 4,8, or even 20 years ago…big spenders and do nothings. I believe Herman Cain will emerge in the end, once everyone has a chance to hear him. He is bang on with social and fiscal issues. He is not a politician, he is a business man and a leader. Thanks again Steve.

  • Brian Andersen

    Hard to argue with your rankings much Steve, although it’s like a preseason poll…not much data to go upon right now. I also think Gingrich is best positioned at this point for the obvoius reasons you state. However I’m not convinced of the Presidential appeal for Bachmann. I think establishment types are going to pick between Gingrich and Pawlenty, while Tea Party types are between Bachmann and Herman Cain. And there, I think Herman Cain would win handily with actual Tea Party activists (not to be confused with “national” orgs), and I think the nature of this political landscape might actually favor someone of his non-political background.

  • Thgddd

    There is no way Bachman is in second. She makes Sarah Palin look polished.

  • iCaree

    Do not underestimate the power of the people or Herman Cain. He is already gaining huge momentum across Iowa and the USA. The others you have listed are the same ole same ole politics as usual that don’t have in their DNA the business sense that it takes to run our country because of their follow the money, self serving agendas and political party allegiance.

    The more people that hear Cain are jumping onboard with him because of his common sense solutions and business approach. I am confident that Iowans are smarter than electing politics as usual and will elect a LEADER with motivation and character. Our country is on life support because of Politicians. Enough is Enough. Let’s elect a successful leader and businessman.

    Character matters = Herman Cain!

  • Dipes311

    All of these people would be greatly needed in any Conservative administration in the White House and each could be of useful service in many areas that need to be cleaned up, fixed, or simply abolished. BUT the only clear, common sense choice is Herman Cain for President. People need to study up on this person. He didn’t just “change his views or morals” just in time to run for President. He has lived it his entire life and I can’t wait to see him I’m debates.

  • Mbdam123

    Herman Cain is the most electable candidate of this field. Imagine the speaking skills of a Pawlenty against Obama. Herman can match and surpass Obama’s ability to rally the troops, and a debate would be great television. I haven’t been interested in working for a candidate in years, but I will throw my efforts behind Herman Cain.

  • Brandon

    Herman Cain is the man to beat. 2012 will be a similar repeat of 2008 but in the opposite direction. Cain and his business success of turning around companies facing bankruptcy in the eye together with his intelligence and leadership qualities as well as his popularity amongst the tea party will eventually propell him into the White House where he will forever change the politics of race in the U.S.A. Gingrich is a career politician with pawlenty of political baggage not to mention personal baggage. People want leadership not positionship as Obama has showcased. People are sick of career politicians and Herman is the ideal man to repeal ObamaCare as he has been credited with the downfall of HillaryCare back in 1994. Both Palin and Huckabee will eventually throw their support behind Cain which they have already indicated as well as Gingrich. 2012 will build upon the “Night of the Shellacking” that took place on Nov 2nd of 2010. It is to Cain’s advantage to not be a big name candidate as his grassroots approach to solving the nation’s problems will continue to gain traction across the country. Huckabee came close to winning Iowa despite being outspent big time by Romney in 2008. With the current economic situation this will also play nicely into Cain’s hands. He is the ultimate underdog and America loves and underdog.

    • Joshua Verwers

      Actually, Huckabee did win Iowa in ’08 even being out spent. This gives Cain even more hope.

  • Dale Hankemeier

    Newt is a brilliant man. Newt has a lot of political clout. Newt in the past voted against Constitutional ideals 60% of the time. How is he a conservative? Love Michelle, but makes some gaffs in her speaking that does not bode well. Pawlenty says the right things, but somehow it just does not come off right; you see him say it, but your thinking, is that really him saying it? Love Herman. Just awesome! Dynamic! Soft stance against policies of the Fed is the only thing that I have trouble with. Dr.Paul has done more than anyone to wake America up from the coma we have been in, and set us on the road to recovery.

  • Eric

    I am a Herman Cain follower not only because I believe his message is the right one but because he is not a man of the establishment. I think we have enough politicians and we need more statesmen. That is why I like Herman. I have talked with many people that I know are conservative and after they read about Herman or hear his plan and his simple logic, most of them have decided he is someone they would stand behind also. I don’t like Newt much not because I don’t think he is a decent person, its because he has been in Washington too long. His ties to the party run deep and I am not a fan of being a party follower. That is what got the Dems in trouble and we need to examine what they did wrong and learn from it. Herman is not one to mix his words or his ideas.

  • Joshua Verwers

    Steve, I’d say this is fairly accurate if the vote were to take place today. Thank God that it does not, because Newt would only take us “center-right” as he put it in his IFFC speech. Out of the four that I’ve actual heard speak in person, I think Herman Cain is the only one who can unite the Republican party. I’m still looking at Bachmann and listening to what she has to say. Cain has a genuine message that speaks to social conservatives and he has a proven track record and economic message that speaks to the fiscal conservative.

    Ron Paul supporters even like his fiscal plan. The only issue they’ve really had with him is what they call a soft approach to auditing the fed, and it’s not soft or weak, he’s just prioritizing his plans and all for others picking up the slack there.

    I’ve got a feeling with the exception of number 5 on your list, it will be in reverse order come January (provided a Palin or Huckabee don’t throw their hat in the mix).

    Keep up the good fight!

  • Steve

    4. Herman Cain – I’m surprised that a man who supported the TARP bailouts, loyally carried the water for big-spending Republicans, and opposes an audit of the Federal Reserve is doing so well with supposed tea party members. I guess is shows how much that movement has been co-opted by the mainstream GOP in Iowa.

    Certainly, Cain is constantly angry and he does have dark skin, but I’m just one of those “free market extremists” that he hates so I don’t think I’ll be “uniting” behind him.