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Who Do You Think Will Win the Iowa Caucus? And, Do You Really Care?

The pundits say it's down to three: Paul, Romney and Santorum. Here in Illinois, some are lining up behind Romney. But what do you think?

Happy Iowa Caucus Day.

They're expecting a higher 2012 turnout in Iowa than in 2008—maybe because it's anybody's ballgame. Here's a nice link to the Iowa Gazette Caucus 2012 page, where you can follow along as the day progresses. Polls should open around 7 p.m. our time and results flowing freely thereafter.

Here's an explanation of the process, courtesy of ABC News.

If you believe the pundits, it's a three-way race right now between Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are making their last-minute push, and Jon Huntsman has kind of stood on the sidelines for this one.

Here at home in Illinois, The Daily Herald reports that Republicans Sen. Mark Kirk, Rep. Robert Dold and Rep. Judy Biggert all have backed Romney. U.S. Reps. Randy Hultgren, Joe Walsh and Peter Roskam are undecided. Our primary is March 20, in case you want to mark your calendar.

And if you listen to the Sunday-morning talk shows, the top three spots are the most important coming out of Iowa. 

Why is the Iowa Caucus important? We're glad you asked. And you can find more answers at history.howstuffworks.com. The main answer is that it's first.

People who weren't considered contenders suddenly have a shot if they do well in Iowa. This time around, it seems to be a big deal for Santorum, who's gaining momentum at the end, and for Gingrich, who had a freefall from grace this week after a bunch of negative ads.

But it's not "as Iowa goes, so goes the nation." The caucus has what the Chicago Tribune calls a "spotty track record" for picking a winner, but it does often separate the wheat from the chaff.

Ray January 03, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Kudos on your advanced reading and writing ability - I know I couldn't have posted at age 3! I think Gingrich and Huntsman are the only two who might be able to avoid totally embarrassing themselves and their party in a debate vs Obama. But then, a lot of voters don't pay attention to debates.
Steven Bayne January 03, 2012 at 07:59 PM
My vote is for the most likely to beat Obama, elected with the help of a billion dollars and illusions of the unity he never brought or attempted to bring. However there are problems. Ron Paul has outdated ideas on running and not being followed by our enemies; Rick Perry is too dumb to follow, let along lead. Bachman is "the woman" and not much else; Santorum is a smirky kid who can't win; Newt had his chance and blew it (always outsmarted by Clinton). This leaves us with Mitt Romney, a center-right poster boy for clean living. My vote goes to Mitt with reservations. Anybody but Obama to win
Steven Bayne January 03, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Sorry for the repeat. I got a screen saying something like I was in a loop of some sort.
Matthew Hendrickson January 03, 2012 at 08:31 PM
No worries, Steven. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
Jimmy January 03, 2012 at 11:32 PM
"Damaged goods?" Your diatribe is typical of the far-left's entitlement-mentality and hypocritical political standards. Do you want to discuss "damaged goods?" For 20 years, that's TWENTY FREAKING YEARS, obama was an active member of a Chicago church headed by the obscenely racist Jeremiah Wright. Could you imagine the liberals' and lame-stream media's hysterics and deafening outcry if any Republican presidential candidate spent 20 YEARS attending an overtly racist church? One of obama's Chicago colleagues/friends is an admitted and unrepentant terrorist named Bill Ayers - a "man" who had no problem in helping bomb the Pentagon. obama spent most of his few short years in the Illinois Senate voting "present." obama NEVER worked in an executive position (which is incredibly obvious now). Unlike G. W. Bush, obama has NEVER released his academic records, including his graduate thesis. obama's wife has been seen/heard/recorded/videotaped saying "this is the first time I've been proud of America." Believe me, I can continue with pages of additional obama "baggage," but hopefully this is enough to at least illuminate your blatant bias and hypocrisy. Yes, all of the Republican presidential candidates come with some "baggage," but don't you think even for one moment that any of their "baggage" is as bad as obama's "baggage." If the media wasn't completely blinded by white-guilt and far-left ideology, they would have noticed obama's "baggage."
Jimmy January 03, 2012 at 11:50 PM
WOW!!! You mean Elmhurst, that increasingly inconsequential western suburb is becoming more liberal? I'm impressed! Even if that were even remotely the case, it would NOT matter in the least. Because our incredibly corrupt sate government is beholden to the equally corrupt labor unions, trial lawyers and an entitlement-demanding populace, Illinois is already a solid far-left "blue" sate. Therefore, even if Elmhurst, or for that matter, Illinois becomes more liberal (more "blue"), it would NOT decrease the likelihood of obama being a one-term president.
Deke January 04, 2012 at 01:11 AM
So DuPage is turning blue? Great, now we can be just like Cook County! The highest sales tax in the nation, corrupt government, lousy schools, high crime, a court system that is a joke. Can't wait.
Melanie C January 04, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Sadly, I agree with a lot of what has been said here. I suppose I will just pray that someone comes out of the woodwork and throws his/her hat in the ring. At this point, picking the lesser of all the evils is all anybody can do. However, that being said, I think Ron Paul is the best choice. I am sick and tired of the same old stuff. It clearly does not work. Perhaps, it is truly time for an outside of the box individual. Even a WAY outside of the box person is more desirable to me than what we have now. His ideologies can certainly be called extreme and far fetched but maybe that is what is needed in order to bring us back to balance.
Thomas January 04, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Honest question, why are the democrats moving out of (democrat dominated) Chicago and Cook County? If democratic policies are so good, why are they moving away from them to a historically Republican area?
Joe O'Donnell (Editor) January 04, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Who had Romney over Santorum by EIGHT VOTES? Crazy.
goddess January 04, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Santorum is scary and would be a train wreck for the GOP.
Ray January 04, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Right about Santorum - he's an outright kook! But if he won it all, at least we'd have a president who 1)knows about torture better than Sen. McCain, and 2) would talk to the nation about the horrible dangers and evils of contraception. :)
Rick Nagel (Editor) January 04, 2012 at 04:43 PM
After the virtual tie, Santorum will get his vetting and probably his share of the attack ads. Which will open the door a bit further for Romney. Still anybody's guess who will win the GOP nomination ... who probably will lose to President Obama in the General Election, if you believe George Will ... who thinks Republicans ought to focus on the Senate seats.
Steven Bayne January 04, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I don't think I've ever stayed awake long enough to agree or disagree with George Will. In the absence of accomplishment and in the empirical reality of abject failure, the only alternative for Obama and his epigones is to go VERY NEGATIVE. Romney is insulated against this sort of attack. As a 17 year resident of MA during the Romney years, I have every confidence in this fact. If Repubs close the circle soon; open up to Hispanics and minorities, as they should (and will) the ball game is Obama's to lose. As of now, if Romney gets the nod, Obama would lose by a hair. If he supports an attack on Iran, however, just before election time, he could be saved from the fate he deserves.
Joe O'Donnell (Editor) January 04, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Seems likely that Santorum could be 2012's Mike Huckabee: does well in Iowa with the small-town, socially conservative folks, but doesn't have much appeal beyond that.
Dan F. January 04, 2012 at 06:10 PM
"the Dems are growning in numbers out here with many moving from the city" You mean "escaping" from the mess that is Democrat controlled Chicago and Cook County?
Joseph R. Martan January 04, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Iowa is hardly representative of the majority of voters. It is just unfortunate that Bachman has now dropped out - she was so deliciously ignorant despite her formal education. Even if Romney gets the nod - and he likely will - Obama is going to win in November. Too many people are thoroughly disgusted with the TEA Party nonsense in the House, too many people have seen the Republican country clubbers cooncerned only with preserving the privilege of the well-to-do while flipping a middle finger to both the middle class and working class. What fun it will be to flip that finger right back.
Ray January 04, 2012 at 06:48 PM
LOL great description! I'm sure some of the political discussion show hosts will miss her. Have to give the Teabag Party some credit though, for the way they've gotten many in the middle/working classes to help wave their banner for them. Pretty brilliant - akin to convincing an opposing player to shoot the ball into the wrong basket!
Joseph R. Martan January 04, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Ray: Lenin coined a very accurate term for people like the middle/working class members waving the TEA Party banner - "useful idiots." Considering the major sources of TEA Party funding have come from the billionaire Koch brothers as well as several hedge fund types, it is even more ironic.
Adam January 05, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I like Ron Paul simply because he is against SOPA and NCAA and most gop republicans are supposed to be small government but support both. One bill allows for the regulation of the internet like china the other allows for the military to arrest you, indefinetly without trail. I just dont see the difference in party lines anymore other than social issues. And social issues when I look at what is going on in the US arent important to me. My thoughts.
Tony Cesare January 05, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Do you really want to know why there is so much voter apathy on a national level? Read some of these comments, or comments after almost any 'political' discussion thread on the internet. 'Libertard', 'Teabagger' 'Lame stream media', 'Socialist', 'Dems','Republican't'..ext. Same tired cliché buzzwords created by journalism majors working on staff for various political commentators and pundits, and repeated by the sheep who follow them. Inc. magazine just ran a feature on an AMERICAN company called 'Evernote' that is reshaping he way we remember, the way we think and process information. What they are doing is inspiring, there are 32 Japanese books based on the companies methodology and process. While we repeat buzzwords we didn't write and exaggerated hysteria about gay marriage, the Japanese look ahead to the global economy and study companies that are changing the way we think. That's what I find to be truly 'lame'.
Tony Cesare January 05, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Amazing stuff-and its all home grown. http://www.inc.com/magazine/201112/evernote-2011-company-of-the-year.html
Super Concerned Citizen January 05, 2012 at 07:30 PM
This country needs a man like Joel Goodson because he grossed over $8,000 in one night and he deals in human fulfillment. Yeah...this country needs a man like Joel Goodson...
Super Concerned Citizen January 05, 2012 at 08:35 PM
sorry, the para quote should read "This county can use a guy like Joel" {Goodson}
Robert Bykowski January 05, 2012 at 08:48 PM
@Tony... I've read enough internet comments in my life to know that it's not journalism majors that come up with these absurdly "catchphrases" and "buzzwords." But anyway, Iowa doesn't really matter, certainly not with this field of republican "candidates," which are all so, so awful. This is like 2004 when the democrats conceded the election by trotting out Kerry as their candidate, except these people are worse.
Jacqueline Gales January 05, 2012 at 09:15 PM
On one hand, I would say that Iowa doesn't really matter and it is all a big circus to start things off. They rarely pick the actual candidate. However, I am encouraged by the support for Ron Paul. I do not expect him to win but that many people showing up to support a candidate who clearly stands up for less government, real change, well, that is uplifting. Hopefully, the republicans will find a candidate with Paul's values and Mitt Romney's looks and personality, lol.
J Steen January 07, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Yes - that silly, fake "doctor" that's afraid of using a washroom in the home of a gay San Francisco supporter has MY VOTE ! Any "doctor" that is THAT ignorant about communicable diseases is TOP SHELF !!
Adam January 07, 2012 at 04:33 PM
The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act has now been passed into Law Authorizes the US Government to use US Military to imprisonment American Citizens who question the government’s political agenda, and detain them with no charges, or trial, indefinitely. Why is it that not one of the GOP (with the exception of Ron Paul) has made any statement regarding this? To me, all the other issues pale in comparision. Romney was asked 6 days ago what he thought and he stated that he would have to read it first???? Pretty sure the Nazis passed the same law in the 1930s
J Steen January 08, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Only problem with Mutt is that the RepubliKlan evangelical Taliban Baptists will NOT support a godless mormon cult member ! GO OBAMA 2012 !
J Steen January 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM
2012 will go down as the DEMOCRATIC PARTY MANDATE ELECTION YEAR when we take not only the White House but also both Houses of Congress and each statehouse in total repudiation of the greed and lies of the RepubliKlan Party - the folks who brought us bankruptcy, foreclosures, and moral decay...all in the name of satisfying their corporate masters. The RepubliKlan will be out of power for at least the next 30 years for the havoc they have visited upon our Nation by their greed. Write it on your calendars, kids.

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