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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What the candidates are thinking about right now

In the order of my projected finish:

Mitt Romney - "I hope I win, but even if I don't win I'm in pretty good shape. And if Paul wins, second place is just as good as first, because he can't beat me in a national campaign. Santorum is just peaking at the right time; as soon as people learn he's a big spender who likes to raise the debt ceiling, the Tea-Party people who are turning to him in desperation will desert him. It would be disappointing to fall all the way to third, but even if I do I'm still the favorite on a national scale. Winning Iowa would just make the inevitable happen sooner."

Rick Santorum - "I really hope I win. Everyone knows I'll finish top three, but if I don't beat Romney people will think I'm just the latest in a long line of failed Romney challengers. I'll have positive momentum either way, but if I win it will be an amazing come-from-behind victory that nobody expected a week ago. As someone who's spent 90% of the past year outside the top 5 contenders, winning Iowa would establish me as a top tier candidate, and would help me more than winning Iowa would help any of the other contenders. And I could probably keep that momentum as we head into the moral majority southern states of South Carolina and Florida. Crossing my fingers that this late surge is big enough!"

Ron Paul - "Regardless of whether I finish in first, second, or third, I've already outperformed my expectations. And my campaign's momentum is unlikely to be as affected by my finish as the others' will be. Winning would be great, and may serve to legitimize my stances as more mainstream than political talking heads let on. It would also be historic because so many people have said it could never happen for so long. But unlike the other candidates, I know my supporters won't desert me if I don't win. A second or third place finish would still keep me trudging along; I'm in this for the long run anyway. The passion of my supporters can't be matched, and won't be doused by losing out to Santorum or Romney or other free-spending establishment Republicans. I haven't put all my chips in one basket like Santorum has, and it's not like the media can ignore me any more than they already have! I can only gain momentum today, not lose it."

Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann - "Just don't come in last. Please, God, don't let me come in last. A few months ago, I was squarely in first place. Now, I've come crashing down as people realized what a muslim-hating religious zealot/forgetful, bumbling homophobe/flip-flopping Washington insider blowhard I am. I would be very happy to finish 4th so that I can lick my wounds and continue the fight elsewhere. If I finish in dead last, though, I might just say the hell with it and drop out."

Jon Huntsman - "Wait, there's a caucus in Iowa???"

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