Since this is the time for making predictions about the year ahead I'll make some later this week.
However because the US election season formally begins tomorrow my predictions about that will be out of date if I leave it till Friday so my prediction is this, Barack Obama to beat John McCain in November.
My reasoning is this, with Guliani trailing in the key battleground states and Thompson tanking everywhere those two cannot win. Huckabee might win Iowa* but he is just too out there politically for many more Republicans to back him. So that leaves Romney and McCain, but because of Romney's early front runner status in New Hampshire and Iowa he will be dead in the water if Huckabee takes Iowa and McCain New Hampshire, as now appears likely.
As for the Democrats, Obama is the best communicator among all the candidates and can use that to recover from almost any setback whereas Hilary Clinton depends on getting people to vote for her because they think she will win so if she loses momentum she won't be able to recover. Edwards is too ridiculous to consider seriously.
Unfortunately Obama's easy manner and ability to make fossilised 1960s politics sound fresh will probably enable him to beat the substantial yet somewhat grouchy John McCain in the Presidential vote.
If a Republican does win though expect the inevitable barrage of conspiracy theories to emerge, despite the fact that electoral fraud is more accurately associated with the other side in US politics with their big city political machines and dead Indians on reservations.
* Incidentally as Mark Holland points out, the Iowa Caucus is a travesty of a democratic process. Also is it "Iowa Caucus" or "Iowa Caucuses"?
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