First off let me start by saying that the Iowa Caucus is an elitist and undemocratic process. If you want to participate you have to be there at a specific time and your vote might not count as much as somebody from another precinct. So if your job won't allow you to get away tomorrow evening, or you're serving our country in Iraq, well I guess that's just too damn bad and you don't count. People are disappointed at the 30% turnout we get here in the municipal elections but the Iowa Caucus turns out about 5% of registered voters - pathetic. On the Democratic side it's not even a secret ballot and if your chosen candidate doesn't get 15% of the vote then he's eliminated and you get to choose again. It's ridiculous.
Having said that, it's going to be interesting to watch to see if Huckabee can go from worst to first and pull out the victory. Readers may remember months ago when I went out on a limb and predicted Huckabee would win the GOP nomination despite barely registering in the polls. I did this because I thought his populist rhetoric coupled with his Christian Conservative credentials would give primary voters a distinct choice.
Recently it looked like Huckabee was soaring to an easy victory in Iowa but then the Republican machine decided he wasn't "their guy". The old Republican guard began sniping at him while Romney unleashed a barrage of negative ads. Like usual, they worked and Huckabee has been trailing off enough over the past couple weeks to make tomorrow night's result a toss-up.
I always say there are two types of people in politics, those who are in it for the government service and those who are in it for the competition. What Huckabee is finding out (although he probably already knows this) is that you need both to be successful. He needs a machine of supporters that can hit back when Romney attacks him because Nice Guy Huck can't win - the old guard simply won't allow it.
The significance of tomorrow's results are that if Romney loses and goes on to lose New Hampshire to McCain (he likely would) then he might very well be toast. Yet if he pulls out a victory in Iowa then he would be the front runner from there on out. I mean who else is going to compete? Thompson? Guiliani? They're done. Ron Paul? A 3rd place finish would keep him alive but anything worse would make it difficult to go forward. I haven't been paying as much attention to the Democratic side because frankly it's not as interesting. The only real significance I see is that if Edwards loses then he's probably done.
Don't forget to checkout Pat McAlister of Political Equinox, Fort Wayne's local blogger on the ground covering the event. And as a fellow political junkie I'll be watching the coverage of the event but as a populist I think it's a farce...