So, two weeks out from Iowa, here are the odds.
Rudy and Thompson each 20-1. John McCain 6-1. He has to win New Hampshire, and even if he wins there, he would be an underdog. Grass-roots conservatives do not like him and would prefer Huckabee.
Mitt Romney 3-2. If he wins Iowa, he is almost unstoppable. If he loses Iowa, he has to come back and beat McCain in New Hampshire. Then it would a Mitt-Mike race through Feb. 5.
And Huckabee? He has to win Iowa. If he does, he will be the favorite in South Carolina and for the nomination, as well.
Looks like a Mitt-Mike race, with Iowa and New Hampshire giving us by Jan. 9 the two candidates from whom the nominee will be chosen. And isn't that how it usually is? Iowa and New Hampshire choose for America.
—Pat Buchanan, Is it Down to Mitt and Mike?
Nicely done. Based on those odds, Mitt has a slight edge. In Giuliani's Nomination Path - Tougher, But Not Blocked, Jim Geraghty lays out a different possible scenario for the next 45 or so days on the Republican side.
The Geraghty scenario is the one I'd like to see play out for a great many reasons. The Buchanan scenario has nothing much to recommend it as far as I'm concerned. That being the case, my sense is that Buchanan knows better. No surprise and no surprises, alas. I hope I'm wrong.