Here is our final power rankings and our final annual end of the month rankings before the Iowa Caucus.
1st: Mitt Romney (rising) Romney is the candidate best positioned to take the nomination. If he wins Iowa and NH he knocks out McCain and with Florida, Rudy will be out. Romney however needs a win in Iowa. He has regained or statistically tied Huckabee in Iowa with only 3 days left. Romney could be upsetted by both Huckabee and McCain and then Romney will be in trouble. Romney has enough money to continue well beyond losses in Iowa and NH should that happen.
2nd: John McCain (rising) McCain has surged to 3rd in Iowa and with that, a Huckabee win in Iowa and a win in NH McCain could be on his way to a major comeback. His campaign really needs a 3rd in Iowa and a win in NH. More importantly he needs Mike Huckabee to pull through in Iowa stoping the Mitt Machine.
3rd: Mike Huckabee (steady) He is now dead even in polls with Romney and the momentum could go either way these final days. Huckabee needs a win in Iowa to move on. Without it he won't have the money or momentum to contineue. After he needs a win in Michigan however McCain and Romney or whomever wins NH will be competitive.
4th: Rudy Giuliani (falling) Rudy has now expectations in Iowa NH, Michigan, South Carolina, and Nevada. He can afford to lose them all however his make or break state is Florida. Without it hes done. He can only hope he does perform too badly in those early states that woud hurt his campaign.
5th: Fred Thompson (falling) Thompson's Iowa tour is helping but with the surging campaign Thompson might just be a foot ote in this election. Without a 3rd place finish in Iowa Thompson will be out and slip to also ran status. However if Thompson gets a strong finish in Iowa he could surge in SC and win there and then surge to Florida. I dont see this happening but it is a possibility.
6th: Ron Paul (rising) Paul has the money but the question is can he translate that into votes. Paul could finish 4th and maybe even 3rd in NH and 4th in Iowa which would be a strong finish for Congressman Paul, however he has no startegy to win the nomination so look for him to just be a spoiler.
7th: Duncan Hunter (steady) Congressman Hunter has the experience but will finish near dead last in all the contests. The candidate himself knows he will be an also-ran.
8th: Alan Keyes (steady) His last presidential campaign may be his worst. He will likely not finish storng anywhere and doesn't have ballot access in several primaries. Keyes started to late and it has killed any chance he had.
9th: John Cox (steady) Cox did perform a strong campaign and recieved ballot access but dont look for that to translate to anything ober a few hundred votes if even that.
1st: Hillary Clinton (steady) Hillary is on top of polls in Iowa, and that means if she wins its over. However polls are always accurate and her lead is within the margin of error. Sen. Clinton may have a terrible upset in Iowa which could lead to losses in NH, Iowa, and SC and then she will be in trouble.
2nd Tied: Barack Obama (steady) Obama is falling in Iowa and he needs a top 2 finish or he will be in trouble in NH. Obama is also slipping in NH and Edwards is rising, so it looks as if Edwards is slowly replacing Obama as the Clinton alternative. Obama must hold on in Iowa or its all over.
2nd Tied: John Edwards (rising) Edwards needs a win in Iowa and he may just get it. Edwards I see right now as the favorite to win Iowa, and with it he could upset Obama and Clinton, probably not Clinton, in NH. That may swing South Carolina a state he won 4 yars agao and lead to a close race in Florida. The cards are looking good for Edwards to upset his 2 main rivals and win the nomination.
4th: Joe Biden (rising) Biden has surprised us with 4th place finishes in most polls. Biden could surprise us here, but probably with nothing more than a 4th plae finish in Iowa and maybe the same in NH.
5th: Bill Richardson (falling) Richardson is falling and now is in a tooth and nail fight for 4th in Iowa with Biden and 4th in NH. Richardson will be out come Nevada.
6th: Dennis Kucinich (falling) Kucinich is concentrating in NH and may surprise us there but its doubtful. Kucinich will be a spoiler liek last time.
7th: Chris Dodd (falling) Dodd is dead last at 1% in all primaries and caucuses. Dodd will be another spoiler and also-ran.
8th: Mike Gravel (steady) At least Gravel is on the ballot in most stats. He won't even get 1% in any state, but he sure did make the debates interesting didn't he?