GOP Presidential Power Rankings: Iowa Edition

We’re just a week away from the first votes being cast in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Now that Christmas is behind us, look for news out of the Hawkeye State to be non-stop over the next week. We’ll be posting whatever polls come out and we’ll do one final Power Ranking on Monday.

You can see the latest polling out of Iowa here.

Ron Paul: Depending on the polls, Ron Paul is either in first by himself or his is in a statistical tie. His campaign has the best organization, but the recent coverage of the 20 year-old newsletters could threaten his momentum. It’s too early to say he’ll win, but if his campaign can stay on message, Paul could shock the establishment, which will be fun to watch.

Mitt Romney: Recent polls show Romney gaining some ground in Iowa, and he is seeking to capitalize on it by going on a three-day bus tour of the state in advance of the January 3rd caucus. If he wins the caucus and then wins New Hampshire with a decent enough margin, Romney may very well see a boost in other early and put talk of a long, drawn-out primary to bed.

Newt Gingrich: While he managed to benefit in the polls with Herman Cain’s exit from the race, Gingrich hasn’t pieced together a strong team in Iowa. This matter since a well organized ground game is important in getting people to locations to cast their vote. It would be unwise to say Gingrich “won’t win,” but it certainly seems unlikely.

Rick Perry: Perry has received a bit of a bump in recent recents, but most polls out of Iowa still show Perry in fourth place. If Perry finished below Santorum or Bachmann, he’ll no doubt do some soul-searching on whether he wants to stay in the race.

Rick Santorum: While I detest the guy, Santorum may surprise a lot of people when the numbers come out of Iowa next week. A fourth place finish or higher is enough to justify Santorum keeping his campaign moving, especially if Bachmann bows out of the race.

Michele Bachmann: August seems like so long ago, doesn’t it? Bachmann had just won the Ames Straw Poll and managed to win enough conservative support to take on Romney as the frontrunner. Then Perry got in the race and sucked all of the air out of the room. To her credit, Bachmann has been persistent and has seen an uptick in her numbers in recent days; but she isn’t likely to finish any higher than the middle of the pack.

Jon Huntsman: It’s no secret that Huntsman didn’t make an effort in Iowa. His campaign has been spending much of its early efforts in New Hampshire, where they’ve hit double-digits; though they are far behind Romney.

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