The best comp for Ojeda’s candidacy is Huckabee 2008.
In that cycle, Mitt Romney led Iowa by double-digits for 2 years. Trailing him were Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Ron Paul. The 5 of them blanketed the state w/ negative ads– this enriched their consultants, but had the unintended consequence of making voters hate them all.
With less than 4 weeks left until the Iowa caucuses, Mike Huckabee parlayed excellent debate performances to surge ahead and win comfortably.
Unfortunately, Huckabee had no national infrastructure. His constituency was primarily poor, uneducated Southerners– but unlike Trump, Huckabee had no appeal to Northern and coastal online trolls (such as MFP).
And that was that.
Similarly, Ojeda’s campaign will be starved of resources and wins in Democrat strongholds once the campaign is nationalized post-Iowa.
|Feb 3||Iowa||Closed Caucus||Must place 1-2|
I think Ojeda will surprise people.
Bernie is the favorite in Iowa. Beta O’Rourke, who is temperamentally perfect for the state, isn’t far behind. And then there’s Joe Biden, Sherrod Brown, Cory Booker, Eric Garcetti, and Eric Swallowswell.
But Ojeda is a good debater and an excellent retail politician. And w/out a Bush or Hillary machine to bury him in an avalanche of anonymous-ish negative ads, a late Huckabee-like surge s not out of the realm of possibility.
Ojeda’s odds of winning: 10%.
|Feb 11||New Hampshire||Mixed||Must place 1-5|
|Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker will dabble in Iowa, but they will make their stand in New Hampshire.
Ojeda’s odds of winning: 0%.
|Feb 15||Nevada||Closed Caucus||Must place 1-5|
|Nevada is a machine state, but this time, there is no establishment candidate for Harry Reid to back.
That should make it an ideal pickup opportunity for Ojeda…except that the underfunded Ojeda campaign probably can’t afford to split time between Nevada and South Carolina. As such, NV will almost certainly go to Bernie/Beta or Kamala Harris from nearby CA.
Ojeda’s odds of winning: 2.5%
|Feb 22||South Carolina||Open||Must place 1-2|
|The South Carolina erectorate should be right in Ojeda’s wheelhouse. If he doesn’t finish 1st or 2nd, his campaign is essentially over.
But just as Ojeda was caught between the Sunnis and Shia in Iraq– in South Carolina, a financially compromised Ojeda will be caught between 2 well-funded top-tier candidates:
Ojeda’s odds of winning: 10%
|Mar 3||Super Tuesday||Mixed||Must place 1st|
|By around 11:30pm EST, Ojeda’s campaign will be over.
Ojeda likely will (and should) stay in the race in order to leverage his debate and TV appearances into a book deal or cable news contract– but his campaign for the presidency ends on Super Tuesday.
Ojeda’s odds of winning: 0%
Despite the loss, expect to see Ojeda on cable news shows for years to come. Do not be surprised if he adjusts his views for a Fox News panel gig.
For the record, MFP hit on 9 out of 11 Senate picks in 2018, and correctly predicted that the popular vote would settle in the 5-7% range back in June (when the generic ballot was fluctuating wildly). In 2016, MFP whiffed on the erectoral college, but exactly predicted the popular vote.
Related: Beta’s path to the nominaton