Obviously, both campaigns are extremely close at the top, especially on the Republican side. With only six days to go, and with Iowa tomorrow night, by far the number one agent of change in these standings will be the results in Iowa. Campaigning in New Hampshire will not make much of an impact on these numbers, but the results of Iowa should have a significant impact. Historically, the average boost candidates have received in New Hampshire from Iowa is as follows:
1st in Iowa: Plus 14.5 in NH
2nd in Iowa: Plus 3.2 in NH
3rd in Iowa: Minus 3.5 in NH
4th or lower in Iowa: Minus 4.4 in NH
On the Democratic side, this means that if Clinton wins Iowa, there is pretty much no way she can lose New Hampshire. This also appears to be the case for Obama, but the Suffolk tracking numbers might be a worry for his campaign. In order to take New Hampshire, Edwards would appear to not only need an Iowa win, but also an Obama second place finish in Iowa. There is also the possibility that the Iowa results will be so indecisive that little will change in New Hampshire. That would be a big negative for Edwards, and a positive for Clinton.
On the Republican side, McCain appears to be taking the lead in New Hampshire. Given the rapid current pro-McCain trends, it is highly doubtful that Romney can stop McCain unless Romney wins Iowa. At the same time, it seems highly unlikely that McCain can hang on in New Hampshire if Romney wins Iowa. As such, it would appear that if Romney wins Iowa, expect a Romney vs. Huckabee showdown in South Carolina to all but determine the nomination. However, if Huckabee wins Iowa, expect a McCain versus Huckabee showdown in South Carolina, and the possibility of a long-term, messy Republican primary.
Given all of this, in Iowa I am pulling for an Edwards-Obama-Clinton on the Democratic side, and a Romney-Huckabee finish on the Republican side. That scenario leaves both nominations up in the air, is the best scenario for Edwards, and the second-worst scenario for McCain (Obama winning Iowa is the worst scenario for McCain). So, that way I get my political junkie fix, my pro-Edwards fix, and my Democratic electability fix. We will find out soon enough.