Okay folks, here is my bold (and highly probable) prediction on how the primaries will shake out (after Mitt knocks it out of the park in the Ames straw poll in August, of course):
1) Monday, January 14, 2008 - Iowa
Romney will smoke the competition in this one and it will set the stage for his eventual victory. I think he'll get a HUGE 45% of the vote!
2) Saturday, January 19, 2008 - Nevada
Mitt won a recent poll in Nevada and the momentum is going his direction. Fred Thompson is also doing well in Nevada, but I predict deflating support for Thompson once voters really get to know him (the Giuliani effect - famous name that polls well early on, but degrades over time). Polls in early January will have a close race between Thompson and Romney, but the Iowa caucuses will give Mitt a boost and he'll take Nevada by a decent margin.
3a) Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - New Hampshire
Are you kidding?! There is no question that Mitt is going to win in New Hampshire. After winning both Iowa and Nevada, he'll blow out NH!
3b) Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - Wyoming
I can't find any polls but being so close to Utah and having seen Mitt work his magic with the Olympics, I can't imagine Wyoming not going for Mitt. But even if it didn't go Romney (despite the aforementioned win in nearby and similarly rural Iowa), that news would be overshadowed by the more important and historical New Hampshire win. (If anyone knows about Wyoming polls, let me know...)
4) Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - Florida
This is where it gets interesting. Currently, Romney trails both Giuliani and Thompson in Florida. Mitt has been above 10% recently, but some of his steam is being taken by Thompson of late. Again, I expect support for Thompson to wane once people realize he doesn't have the family values, intelligence, charisma, experience, ideas, or character of Romney. Plus, unfounded concerns over Mitt's abortion credentials will work their way into Thompson's run (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO_HA_0cdM0 ). In the end, it all boils down to how closely Floridians are watching the preceding races. If they watch and follow, it goes to Romney. If they vote blindly, it may go Giuliani or Thompson. I predict Mitt squeaks out a win - he's definitely got the best team in Florida.
5) Saturday, February 2, 2008 - South Carolina
The story here is pretty much the same as Florida. It all depends on the impact of the preceding states. Watch for some religious bigotry against Romney, along with a backlash. Also watch for Giuliani's support to evaporate once his pro-abortion stance fully comprehended. I think Romney will have a hard time winning, but he'll get 2nd place.
6) Super Dooper Tuesday, February 5, 2008:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and maybe more!
For the most part, the OVERALL winner of the first 6 states listed above will be the de facto winner in these states. If my prediction holds, and Mitt wins 5 of the 6 (or even 4 of the 6), and has the most precious prizes of Iowa and NH, he'll take most of these states and become the nominee!!!
So, as Mitt continues to work Florida and South Carolina this fall, his support will rise and he'll be set to devastate the completion. Mitt's going to be our nominee!
BTW, I just found a couple great resources in Wikipedia that I referenced in putting this together: