Iowa governor’s prediction un-sealed: Branstad conjured Romney win

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
Font Size:

Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad sealed in an envelope a guess naming the candidate who would win the Iowa caucuses back in November. On Tuesday evening, CNN’s John King unsealed the prediction.

Branstad guessed that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would be victorious.

It was not clear that Romney would actively campaign in the Hawkeye State at all until November, when, following strong polling results, his campaign indicated that he would.

The Romney campaign had worked to keep expectations for the caucuses low after 2008, when expectations were so high that Romney’s second place finish was perceived as a loss.

The prediction perhaps reflects the aura of inevitability that surrounded Romney’s campaign in November. He had held steady at around 25 percent in the polls while his opponents came and went, and his major competitor at the time, pizza mogul Herman Cain, was fading.

On Tuesday evening, Branstad was less definitive in offering a prediction, telling Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier: “It’s going to be Santorum, Romney and Ron Paul has a strong following, too. But I would say Gov. Perry has a bunch of volunteers who have come up here from Texas (and he) has come on strong at the end. So, I don’t know.”

“There will be three tickets out of here tomorrow,” he added. “Some will want four, but we’ll see.”

In December, Branstad said that Americans should ignore the results of the Iowa caucuses if Texas Rep. Ron Paul wins the contest.

[dcvideo videoid=”24779865″ name=”ndnPlayer_24779865″ type=”ndn” /]

Follow Alexis on Twitter