Rep. Michele Bachmann suspended her presidential campaign today after a sixth place finish in the Iowa caucuses. The result may be a surprise to those who listened to the analysis of Fox News contributor Dick Morris.
Morris, author of the political classic Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race, has a staggeringly bad record of political prognostication. Morris once predicted that "Bachmann is probably going to win" or "have a strong second-place finish in Iowa." He also said that Bachmann "is likely to be one of the two semi-finalists" overall for the nomination.
Morris' analysis on Bachmann was mired in ethical problems. He previously conducted a series of softball interviews with Bachmann for DickMorris.com. Emails sent to Morris' list promoting the interviews were "Paid for by Bachmann for President" and included direct links to the Bachmann campaign's fundraising website. (Bachmann had previously rented Morris' list in June to send out a fundraising appeal.)
Here's a look back at some of Morris' predictions about Bachmann and the Iowa caucuses.
December 5. Morris during Hannity: "I want to say something, which is I think a lot of the Cain votes may go to Bachmann, and I think Bachmann may have a strong second-place finish in Iowa." [via Nexis]
December 1. Morris during On the Record: "I think it is not altogether impossible to foresee an Iowa result of Newt in first place, and Romney and Bachmann very close in a battle for second." [via Nexis]
August 15. Morris during Hannity:
MORRIS: The first primary, the one against Bachmann would be held in Iowa. Where Bachmann is probably going to win and Perry could be competitive. The other primary the free market conservative primary will be in New Hampshire. Which is oriented in that direction, where Romney is the front-runner.
I could see a situation, where Bachmann beats Perry in Iowa. And maybe Perry finishes third with Romney in there, you don't know. But second or a third. Then Bachmann, using the momentum from Iowa, finishes second to Romney in New Hampshire. And at that point, Perry who will probably win South Carolina, becomes a regional southern candidate, not unlike Mike Huckabee. [via Nexis]
June 15. Morris during The O'Reilly Factor: "Bachmann has a very serious legitimate chance to win this election. She, in my judgment is likely to be one of the two semi-finalists, Romney and Bachmann." [via Nexis]
MORRIS: Bachmann has a very serious legitimate chance to win this election. She, in my judgment is likely to be one of the two semi-finalists, Romney and Bachmann. It could be Romney and Cain but I think it --
O'REILLY: Cain you said?
O'REILLY: No shot. No way.
MORRIS: It will -- well, it will either be Romney and Cain or Romney and Bachmann.
O'REILLY: Ok. It's not going to be Herman Cain, that's not going to happen.
MORRIS: And the -- and Bachmann then has a -- she will be a semi- finalist.
June 13. Morris during Hannity:
HANNITY: You think Herman Cain can win the nomination?
HANNITY: You think Michele Bachmann can win?
MORRIS: Yes. [via Nexis]
May 23. Morris in a column on his website:
As always, the geographic mix of primaries is overshadowed by the ideological aspects of the contest. On the center court, Mitt Romney stands to win the moderate-Republican quarterfinal now that Trump, Daniels and Thune have dropped out. Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman are his only rivals. Huntsman, hobbled by his service in the Obama administration, is unlikely to make much progress while Romney is running, but Pawlenty might be more viable. The former Minnesota governor enjoys important advantages in next-door Iowa. If he can finish above Romney there, he could be a viable opponent down the track. To knock Pawlenty out of the race, Romney needs to beat him in Iowa.
Meanwhile, in the conservative quarterfinal, Michele Bachmann is the odds-on favorite now that Huckabee has gotten out of the way. An Iowa native, she seems ideally poised to win the first caucus. Her main rivals will be Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. Newt has to finish above Bachmann. Will enough conservative women flock to Michele to overcome Gingrich's advantage among the right-wing faithful? A lot depends on whether she can contain the grassfire of enthusiasm spreading for the Tea Party favorite, Cain. Now that enough insiders have dropped out, there might be running room for the charismatic former CEO of Godfather's Pizza. But Bachmann's role as the leader of the Tea Party Caucus in the House gives her a big advantage. From that perch, she can protest Boehner's deals with Obama and demand a militancy as popular on the hustings as it is anathema in the House Speaker's Office.
The most likely outcome in Iowa would be: Bachmann, Romney, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Cain, Huntsman.
The most likely result is that Bachmann and Romney head into South Carolina with major momentum. There, next door to Georgia, Newt will make his last stand. Failing an upset, the Mitt and Michele show will take to the road.