Nate Silver: The High Stakes in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Loveland, Colo., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

From his FiveThirtyEight blog, Nate Silver outlines the following scenarios for each of the candidates in Tuesday’s events:

Mitt Romney

  • Strong scenario: He wins all three states, although Missouri is very close.
  • Most likely scenario: He wins Colorado by a clear margin and loses Missouri by about 10 points; Minnesota is very close but he loses there once all votes are counted.
  • Weak scenario: He takes a very narrow loss in Colorado in addition to Minnesota and Missouri.

Rick Santorum

  • Strong scenario: He wins all three states, although Colorado is very close.
  • Most likely scenario: He wins Missouri by a clear margin and Minnesota narrowly and loses Colorado by a clear margin.
  • Weak scenario: He gets shut out.

Newt Gingrich

  • Strong scenario: He gets a surprise win in Minnesota.
  • Most likely scenario: He finishes in third in both caucus states. (Mr. Gingrich is not on the ballot in Missouri.)
  • Weak scenario: He finishes dead last in either Minnesota or Colorado, while Mr. Santorum has a strong evening.

Ron Paul

  • Strong scenario: He gets a surprise win in Minnesota and finishes ahead of Mr. Gingrich in Colorado.
  • Most likely scenario: He is not too far out of the running in Minnesota but is well behind in Colorado and Missouri.
  • Weak scenario: He finishes out of the running and worse than his polling in both Colorado and Minnesota, calling into question whether he has an advantage in the caucus states at all.

Read the full blog entry here.

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