Like in any proper election analysis, the calls are the political equivalent of an NFL pregame show. You look at the teams, the players, the point spread, and the injured lists. Then you make your prediction.
So, here we go. Welcome to the New Hampshire playoffs.
In a straight primary where raw votes matter more than anything else Sanders has got to be the favorite. His kiddie brigade will help him there, as will his status as a fellow New Englander.
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He beat the tar out of Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016 and went on to other big victories in the primary season. But now as then it doesn’t matter, as he gets the big nod no way no how as long as the Hillary types still run the party.
Pete Buttigieg will do well. New Hampshire loves a new outsider, like it took a shine to Sanders last time around. His perceived moderation will play well with the approximately 30% of New Hampshire Democrats who see themselves in the middle and his boyish mien will excite the old lady set.
He is riding a wave from Iowa and that should energize his donor base and his ground game.
Elizabeth Warren has a shot at coming in second. She is also from New England, appeals to the worst sort of females (and the Democrats sport those in hordes), and has been on the ground in the state for awhile. But the feeling in DC is she peaked too early and is now playing for a veep slot.
Joe Biden must take first or second place here or be at serious risk of losing the whole thing. With his pedigree and establishment support anything less than number two here is poison.
If he were to drop out that could set up a Hillary scenario and a Hillary-Bernie rematch. The GOP imagination and political palate salivate just thinking about it.
Also rans like Yang, Klobuchar, and Steyer have to finish in the top three or they will be out of the race soon. Well, granted, Steyer has the cash to stay in for a bit.
And speaking of cash, now gaining a higher profile due to massive ad buys and waiting for them all on Super Tuesday is Mike Bloomberg.
The plot thickens…