Countdown to Iowa

Margaret Hoover and John Avlon on the importance of the upcoming caucuses.
4:01 | 01/01/12

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Transcript for Countdown to Iowa
We -- just 48 hours away from the moment when the presidential race. Slightly switches in the politicians and the pundits the actual voters it's your voice your vote just two days away now from Iowa. And here to talk about that and more political commentator Margaret Hoover and senior columnist for Newsweek and the Daily -- John Avalon. Who also happen to be married to one another not the usual -- -- to conduct a political interview with people or. Holding hands it was happening now. -- -- -- could not absolutely right especially in the in the wanted tenor of the times these days -- right so how big a deal is Iowa. I -- is a very big deal but not necessarily for the candidate who -- it's important because. What the person who wins dives to the momentum of the race and other candidates in the field remember 2008. Mitt Romney was widely anticipated Ryan he spent Huckabee outspent Huckabee seven to one. He is locks to Huckabee actually debilitated him for the -- them his momentum for the rest of the primary season. If Gingrich doesn't pull it out when he will be significantly -- moving -- New Hampshire and South Carolina. Ron Paul the X-Factor. He's the huge -- this is the wild card and for -- and Ron Paul creeping up in the polls you people been competing for that conservative alternative to Mitt Romney spot. And Ron -- rising at the right time but Ron -- crucial difference is that his supporters are -- they are deeply dedicated and they're gonna show up the caucus and -- are high intensity low turnout elections so I mean there impact really is just as Margaret said it's about establishing the media -- it's about figuring out what candidates -- -- be that'll turn of Romney and and the end of this month. You know one month now generate the repurchase Florida in this month. All the rock but be every single -- -- facet of politics is gonna play out this is going to be an intense fast and furious political month so if Iowa is not decisive. What he is -- this is New Hampshire. Eight what's decisive in these early states and besides in 2008 as well is the momentum that -- beginning at Iowa -- New Hampshire in the South Carolina in the floor it is it is being narrative momentum that built in the new start so I what I I really important. But it doesn't -- -- the person who wins Iowa gets the nomination. Historically that's not -- the exact but is there a state where you can you'd have to win or you're not at the cannot fight a tiny get to Florida. Florida is stopped at a proportional that it's not -- -- -- -- -- -- -- proportional. But I think by Florida I don't know because it's such an important state for Republicans to win this time. That they will have a very good cents above where it. In New Hampshire independents get to vote that's big social conservatives carry South Carolina where my folks -- Florida becomes the tiebreaker January 31. So where do you think -- Do you think he's going to be a long protracted fight for the Republican nominee I think this could be in in less one candidate pulls a rabbit out of -- hat wins three out of four I think we're looking at a long protracted fight. With Mitt Romney having -- because he's got money and organization. We've seen is sort of -- -- but nobly and you can't buy love I mean The Beatles told us that and the Atlanta as a clear -- well I think. Else will let you want -- not. I think the answer to that question racks and what happens an island not -- what happens in today's is so fascinating if Ron Paul pulls out this could go along if Newt Gingrich pulls it out. Well Mitt -- in trouble if he does well again in South Carolina. This could actually come down to -- Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich horse race and it could be finished sooner than the protracted June. Determination if you're in the white -- are you rooting for a protracted fight. Yes absolutely. Don't you think the White House wants -- battered and bloodied Republican nominee absolutely all of the opposition research has been done for them all the ads are even cut for them all the narratives are in place. They're really sunken into the soil and -- taken -- yeah. And the designs are to -- you know pres Obama's approval ratings inching up in contrast to the chaos in Washington. And you look at the chaos the Republican field and that compounds so that the longer this goes on. Better days for President Obama is he's got tough economic numbers he's a tough time getting his approval rating about 50% that's a vulnerable incumbent and less there's chaos in the conservative movement. Kind of Margaret adorable couple sharp political minds we appreciate it they -- very much happier -- -- -- -- and it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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