I found this Tood Dorman piece through Iowa Ennui this morning, and figured it merited a response, so I posted one, both here and there:
The "no one gets 35%" problem isn't really as likely as you'd think.
First and foremost, anyone who wants to appear on the ballot has to have 4000 signatures on their nominating petition by February. Culver and Blouin can almost certainly manage that. Fallon's already got that.
On the "maybe" side, we've got Patty Judge, who said she's looking to get enough signatures at the precinct caucuses in January. If that works, more power to her, but past performance would tell us that only about 6-8,000 people are going to attend the 2,000 caucuses combined. The concept of 4,000 of them being Judge supporters is iffy at best, and if they're not, she's got about 2 weeks to scramble and get signatures.
Gregg Connell is also a maybe. He comes off with a little more political credibility than I originally gave him credit for, but he's still the mayor of a 5,000 person town in the middle of nowhere. 4,000 signatures is a tough goal for a guy who's been in the race almost 2 months and doesn't even have a website.
There's no way "Standing on the streetcorner" Sal or Mark Yackle even get 1000 signatures. Maybe Yackle can go back home and open Yackle's Bait and Tackle, or Yackle's Paint and Spackle.
If it's only 3 candidates, it would take an absolute perfect storm for no one to get 35%.
If it's 4 or 5, the possibility is there but still exceptionally unlikely. Connell and Judge take up 5-10% each (roughly 20-30,000 votes total), leaving Fallon, Blouin and Culver to fight for the remaining 170-180,000, needing to pull down 70,000 to win. And it'll be close, but not that close.
Anyway, thanks to Todd Dorman and IE for distracting me from ranting about the Jefferson Jackson Dinner.