As we approach the end of 2011, all eyes are on the 2012 GOP primary election. On the Democratic side, it is very obvious that Barack Obama will win the Democratic Primary in a massive landslide, as it is very unlikely within the next few weeks that a progressive candidate will come forward to initiate a primary challenge. The GOP Primary is another matter altogether as it is still in a state of flux although some inferences can be made using the socionomic model to predict how the GOP Primary elections and caucuses will progress.
Back in late 2009, Nate Silver did a write-up on the possibility of Sarah Palin winning the 2012 GOP Primary. The author correctly recognized that voter demographics present in each state has a significant influence on election results. There is, however, a very large caveat to the possible results of the 2012 GOP Primary -- the social mood of the United States population as a function of time. Social mood has a very strong influence on how people vote, as the vast majority of people vote with their limbic systems (the part of people's brains that induce herding behavior). In bull markets, there is an increasing tendency to vote for centrist candidates, while in bear markets, there is an increasing tendency to vote for radical candidates (especially after the early stages of a bear market of Cycle or larger degree). Factoring in the influence of social mood will give a better picture of how the 2012 GOP Primary is likely to progress.
Sarah Palin isn't in the 2012 GOP race. Of the GOP candidates that have a viable chance of getting the nomination, Mitt Romney is clearly a centrist candidate, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are semi-radical candidates, thus making them a decent proxy of Sarah Palin, while Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are radical candidates, making them an excellent proxy of Sarah Palin.
Currently, we are in the early stages of Primary wave  down, just over 7 months so far out of a projected duration of 58 months. Even in 2012, as we go deeper into Primary wave  down, social mood may be too bullish for either Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry to with the GOP nomination. A more likely scenario as we go through the heart of Intermediate wave (1) of Primary wave  down, is that a semi-radical candidate will have a much better shot at the nomination -- which would favor Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.
Here is a chart of the DJIA in 2012 with the 2012 GOP Primary elections labelled on the chart:
Here is a step by step walkthrough on how the 2012 GOP Primary could unfold:
Initial wave of states : Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, and Nevada
Nate Silver rated Iowa and South Carolina as winnable for Sarah Palin, but also indicated that New Hampshire and Nevada would likely go to Mitt Romney.
Iowa is the first state to cast its vote in the 2012 GOP Primary. Iowa holds a caucus rather than a primary. The Iowa caucus takes place as we reach the peak of Minor wave 2 up. While Minor wave 2 up is unfolding, Mitt Romney will have the wind at his back. Although Iowa tends to turn out conservative voters in its caucus, Mitt Romney could perform surprisingly well with up to 25% of the vote. Look for Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney to put in competitive numbers in the Iowa caucus with all three winning delegates.
New Hampshire is the second state in the GOP Primary. New Hampshire tends to favor centrist candidates, which will give Mitt Romney a substantial advantage. Minor wave 3 down will already be under way when New Hampshire holds its primary. However, Minor wave 3 down is expected to be in its early stages (about half way through Minute wave [i] of Minor wave 3 down) so Mitt Romney will still be able to win the state by a sizable margin even though he will no longer have the wind at his back.
South Carolina would be next after New Hampshire. South Carolina tends to favor conservative candidates. We will be almost a month into Minor wave 3 down with its first subwave almost completed when South Carolina holds its primary. Look for Mitt Romney to put in a weak performance with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul each picking up 35% to 40% of the vote.
Florida holds its primary at the end of January 2012. Nate Silver rated Florida as below average for Sarah Palin, and its reasonable that it would be below average for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul as well. We will have completed Minute wave [i] of Minor wave 3 down at this point, so a bearish social mood will almost certainly counter most of the advantage that Mitt Romney would otherwise have. Although Mitt Romney could win the state, look for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to put in competitive numbers.
Nevada is the last of the states in the early phase of the 2012 GOP Primary. Nevada plays very strongly to Mitt Romney's advantage. We will be in Minute wave [ii] of Minor wave 3 down. The rising social mood associated with Minute wave [ii] could (at least temporarily) give Mitt Romney a wind at his back. Look for Mitt Romney to win Nevada by a big margin.
Second wave of states -- Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia
Nate Silver's analysis back in 2009 indicated that if Sarah Palin can survive the initial wave of states, the second wave of states would be very strong for her. However, the second wave of states also tends to award organizational strength as well, which would be most advantageous to Mitt Romney. The 2012 GOP Primary should be a three man race at this point with Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul vying for the nomination. We will be in the first half of Minute wave [iii] of Minor wave 3 down during this period. Mitt Romney should find success in the early part of this period, but success will get progressively more difficult as we approach the center of Minor wave 3 down. Look for Mitt Romney to win around a third of the states.
Super Tuesday -- Texas Group of states
The later wave of states unfold in three phases with Super Tuesday being the first phase, the second phase unfolding from late March 2012 to early May 2012, and the third phase from mid May 2012 to mid June 2012. The Texas group was rated as good for Sarah Palin's nomination chances (and thus would be an advantage to Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul as well) while the California group and the Pennsylvania group both confer an advantage to Mitt Romney under normal conditions.
By the time Super Tuesday comes around, we will have passed through the center of Minor wave 3 down, triggering an Intermediate degree point of recognition in a bear market. The result will be the "Panic of 2012" with the Obama Administration launching TARP 2 to bail out the banks. In the aftermath of the Intermediate degree point of recognition, the political winds will shift back in the direction of the Republicans, and even within the GOP, the political winds will shift strongly in favor of increasingly radical candidates. This is where Mitt Romney will reach the end of the road as a combination of bearish social mood and the Texas group being advantageous to conservatives will be too much to overcome. Expect Mitt Romney to drop out of the race in the aftermath of a painfully disappointing performance on Super Tuesday.
Pennsylvania Group of states
This phase of the 2012 GOP Primary will unfold during Minute waves [iv] and [v] of Minor wave 3 down. It will be a two man race at this point with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul battling it out for the nomination. By the end of this period, it should be clear who the Republican nominee will be, depending on how evenly matched the two candidates are against each other
California Group of states
The last phase of the 2012 GOP Primary unfolds during Minor wave 4 up. If the two candidates are evenly matched against each other, we may get a scenario where nobody gets the required number of delegates needed to win the Republican nomination. Endorsements will be key in the last phase of the race if the contest is close.
We are currently in the final part of Minor wave 2 up. Mitt Romney will have the wind at his back for the rest of the year and for the first few days of January 2012. The mainstream media is already convinced that Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination. By the end of Minor wave 2 up, Mitt Romney will have moved back into first place in all the polls. Once Minor wave 3 down starts unfolding, success will become increasingly difficult for Mitt Romney as the bearish social mood brings out the voter tendency to pick increasingly radical candidates.