As any Montanan knows, while we may be cousins -- or even siblings -- our state and Wyoming are hardly political twins.
But the Montana Presidential caucus was structurally patterned on Wyoming's to a great extent, and as such, the results out of Wyoming are probably close to what we could expect in Montana. Romney won 8 delegates, Fred Thompson won 3, and Duncan Hunter 1.
The second and third place finishers would probably be different in Montana, since it would take a not-so-minor miracle to have Fred Thompson be in real contention on February 5. But then, since Montana's caucus is winner-take-all, it really doesn't matter much who comes in second.
As with Montana, Romney dominated the campaigning and organizing in Wyoming. Not that it was a lot, but some well-placed money spent early on goes a long ways in this kind of a contest where organization is everything and when the state is low in population.
We make this prediction of Montana following Wyoming, but to be accurate, it is really more of an "if the caucus were to be held today" type of prediction. And of course it isn't being held today -- it being held a month from now.
It is entirely possible that Mitt Romney could be defeated by John McCain in New Hampshire, by either Huckabee or McCain in Michigan, and by Huckabee (or by McCain if he is on a roll) in South Carolina. Romney will certainly lose Florida if he doesn't win New Hampshire and Michigan, and this would mean that he is 0 for 5 and essentially out of the running by the time February 5th rolls around.
At which point Montana Headlines would predict... well, that's a long ways down the line. We frankly have no idea who would win Montana if Romney is out of the picture -- much would depend on how the national race is shaping up, and who the last guys standing are at that point.
The Wyoming caucus seems to have given that state's GOP organization a boost, which is a good thing. It probably also will do the same here.
Interestingly, it really doesn't seem to have given the Romney campaign any kind of a boost at all on the national scene -- which makes one wonder whether campaigns in future years would be willing to invest even modest resources there.