[with contributions from Matt O'Brien and Darius Tahir]
At this point, Newt Gingrich's odds of winning the Iowa caucuses are about one in two, Ron Paul's a little better than one in four, and Mitt Romney's about one in ten. That's according to Nate Silver, who has just published is preparing his first official projection for the caucuses. On his New York Times blog, FiveThirtyEight, he explains the formula he'll be using and, in so doing, gives the "win probability" for each candidate -- at least as of this moment.
But that's a big caveat. Nate cautions that the race remains very fluid. And, as my friend Jon Chait observes, Gingrich's popularity seems to have fallen in just the last few days, likely because his rivals are attacking him so fiercely. Is this "peak Gingrich," as Jon suggests? Who knows. But with the caucuses less than a month away, clearly almost anything can still happen.
They didn't know it was the Great Depression. Ryan Avent looks back at The Economist's coverage of 1931, with obvious parallels to today.
This is what desperation looks like. Karl Rove tries to Swiftboat Elizabeth Warren.
How did the latest Euro-summit go? Disastrously, says Felix Salmon.
Plan C for Plan B: It's time the administration comes clean on its motives, says Kevin Drum.
State of play: Abe Sauer of The Awl writes about a new petrostate: North Dakota.
The times they aren’t a-changing: Kurt Andersen of Vanity Fair asks why hasn’t culture revolutionized itself in the past twenty years as it did in the twenty year eras that preceded it?
Forever bachelors. A look at the consequences of China’s gender imbalance.
What's crimson and white, and winning all over? An ode to Harvard basketball, the new national powerhouse.
Line of the Day: TNR bossman Richard Just, speaking at New America Foundation panel about the Republican primaries:
The thing to fixate on is not the weirdness of the weird candidates, it’s the weirdness of the normal candidate.
Video of the day. Just in time for the holidays, it's a new video from the Maccabeats! Better still, it's part of a fundraising effort for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, which helps people suffering from cancer and some genetic disorders find matching blood and bone marrow donors, providing potentially life-saving treatments.