I think what works against Kraftwerk is that their core base of fans could care less about the RRHOF. Guaranteed that the KISS army is in full force tryingto get them in, just like Rush fans did the same. Sometimes, that noise is hard to ignore.
For me, I am just glad that the majority of the "pet projects" didn't make the ballot this time. I was sure of only three of my predictions: Nirvana, Deep Purple, and Procol Harum. Nirvana because they wanted a slam dunk first ballot inductee, Deep Purple because they were clearly the next great overlooked band (taking over for Heart, who probably took their spot in the Hall last year, not that I'm complaining because Heart should have been in already) and Procol Harum because of Little Stevie.
That Procol Harum is not on the ballot is a good sign going forward for the quality of the nominees. Folks like Laura Nyro and Darlene Love were pet projects who got through. The idea that you have a Rock Hall with the far inferior Nyro and Love and not Linda Ronstadt, Diana Ross, Cher, Carole King, Patti LaBelle, Joan Baez, or Carly Simon is insane (and that's just women). That is the real problem with the process. Of those I mentioned, only Carole King has ever been nominated (and inducted as a songwriter but not a performer).The whole system needs significantly more transparency, but no Procol Harum seems to indicate that pet projects are less likely to get through the nomination process.
That said, there are two locks to get in this year. Nirvana and Linda Ronstadt. Nirvana because they are Nirvana and Linda Ronstadt because she has no direct competition on the ballot. The only woman on the ballot (not counting the three members of Chic) and a hyper-sensitivity to not having enough women in the Hall gets her in.
My first impression is that the inductees this year are:
2. Linda Ronstadt
3. Deep Purple
4. Peter Gabriel
if 6, then add Chic
if 7, then add The Zombies
if 8, then the Hall's "everyone inducted gets 50% of the vote" thing is bullcrap. Really it is already.
Oh and by the way, Cat Stevens is allowed in the country. I saw him in 2010 at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the Mall in DC. I may or may not have been dressed as Super Grover at the time.