Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Hampshire's Alright ...

I was wrong. You were wrong. The guy down the street from me was wrong. Your mom was wrong. People who get paid lots of money to talk about this type of thing were wrong. People who get paid lots of money to count votes were wrong ...

And yet no seems to be able to give a satisfactory explanation as to why everyone was wrong (though Mark Ambinder comes close).

I don't expect to see one any time soon. My personal hunch is that Clinton was actually able to swing the 15,000-20,000 votes needed to turn the tables in her favor by respecting the traditions of the state and doing things the "New Hampshire way." I generally don't think that Iowa and New Hampshire are as independently minded as many pundits would have folks believe. Instead, I tend to think they reward the candidate who does things "their way" (in Iowa: no negative advertising; in New Hampshire: town hall meetings that last until the end of time, apparently).

Then again, this might be the more logical answer:

(Scissorfight is from New Hampshire and achieves the rare feat of rocking hard with a sense of humor. This video is obviously not of their own doing. You can download more of their music here.)

Anyway, New Hampshire is now officially old news. Nevada is now where it's at. Last night the TV was reporting that the Nevada Culinary Workers Union was going to withhold its endorsement per the request of the national office. Now there is word that it is going to go to Obama. He already won the SEIU endorsement today and has demonstrated that his organization knows how to rally support for a caucus.

That should be very troubling for Hillary, but one of the reasons Nevada was given such a prime place of the primary calender was because of it burgeoning Latino population -- where Clinton holds a polling advantage. If Obama wins Nevada he should be able to ride that victory to a win in South Carolina, where half the democratic vote is black ... but if Hillary can pull out Nevada and make a strong showing in South Carolina... (Man, wouldn't have been interesting if Stephen Colbert actually got on the ballot?).

See where I'm going with this? Basically, it's going to be one day at a time for here on in. I don't think any of the Democratic candidates should be thinking beyond breakfast tomorrow until February 6th.

As for the GOP -- it's anyone's guess. I would suggest that no one count out Mitt Romney just yet, especially in Michigan. And even though Rudy Giuliani seems to be in the middle of a death spiral right now, he can still pull off a massive comeback by racking up the delegates on Feb 5th if there is no clear Republican front-runner at the time.

Here is where I throw my hands up, make some more popcorn, and make sure the indentations of the couch are up to my ass's high standards.

By the way, in early November I predicted that Ron Paul would pull in at least 10% of the New Hampshire vote. I was wrong about that, too. He got 8%. But he did get 10% in Iowa, for what it's worth.

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