Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Hampshire Makes it Muddier

I'm listening to Barack Obama concede. It's clear that he's conceding nothing but the New Hampshire Primary... "And when I am president, I will end this war in Iraq and bring our soldiers home..." That's not a concession.

Barack won without winning and lost without knowing it.

He won because Hillary is still on the defensive. Almost winning has only increased his credibility as a challenger. Six or eight weeks ago the Democratic Party was a coronation procession on its way to crown Hillary Queen of America. Today most Americans aren't sure who the Democratic Party's frontrunner is. And I'm not sure myself.

Obama lost because he didn't replicate the young college vote miracle that work for him the Iowa Caucus. I'm sure his campaign people will worry about that...

Because it is a two-way race, Edwards is still in it and makes it a three-way race. But that will change soon unless Edwards a) comes in second, in front of one of the two "frontrunners" again before February 5th and b) wins at least a couple of primaries on February 5th (or before).

Who's not in it anymore? Joe Biden got twice as many votes as Mike Gravel. Since Joe Biden dropped out last week (he's still on the ballot because they were already set), maybe Gravel should reconsider his status. When Dennis Kucinich is 10 times as popular as you are, Senator Gravel, you're probably not popular enough to be President.

The GOP field becomes even muddier after New Hampshire. McCain has new life after winning the New Hampshire Primary. It will be interesting to see how much momentum that gives him going into the next few state, and whose votes he cuts into.

meRomney and Huckabee are in a death struggle for the conservative religious vote. Romney has now lost twice in states where he was supposed to win; but he probably won't go away. Huckabee did better than expected in N.H. and is sneaking up on Romney in Michigan (next up, January 15). If Huckabee wins Michigan and South Carolina (January 19 for the GOP), I think Romney is toast. If Romney wins Nevada (far from certain) on January 19, that may take the edge off the defeat; but Romney has to win Michigan or South Carolina to stay alive, I think.

Giuliani finished fourth as was glad for it. He almost came in fifth. It's still three weeks until Florida. Giuliani decided not to compete in the races before Florida. The question is, will anyone remember who he is in three weeks? The economy has replaced terrorism as the leading issue; that's bad for Rudy. If Huckabee doesn't bead Rudy in Florida, McCain will. If McCain doesn't, Romney may. And Ron Paul got new life in New Hampshire by giving Giuliani a run for fourth place.

Does anyone remember when Fred Thompson was considered a shoe in; all he had to do was declare his candidacy? Huckabee, in third, got ten times the votes of Thompson, in sixth. Fred can take comfort in beating Duncan Hunter...

One week until Michigan.

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