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New Hampshire Analysis

For McCain a win is a win. Like it or not he isn't going away -- at least not yet. But Super Tuesday will be a very tough road to hoe. Other than Arizona (obviously), McCain could wind up that day with nothing and therefore out of the race. Time will tell.

Romney is in deep trouble. For him to have failed in Iowa is one thing. But to have failed in New Hampshire and by a pretty large margin -- especially given the proximity factor and the vast sums of time and money he spent -- is a horse of another color. Romney needs wins or strong second-place finishes in Florida and California -- otherwise he'll go from circling the drain to down the drain, Michigan and Massachusetts notwithstanding. And if Romney doesn't win Michigan outright -- with such built-in name recognition and a money advantage too -- then Florida and California will become that much taller mountains to climb.

As expected Huckabee wasn't too much of a factor. The Northern states are going to be tough sledding for him. Florida will be his true test.

For Giuliani it's all about Florida and California. If he wins *both* those states, obviously he's a very strong contender if not the presumtive nominee. If he finishes a solid 2nd in Florida and California he'll still be in the thick of things. But if he finishes 3rd or a distant 2nd in those two states fah-get-a-bout-it, he'll only be a spoiler or a (Northeastern) delegate broker.

Regarding the MediaDemocrats, these results once again prove that it's one thing for putative "youth voters" to answer phone calls from pollsters; it's quite another thing for them to go out and vote. Ask Howard Dean.

In addition I think everyone out there -- myself included -- was to some degree duped by the *uniformity* of pre-vote polling that showed Obama with leads and momentum. One conclusion that can and probably should be drawn -- and Democrats and the PC police sure won't like it -- is that the white Democrat primary voters in the Granite State might have said they were going to vote for Obama, when contacted by pollsters, to avoid the specter of racism, but when they actually got in the privacy of their voting booths -- unlike the scenario presented in Iowa, without privacy -- they voted to a material degree along racial lines. If you don't believe that that can happen among Democrats in an "enlightened" Northeastern state like New Hampshire, well, honestly, denial ain't a river in Egypt and bubbles are not merely for stocks and real estate.

Nevertheless, it's astonishing that Hillary -- with her vast resources and ruthlessness -- still is struggling so mightily with a freshman Senator.

If Obama wins Michigan *and* South Carolina, Hillary truly will be on the hot seat. But if Hillary wins California and New Jersey, to go along with an obvious upcoming win in New York, Obama easily could and probably would morph overnight from media star to imploded supernova, regardless of prior tallies. If Obama wins California, however, man alive, Hillary might literally explode -- like the drummer in This is Spinal Tap.

Time will tell.

Next stop: Michigan.

UPDATE: I forgot that Obama took himself off the ballot in Michigan; so, ix nay on that point.


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Comments (11)

Jayson, you did hit on a ph... (Below threshold)

Jayson, you did hit on a phenomenon most of us thought long dead: the tendency, once rather pronounced, of white voters to tell pollsters they supported a black candidate, but vote for a white candidate.

Alternatively, the polls may have overweighted young people, following Iowa where they did increase their participation, when in fact the increased turnout in NH was across all demographic groups.

Romney isn't going anywhere just yet. He finished second in Iowa, the same in NH, and took first in Wyoming. McCain was 4th (almost a tie for 3rd) in Iowa, 1st in NH, down the list with no delegates in Wyoming. Huckabee was first in Iowa, third in NH, down the list in Wyoming. Guiliani is waiting down the road . . . it's a wide open race. Romney will have to fund himself until he scores a few wins and gets some momentum, but he can afford it.

Romney and Giuliani should most fear McCain taking off and getting established before they can score some wins against him.

Thompson has a last gasp in South Carolina, but without a shocking win, he's toast.

Obama isn't on the ballot i... (Below threshold)

Obama isn't on the ballot in Michigan...although apparently he and Edwards are trying to get their people to vote uncommitted to deny Hillary the win. But he certainly isn't going to win there.

Romney might appreciate not... (Below threshold)
Caustic Conservative:

Romney might appreciate not being the sole possessor of front runner status. At the debates, everyone was running against him in order to blunt his early momentum strategy.

Iowa was a must win for Huckabee, in order to become relevant. He won.

NH was a must win for McCain, or he had nowhere else to go and find traction. He won.

Michigan is a must win for Romney. Another open primary state where Democrat leaning independents may choose to vote in the Republican race (their race is irrelevant because no delegates are at stake.) I'd like to see the guy survive, but if he doesn't take Michigan over McCain I think the writing is on the wall.

I hate the idea of having to hold my nose and vote McCain in November. He's likely to be a one term President with near lame duck status from the get-go. And if you are a conservative, that doesn't give you warm fuzzies about the stuff he will likely try to do.

Methinks the Clintons stuff... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

Methinks the Clintons stuffed the ballot box. Recount!

AP just called it for Hilla... (Below threshold)
Rory:

AP just called it for Hillary.

Michael Barone at FOX not going with it.

Jayson, you might want to r... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Jayson, you might want to read this:

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/01/obamas_absence_on_ballot_rankl.html

and then edit your post, as it appears as though Obama's not going to be on the ballot in Michigan.

Romney is in enormous troub... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Romney is in enormous trouble. He will compete in Michigan, but it does look like he'll finish third there. He is way behind in SC and Florida and leads in ONE Super Tuesday states (Massachusetts). He could get a boost when Fred quits after South Carolina, but he'll already be 0-for-4 at that point and is still heading for a beatdown in Florida.

The lost little story tonight was Huckabee holding off Rudy for third place. Given the great unliklihood that the Republican Party will nominate a candidate as liberal as McCain, the last hope for all the Huckabee-haters could end up being Giuliani in Florida. He is airing commercials consistently now and acknowledges that his entire campaign may hinge on the Sunshine State. This small margin between Huckabee and McCain tonight may play a role in that contest three weeks later.

Unless a miracle happens, i... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Unless a miracle happens, it looks like Fred has finally dropped dead. Finishing behind Ron Paul has got to hurt. And at this point I don't think that Rudy's funeral procession will be too far behind.

I fail to see how this was ... (Below threshold)

I fail to see how this was disastrous for Romney. NH awards delegates proportionally, so McCain will come away with something like 5 pledged delegates and Romney will gain 4. If Romney could have made up that whole 3-5 percentage points he lost by, only a single delegate would have changed hands.

The media (including the blogosphere) keeps treating these as winner-take-all contests. But they aren't (at least none of the ones so far anyhow).

Furthermore, Romney is is guaranteed NOT to be "0-4" because ... he WON in Wisconsin... a state that had more delegates up for grabs than NH. Romney entered NH with more delegates, and left the contest in the same position.

It seems to me that the general "do well early" strategy of the Romney campaign is in fact working. He's won one contest (and no other candidate has won more the one) and has the most delegates. He's also the one candidate to win a contest with more than 50% of the vote ... in fact he had more than 60% in Wyoming.

Giuliani may yet live to re... (Below threshold)

Giuliani may yet live to regret pulling out of New Hampshire when he was unable to dent Romney's once-formidable lead there. He left the door open, and McCain walked through it. Florida becomes a must-win state for him now. His name has been out of the news too long to withstand anything else.

Thompson is on the ropes, and needs a surprise in South Carolina - a shock, really - or he is done. It's possible, since Huckabee, McCain, and Romney all have weaknesses from the SC point of view. This is one state in which the overlap between social conservatives, economic conservatives, and foreign policy conservatives is nearly total. He's still a huge long shot to survive, though.

Alan Orfi ~ "This small margin between Huckabee and McCain tonight may play a role in that contest three weeks later."

Um, McCain's 37% versus Huckabee's 11% is a "small margin" now? Interesting.

kazoolist ~ Romney won Wyoming, not Wisconsin. It didn't get much attention - Ron Paul was the only candidate to visit the state, and struck out - and so it's hard to claim much on the basis of winning there. He did win more delegates than Huckabee did in Iowa (since that state's caucuses awarded no delegates yet for the GOP), but the perception and coverage makes it irrelevant.

Mr. Addison,I was ... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Mr. Addison,

I was obviously speaking about the margin between Huckabee and Giuliani as the beginning of the paragraph indicates. Any posts made after 11PM should be given at least some slack regarding brain freezes.




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