Friday, January 04, 2008

Man, This Sucks Caucus

Well, now that the Iowa Caucus (or as I called it yesterday, the Iowa Clusterfuck) is over what does it mean? Not much, other than giving the pundits and commentators something to talk about and speculate until Tuesday when New Hampshire holds their primary. (Actually, Wyoming Republicans are holding their caucus this weekend, but who the hell cares about Wyoming? Well, the Republican nominees should since the National Committee decided to punish New Hampshire for moving its primary date to earlier in the year, and cut half of its delegates, which means there are more than twice as many delegates up for graps in the Equality State than the Granite State. But why mess with tradition?

Anyway, how did last night's results look? And how were my predictions?


Totals according to NYTimes this morning:

Obama 37.6%
Edwards 29.7%
Clinton 29.5%
Richardson 2.1%
Biden 0.9%

My prediction:

Clinton 33%
Obama 30%
Edwards 26%

Oops. While Edwards and Hillary are almost tied, Obama cruised ahead, helped in large part, I think, by the caucus system's second choice vote. Many people see Clinton's third place as a warning, but the division between second and third isn't very wide. It will be interesting to look at the polls in New Hampshire now that Iowa has decided. Will an Obama win boost his appeal to primary voters?


Totals according to NYTimes

Huckabee 34.3%
Romney 25.3%
Thompson 13.4%
McCain 13.1%
Paul 10%
Rudy 3.5%
Hunter 0.4%

My prediction:

Huckabee 40%
Romney 26%
McCain 20%
Rudy 12%

Oops, again. OK, so I was right about who would win and who would come in second, but my numbers were off, except for Romney. And where the hell did Thompson come from? Who are these 13% that voted for the guy? Do they still believe the crap that people said about him before he started campaigning, and before he proved to be such a slug?

So at the end of the night we have an overwhelming sense that people want something beyond the status quo, as well as two less candidates (Dodd and Biden). Hopefully Dodd will go back to the Senate and start raising Hell by challenging Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader. Will the new faces continue their drive toward 1600? I don't know. NH can be pretty conservative state, no just in political terms, but in traditional ways as well. Right now New Hampshire is McCain's to lose. Mitt may have a chance, but Huckabee's momentum will definitely stop in the Granite State. NH voters are fiscal conservatives, not social conservatives. I think the latest NH state logo says something like, "Not only do we turn a blind eye toward sodomy and abortions, we're not even gonna tax you on them." You're not going to find very many evangelicals here. Huck might as well head to South Carolina. New Hampshire will also be a major test for Rudy's campaign. With such a dismal performance in Iowa, if he doesn't receive at least a decent amount of support, he can kiss the nomination good-bye.

The number of nominees may drop after New Hampshire as well. I mean, what is Mike Gravel's campaign running on? Kucinich is nearly running on empty. Richardson may hold on until Feb.5, but barely. Unless these guys receive at least 5%, there's simply no point - and people would be deluding themselves if they thought any of them still had a chance.

So, the fun continues.

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