Tuesday, January 08, 2008

We Have a Race....

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks to supporters at her New Hampshire primary night rally in Manchester January 8, 2008. Clinton defied the polls and narrowly upset Barack Obama in New Hampshire on Tuesday, breathing new life into her U.S. presidential campaign after finishing third in Iowa. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES)

Things just got more exciting!

Congratulations to Senator Clinton and Senator McCain!

Supporters hold up signs for various candidates outside a polling station in Manchester on Tuesday. In the days leading up to the primary, Manchester has hosted debates, speeches, rallies, diners and various other campaign events.
Brian Snyder - Reuters

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Blogger Gayle said...

My goodness, you've been posting a lot!

I keep saying that Hillary would be easier to beat than Obama, but Dick Morris doesn't think so, so I'm probably wrong. After all, he knows a lot more about this stuff than I do. I still think it's far too early to predict who's going to win.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 7:42:00 AM  
Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Never count a Clinton out. They beleive the Presidency is their destiny and will do and say anything to get it, ( remember the Crocodile tears and Vince Foster!).

She will get he Dem nod but I still don't beleive she can win in November. To many people hate her.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 9:06:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...


Here's what I wrote at Dee's blog:

As for Obama being harder to beat Dick Morris has some good arguments on why he would be easier to beat. The biggest reason being he has absolutely no experience.

I'm not as savvy on politics as Dick Morris. But I do have an opinion that differs (probably, because I am not as experienced as he).

Whether Obama lacks experience or not (and in terms of campaigning, he has far more experience than Hillary...wrote it in a previous post last year), might be beside the point. The question is: Do his supporters know it? And: Do they even care? Obama isn't riding high on his "experience". He's riding on a wave of support from people who feel he represents something new. Hillary, McCain...all of them represent "the old guard"- baby boomers (and in McCain's case, older than baby boomer) of the 60's generation who have become "the establishment".

Whether it's "Bush-fatigue" or "partisanship-fatigue", the mood of the country is for something fresh, exuberant, and new. Obama represents something exciting. People aren't exactly sure what. But they don't care. He is representing some sort of blind optimism, with his charisma and eloquent manner of speaking. He is a divider, whose silver tongue seems to unite. Buttressed by good media darlingship, Obama's surfing on a tidal wave of positive energy.

As a GOP voter, I truly fear him more than I fear Hillary, who carries so much baggage with her, she alienates many Democrats. There's too much history there.

With Obama, even Republicans are held enthralled.

Not to question ulterior motive, as I like Dick Morris, but didn't he write a book on Hillary that might need pushing....?

Just wondering if that's sort of "blinded" him, in the same manner that my political guru is so "rah-rah" Romney.


I want Hillary to win in the primaries so she can lose in the general. I think she alienates many Democratic voters, and majority moderates/independents will go for the GOP candidate.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I like that 9 out of 9 major polls were completely wrong, in saying Obama would win in New Hampshire.

Polls disturb me when they become used as a sort of "self-fulfilling prophecy", rather than as a barometer that reflects which way the wind is blowing.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 9:50:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Michael Medved on the pollsters getting it wrong:

How could professional pollsters go wrong so substantially when it came to calling New Hampshire?

On Primary day, the four most up-to-the-minute state-wide polls showed Obama ahead of Hillary by an average of 8.5%. The same polls showed a very tight Republican race with McCain winning by an average of 3.2%.

As it turned out, McCain beat the expectations of the pollsters by 2%, on average; one of the respected polls on primary day (Suffolk/.WHDH) actually showed a Romney victory by 4%, so the 71-year-old Arizona Senator (“The Ancient of Change”) beat that one by 9%. Hillary bested the expectations of the four most recent polls by an average of 11% -- an embarrassing blown-call for the so-called professionals.

So, what went wrong?

I’d like to suggest a public opinion equivalent of the “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle” – the idea in physics that suggests that the very act of observing certain phenomena can alter those phenomena.

Okay, it’s stretching it a bit to compare Hillary and McCain to sub-atomic particles, but still, I believe that the polling results announced all day Tuesday and most of the day Monday helped to make those polls inaccurate.

The message in all media was very clear about the state of the two races: we were told repeatedly the GOP contest was very, very close (though it ultimately produced a surprisingly comfortable win for McCain) while the Democratic battle would amount to a one-sided blow-out for Obama (though Hillary won, very narrowly).

Here’s my theory about what happened:

I think pollsters and experts were right that most of the independents in New Hampshire (45% of all voters) liked two candidates: Obama and McCain. In the forty-eight hours before the polls closed, they got a consistent message about their two favorites: Obama had his victory in the bag, but McCain was potentially in trouble. Therefore, sophisticated independent voters (who could choose to participate in either the Republican or Democratic contest) reasoned that McCain needed their help but Obama didn’t. Therefore, those who wanted, above all, to make a difference, switched at the last moment to the GOP side, abandoning their previous intention to vote Democratic. That’s why the split of independent voters between those who went with the GOP and those who went with the Democrats wasn’t nearly as one-sidedly Democratic as expected.

This shift of some independents who had originally intended to vote for Obama to the Republican primary to vote for McCain, explains the fact that McCain did better than predicted, and Obama did vastly worse.

According to exit polls, McCain slaughtered Romney among the self-described independents (who were an unexpectedly high 37% of total GOP voters) by a margin of 40% to 27% (Ron Paul got 13%). Among self-described Republicans, the Mittster came much closer to the Mac (33% to 35%) but McCain still won.

By the way, the Romniacs can’t try to blame “anti-Mormon prejudice” among Evangelicals for their guy’s sorry showing this time: Mitt actually ran closer to McCain among self-described “white Evangelical Christians” (27% for Mac, 27% for Mitt, 28% for Huck) than he did among the non-Evangelicals (38% for Mac, 34% for Mitt). Evangelicals represented only 23% of the New Hampshire Republican voters (as opposed to 60% of GOP caucus goers in Iowa) but Mitt scarcely improved his disappointing performance, once again investing millions while falling well behind (nine points and five points, respectively) an underfunded rival. .

As he did last week, Romney displayed special weakness among three key groups in the electorate among which McCain-- just like Huckabee in Iowa-- beat the Mitt-man soundly. Romney performed disproportionately poorly among women (they just don’t like him, well-tailored good looks and all), voters below 30, and voters who earn below $50,000 a year.

Unless team Romney somehow manages to attract female, younger and working-class voters, he’ll continue to lose – just as surely as he’d get creamed in the general election.

Meanwhile, he now claims an unwanted distinction – as only the second prominent Massachusetts politician in the history of the New Hampshire Primary to fail to win his contest in the Granite State. He joins Ted Kennedy in 1980 (who lost to incumbent president Jimmy Carter) as a singular Bay Stater who crashed and burned in New Hamphire—managing to avoid the near-automatic victories achieved by the likes of John Kennedy, Henry Cabot Lodge, Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas, and even John Kerry.

If Romney bases his whole campaign on business competence and management expertise, how does he justify investing an estimated $120 million so far (thirty times more than Huckabee, by the way, including at least $17 million of his own money) and earning in return only two feeble defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire?

That question may be impertinent, but it’s certainly appropriate.

And as to those who want to discount McCain’s victory because it was based on the support of independents, isn’t it blindingly obvious that no Republican can even come close to winning the White House without drawing similar support from independents in November? It’s difficult to discount the proposition that the guy who attracts independents in January will likely stand the best chance of getting their backing again some ten months later.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

It almost looks like we are all back where we were months ago.

No Front Runner On Either Side lol

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 1:39:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

My goodness, you've been posting a lot!

Yes, gayle, but writing little and not providing any original thought or analysis; just directing readers to other people's work.

Mostly, posting in pictures.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger J_G said...

I have to agree with Dick Morris about the Clintons being harder to beat. First and foremost the Clintons have a powerful lock on the big time democrat donors. If she beats Obama in the primary all the money he was receiving will automatically go to her. The democrats are looking for Bush revenge no matter if it's Clinton Obama or a cardboard cutout they prop up on stage.

Second of all Obama is perceived to be at least part Muslim even if he brings out every Christian democrat pastor he can find to verify he's a Christian and not a muslim. Having a name like Barrack Hussein Obama automatically cancels out the middle class working guys vote. The union guys I talk to every day tell me they will not vote for someone named Hussein no matter what he promises. Most are dyed in the wool democrats and this is how they feel. Some would vote for Clinton but most of them I talk with would rather Edwards be the democrat candidate but in all cases none would vote for Obama.

Third; some republican women will vote for Clinton because she is a woman and most democrat women will vote for her so she has a large chunk of the women's vote.

These are all scenarios for the general election when Romney runs against either Clinton or Obama. It would be easier for Mitt to beat Obama than Clinton but he would still win ;-)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Having a name like Barrack Hussein Obama automatically cancels out the middle class working guys vote. The union guys I talk to every day tell me they will not vote for someone named Hussein no matter what he promises. Most are dyed in the wool democrats and this is how they feel.

I find that to be a shame. As you know, I am rah-rah on the war against Islamic terror; but my stance is moderated by drawing the distinction between Islam and "radical" Islam.

Not voting for someone simply because of a name, and what you assume that name represents about a person, is bigoted. I find it disheartening that Americans- be it Democrats or Republicans- have this prejudice. It may be founded on some legitimate fears, but it also gives validation to those Muslims who express concerns and feel persecuted by religious bigots/racists.

Islamists who ARE at war with the West and non-Muslims, and who wish to convince their fellow Muslims of a worldwide conspiracy of murder and subjugation of Muslims, need only point to examples of "religious hatred" and prejudice to incite the moderates to join the radicals' worldview.

Thursday, January 10, 2008 1:28:00 AM  

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