Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Semi-Random Thoughts on the New Hampshire Primary

The buzz on the Internet is why did Hillary Clinton bounce back. I don't think she did bounce back, because I think she was already and always ahead.

Obama wins by a decent margin in Iowa; Clinton is third. This was the result of a late surge for Obama and was somewhat, but not totally, unexpected. On to New Hampshire, with only five days between. The polls immediately shift. Clinton's lead had already been narrowing, and the media buzz resulting from Obama's win was instantaneously reflected in the polls, showing him pulling ahead, maybe way ahead. But it seems that only five days are not enough time for the polls to fully grasp what the electorate is thinking in response to major news. Sure, Obama began closing the gap--which the polls reflected--but not really enough to win in NH. Given another week for Granite-staters to consider him, I think he would have won in NH.

My conclusion: At times of major news or changing situations, polls are at best indicators of trends, not predictors of results.

On the Republican side, it appears Thompson is not a viable candidate, more the pitty. He is clearly the most conservative of the field, at least having the most consistently conservative record. Now the most conservative in the field is...Ron Paul? Mitt Romney? I wish Newt would have run. It looks to me to be a McCain/Giuliani race, because I don't see Romney recovering enough to challenge for the lead again.

My conclusion: Without a true conservative as the Republican nominee, liberal issues will dominate the general election, favoring the Democratic candidate.

What to do, what to do. Our Arkansas primary is on super Tuesday, and I don't have it in me to watch another six thousand debates and interviews.

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