The New Hampshire Primaries: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over
There’s a lot of huffing and puffing about surges, comebacks, and so on but looking at the actual results of the primaries and caucuses to date tells a somewhat different story than the one you may be reading.
I’ve only included the top three candidates from either party.
On the Democratic side in terms of actual elected delegates as things currently stand it’s a virtual tie between Sens. Obama and Clinton with Sen. Edwards trailing. It’s hard for me to see which state Edwards wins between now and Feb 5 to pick up the head of steam he desperately needs to secure the nomination. Now look at the Totals line. That’s elected delegates plus superdelegates. The superdelegate system is what the DNC put into place in 1972 to prevent that from ever happening again. It’s had the desired effect, that of blunting insurgency candidacies while providing an appearance of democracy, but it’s also had the undesireable secondary effect of convincing Democrats that establishment candidates are a lot more popular than they actually are. The hazards of the superdelegate strategy for Hillary Clinton are analyzed here at RealClearPolitics.
According to the exit polls none of Edwards’s presumed constituencies e.g. labor unions, the poor, turned out for him—they voted for Hillary Clinton instead. The long and short is that Edwards is out as an effective force, the wind is at Obama’s back, and the candidacy is still Hillary Clinton’s to lose but I think she’ll miss those Michigan and Florida delegates. I expect both Obama and Clinton to keep doing what’s worked for them so far. Expect more sincere expressions of feelings from Sen. Clinton.
On the Republican side note first that the Iowa caucuses elected no delegates. That will be done later at a party convention. Although he’s still nominally the frontrunner, Iowa and now New Hampshire have damaged Mitt Romney. He’s spent an enormous amount of time and money in those two states without coming up with a win in either state let alone the decisive victories he needed to propel his candidacy forward to Feb 5. He’s unlikely to get that decisive win in South Carolina where it will probably be a contest between Gov. Huckabee and Sen. McCain.