Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Early Analysis of New Hampshire

OK, they have not yet called the Democratic side of the primary. For now it looks like an increasingly narrow advantage for Clinton. Regardless of whether this holds when the smoke settles, I doubt either Clinton or Obama will drop out. But this is a devastating blow for what's-his-name, er Edwards.

I sincerely think that Obama is a better presidential candidate. But of the three main candidates among the Democrats, I've decided that Hillary Clinton is my second choice. Edward's position against trade and his populist, class warrior tone is just too much for me in the end. Which is why I welcome the results in New Hampshire. Edwards is likely doomed. He's running such a distant third that he starts to look more like Richardson or Kucinich than Obama or Clinton. I think as of tomorrow morning we'll have a two person race for the Democratic nomination. At this point, I just hope it doesn't get negative. Of course the political scientist in me tells me negative is exactly what we're about to see. On policy positions, Clinton and Obama are very similar. They have little opportunity to differentiate themselves on policy. Instead they'll get personal. Yuck.

Now, in the Republican primary, we have McCain winning big. But McCain came in a distant third in Iowa and is widely rumored to be broke. If Giuliani wins in Florida the GOP will rip itself apart all the way to the convention. The Republicans also are very similar on policy (with the exception of Ron Paul) and Romney has already earned a reputation as a nasty campaigner. If Giuliani, McCain, Huckabee (who came in a distant third tonight) and Romney more or less evenly matched going into Super Tuesday...look out because there will be flagrant violations of Reagan's 11th Commandment galore.

On a side note, McCain's victory speech included the following defiant statement regarding the "war on terror": "We won't surrender, THEY WILL!" Makes you feel good. It can temporarily compensate for certain...uh...physical deficiencies shall we say...but it sums up McCain's world view: MILITARY VICTORY IS POSSIBLE AND DESIRABLE. Talk about naive!


Raised By Republicans said...

In a comment regarding Dr. Strangelove's support for Hillary Clinton, US West pointed out that New Hampshire and Iowa are very different places.

Sure the media likes to focus on the supperficial things. Both states are overwhelmingly "white." Both states are above the national average in terms of level of education and/or performance on tests etc (so we're talking about two particularly "smart" groups of voters). But there are ENORMOUS difference that get swept under the rug and I think some of those differences can help explain the different results in the two states.

Iowa is a lot more rural than New Hampshire. Iowa's population is spread around the state in small towns. Several of the counties in Southern New Hampshire (where Clinton did best) are essentially the outer "exurbs" of Boston. For you Southern Californians, think of Southern New Hampshire as being something like Riverside or maybe Ventura. There is very little of that in Iowa.

Iowa's Democrats come from the handful of small to medium sized cities like Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Davenport/Bettendorf and Iowa City plus a sprinkling of little college towns here and there (like Aimes, Mt. Vernon or Grinnell). That said Iowa also has a fair number of rural Democrats and small town Union Democrats.

Why does that matter? Edwards. Edwards bled off support that could have gone to HRC because his populist appeals do better in Iowa than in the exurban sprawl of New Hampshire.

Another difference. Obama does well among college students. Iowa has a lot more college students hanging around between semesters than does New Hampshire. Iowa State, the University of Iowa, and University of Northern Iowa draw their students overwhelmingly from Iowa. The same is even true for most of the smaller private colleges like Drake, Coe, Cornell and Wartburg (with the possible exception of Grinnell which has more national appeal). That means that their students stay IN STATE when they go home and are so still available to vote. First of all, UNH only has 13,000 students. Iowa State alone has nearly double that number of students and my impression is that University of Iowa may have triple UNH's numbers. Dartmouth only has a 5,000 students mostly from outside of New Hampshire. Why should this all matter? Obama's campaign in Iowa directly targeted college students with great success. I've seen polls that showed that nearly a quarter of Iowa caucus goers were under 30 (and Obama kicked butt in that demographic)! That could only happen because those students were still in the state to vote despite being between semesters. Obama's people even encouraged students to register in their hometowns instead of where they went to school so that they would be close to the caucus site on caucus day.

The next big show down will be in South Carolina which is radically different from both New Hampshire and Iowa.

Raised By Republicans said...

FYI: According to google maps. Manchester, NH is about a one hour drive from downtown Boston. Same goes for Portsmouth, NH.

Raised By Republicans said...

Another thing that we're missing. I believe that Mitt Romney is now the first presidential candidate from Massachusets (from either party) to ever fail to win the New Hampshire primary.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Actually, Ted Kennedy lost in 1980

Anonymous said...

OK, first governor from Massachusets to lose...but then how many of those have there been?