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Breaking down New Hampshire

By Barbara Gordon - Posted on 08 January 2008

The New Hampshire exit polls are interesting.

Regarding Obama's surprising defeat, it appears young voters didn't turn out in quite the numbers they did in Iowa. It also appears John McCain "stole" a lot of the independent vote. This supports what analysts have been saying for some time, that McCain is the only red candidate that could take on Obama.

Hillary overwhelmingly won the support of women voters. I was surprised to see that Obama won the vote of the better educated population. I really didn't think there'd be any difference between him and Hillary on that front.

On the GOP side of things, the one-issue voters (abortion) all went to Huckabee. Romney took the voters who claimed to be satisfied or very satisfied with the Bush administration. He was also the one most voters considered to have run a negative campaign. McCain won the older vote, the independent vote, and the pro-war vote. Giuliani, not looking near as strong as he once did, finished in a virtual tie with Ron Paul at less than 10%.

Well, the Clinton hegemony may have unfortunately gotten back on track tonight. Twenty-eight years of the Bush-Clinton family in the presidency will be a real shame. The “fawning” many in the press showed to the “Hillary emotional moment” yesterday certainly didn’t hurt her chances today.

As a moderate Republican who is fed up with the religious right controlling way too much of the decision-making processes in the Republican party, and especially the primary elections (have written in John McCain the past two presidential elections), I switched my affiliation to the Democratic party this primary season (for the chance to vote for Obama). Obama has the leadership, ideas, and vision, as well as the ability (at least potential) to collaborate with the moderate Republicans once elected, to affect real change. And despite the claims of many that Hillary has the best chance to beat the Republicans in November, I actually think Obama, because of the above traits and the energy he brings, has a better chance of winning when it is all boiled down. Indeed, Hillary has a huge amount of baggage and is a very polarizing figure. (On the former, I’m sure the Republicans have the “Wal-Mart semis” loaded and ready to pull out of the parking lot as soon as she is announced as the Democratic nominee.) Obama, with his reach to the independents, and even Republicans, has a fighting chance of winning.

And if Hillary wins the democratic nomination, unless I vote for McCain (the social side is the problem with him), then I’ll find myself writing in a candidate for the third presidential election in a row. The upside with McCain is that he can work across the aisle, and thus there is a good chance of some bipartisan initiatives. It’s not over for Obama yet, however, though poor showings in MI, NV, and SC will prove difficult from which to recover. (At least with McCain and Obama, we have two candidates who haven’t flipped-flopped across the issues like Hillary, Romney, et al.)

Whether Obama wins or loses... if he is really about change he should run with Bloomberg.  We'd have two people leading the country who are both politically and fiscally responsible... Hilary at the helms of the country is truly a scary thought.  Did anyone forget the $5,000 baby bond at a time when we are in the midst of a recession ?  I can't believe no one has considered this.  He'd have the independent vote , the youth vote, the black vote, and a substantial portion of the republican vote whether its Obama-Bloomberg or Bloomberg-Obama think of a ticket that can beat that.  What can Hilary say about experience then ?

Patrick, for the sake of the party, I hope McCain wins the nomination. Unfortunately, I don't think it's likely. He won New Hampshire in 2000, too, but didn't come close to winning the nomination.

Outside of McCain, I can't believe our party would come up with such a pathetic lot of jokers. It's really a sad statement on the condition of the party.

If I can be honest about this, I think this was a classic Clinton 'rope-a-dope' in New Hampshire. They have had an apparatus there for years and years. They never intended to lose there, despite what they wanted us to believe. The Clintons wanted the next "comeback kid" moment. The argument some people were making about race playing a part is absurd, and that is just a tactic being employed to plant the seeds of doubt in upcoming primaries - to dampen the spirits of those who want to believe in Obama. Why is it so hard to understand that in a state with more than 40% registered independents that people might be subject to changing their minds on a moment's notice? I'm from the New England area, and I can tell you first hand, the majority of people who live in smaller New England states, and even the more rural parts of some of the larger New England states are older folks and lean more towards supporting policy based agenda and of things having to do with right now - they are not worried about the future. Baby Boomers folks.... And who are they most going to identify with at this point? I think it goes without saying. They don't see a woman ready to promote change in this country, they see a woman is going to continue the government cheese. I don't want to come off sounding too crass about all of this, but it is becoming more obvious that this is silent battle of age and class between Hillary and Obama, not race and change.

You may have a point. By the time there were tears in her eyes, the whole thing was beginning to seem a little staged, wasn't it?

You bet it was. I mean, if you're going to have a breakdown like that, where's the substance behind it. She's crying because she she has 'so many opportunities' and doesn't want us to go 'backwards'.

Its what I see anyways... someone may think it was genuine... I think theres alot of Clinton amnesia out there though ;-p

I just hope that Clinton's victory in New Hampshire over Obama doesn't start convincing us to give up on Barack. Yes, he got beat out in this round, but none of us, Republican or Democrat, can start abandoning him now. Because trust me, we Democrats are smart enough to not again nominate another Clinton. She cannot unite this country, despite all her talk about change and unity. I've made my decision to vote Obama because he's someone who can. Frankly, I've heard enough from Clinton's mouth about her experience and how she is the far better choice for the Dems than Obama because of her status as a political veteran. News flash: Experience does not spell a good President.

 Things are just heating up for us, if we stick to it, Clinton will be denied a spot on the ballot, and Barack will move ahead to the nomination. And WHEN he does win the Democratic nomination, we'll have you, Republicans, to thank just as much as fellow Democrats. I thank you so far for helping him triumph in Iowa, now let's keep it up so the Democrats will make him the nominee.

He was down over thirty points just a few months ago, so I don't think there's any reason to abandon Obama now. He's looking good.

On the subject of experience, which Hillary is touting as the demarcating trait that puts her "head and shoulders" above Obama, it pales in comparison to the traits of leadership, vision, and integrity ("it simply isn't what it is made out to be"). Indeed, on this very subject, Bill and Hillary are being very disingenuous. When Bill ran in 2002, he--they--argued against George H.W. Bush that Bill's lack of experience in foreign policy didn't really matter. However, suddenly, because Hillary has a few extra years in the senate than Obama and spent eight years in the White House as the first lady, experience now matters. This type of rhetorical comparision is hypocritical--and, at a bare minimum, a double standard. Unfortunately, few, if any, in the media have called them on their claims on this subject.

In terms of Barbara's comment, I completely agree with her regarding the sad state of affairs in the Republican Party. Indeed, a split with the evangelical wing of the party, and the formation of a third party (something that might happen if you have a Clinton-Huckabee general election), could be a good thing for not only the party but the country as a whole.

It will be a sad state of affairs for America as a whole if its a Clinton / Huckabee ticket. America will survive, no doub, but it will take generations to clean up the garbage heap this era of politics has left us. Thats why I'm taking my stand for Obama.

As regards to the subject of Hillary's emotional incident and the pundits who are arguing that it was authentic ("merely a personal glimpse at her 'humanity'") and citing various other emotional displays in politics (from John Kerry to George W. Bush) as corroboration, there is a distinct difference: the references to which they are drawing comparison were instances where the "tears" were shed on behalf of others. In Hillary's case on Monday, she was shedding "tears" because she was about to lose N.H. and felt her legacy--or more precisely the Clinton political legacy--would be irrevocably damaged. Hence, regardless of the authenticity--or lack thereof--of the incident, the full rhetorical turn certainly shouldn't result in a positive judgment of her character (viz., "feeling sorry for oneself" doesn't really equate to presidential character or leadership).

What we can't lose sight of, and is unbelievable how little comment I have heard about this from the media, is the fact that Hillary barely won in a New England state.  Keep the faith.  The times they are a changing!

Precisely. Hillary "won" by 3%, when all forecasts before Iowa had her winning by more than 10% at least. The "victory" netted her and Barack the exact same number of delegates (nine), and counting Iowa Barack actually has one more delegate than she does.  If not for all the annoying media "hype" and then the deflation that they automatically manufactured, this would be seen as what it really is--an incredibly surprising turn of events in Obama's favour.

Remember that Bill Clinton finished second in New Hampshire. 

I still contend that Obama was never meant to win NH despite the last polls, but I htink you're right, the overhype and coronation from the media had a play in it. NH takes their position in the primary season seriously - they don't like being told what to do, so they probably voted for McCain just to make sure they have an alternative to vote for in the Presidential race, should Clinton win. Which, in some ways is a smart move if you're an independent, IMHO.

That being said, it still amazes me that after 20 years of the very type of politics we are lamenting about, there are still a great many people who are willing to allow a second consecutive Aristocratic ruler into the West Wing.

Just think - our Presidency could be under Bush and Clinton for a total of 28 consecutive years! This is not the American dream, folks. Anyone who thinks Hillary is in this race because she's doing it for the American people still have not been exposed to the truth - we need to spread Barack's message to people we know, and change hearts and minds as soon and as often as possible.

No kidding, Robert. And here I thought family dynasties were only relevant in discussions of ancient China.


Sadly, at a restaurant last night I heard a guy on a cell phone telling his friend that Obama burns flags and won't say the pledge. This hate campaign against Barack has been so effective...I just can't figure how we supporters can counter it. 

Well, we're here on your website in the eye of the public - thats a good start!

... Been reading up on Hillary's Sunday blitz today - and the race war has officially been injected into the campaign. We'll see how much play it gets this week, but she may be going for scorched earth politics now - if she doesn't win in the Primary, she's going to make sure that the Democrats don't win. Very Clinton-esque and very, very sad!

Mrs Clinton will NOT win. Period.

No she CAN't!
Her type of electioneering unity is contrary to her husband's. His was reaching accross the aisle. Her is republicanizing the dems. Unfortunately her reading of right wing conservatism is sleight of hand black art in misdirection and subversion - hardly republican values in my book.

Consider this. Hubby tauts 'fairy tale' misdirection very publicly while she is getting in touch with her feminine side. MEANWHILE ... A calculated sleight of hand misdirection slash subversion is on it's quiet way:

On the eve of the NH primary, emails go out to dem power broker women (mostly) about Obama's voting record in Ill. This states that Obama voted 'present' in Ill on many issues instead of 'no' on many issues he opposed. Hence he should be not trusted. (Someone said fairy tale is ringing in the air?)

Now consider this and decide for yourself: In NH 'present' vote is not allowed, you can not state your opposition by it. In Ill. however, it is not only allowed, it is a common practice to use it to reach across the aisle and form bipartisan strategic alliances with other 'present' voters. A small and insignificant fact the Clintons didn't bother to add. Recepients didn't have the time to even consider fact check it all so looked true.

If this is true and happened, as was reported by various media, Hillary will be seen for what she is:

The REAL black lady of this election so far.
Not happy Jen! (An Aussie saying...)

Republicans will win this for Obama. The Ralph Nader fence sitters will always vote for somebody ELSE! But he is a unifying voice.

I find it a bit ironic that the Clinton campaign resorted to a tactic in NH that mirrored the Bush campaign tactic against McCain in S. Carolina in 2000. Just as the Bush campaign used the push polling and windshield flyers to impugn McCain's character by insinuating that he had a child out of wedlock ("did you know about the black child in the McCain household"), which in reality was the adopted child of the McCain's, the Clinton campaign orchestrated a blitz in NH to foster doubts--specifically targeted at liberal women voters--about the "liberal" veracity of Obama's voting record on women's issues (viz., abortion). I've unfortunately heard very little commentary on the relationship between this campaign tactic and the disparate spread in the votes Obama and Clinton received in Iowa versus NH. The American electorate failed to recognize the cracks in character and integrity this tactic exposed on the part of the Bush campaign in 2000; let's hope 2008 isn't a repeat (except we're talking about a Clinton this go around).

Patrick, on top of this, Clinton then turns around and accuses Obama of "playing politics" with his remarks about Clinton and Martin Luther King. It's clear that Clinton has every intention of doing so herself. Clinton and Obama were, for quite a few months, doing well at keeping things above the belt, but it seems to be getting ugly pretty quick. They both talked so much about keeping the discussion issues-oriented. Perhaps it all depends on how you define "issues."

I listened to most of the Nevada Democratic debate this evening on MSNBC and then the follow-up commentary by Chris Matthews (the political commentary on Fox News--despite the claims of some in the Democratic Party--is normally much more engaging and insightful). The anointing he gave to Hillary and overwhelmingly positive assessment that he ascribed to her performance was quite disappointing. Hillary--and Edwards--continued to vacillate on their positions (and prior voting records such as the bankruptcy law), backtracking on those issues that are no longer popular with the bulk of the constituency. Leadership, integrity, and character should matter when it comes time to electing a president. No reference was made to this sad state of affairs; rather, Matthews displayed great exuberance that Hillary was extremely presidential (his definition of "presidential" is much different than mine). It will be a tragedy if we end up with a Clinton-Romney face off; we'll have two individuals with the ethical propensity to switch positions based on the popularity--or lack thereof--of an issue. I concur with Andrew Sullivan ( that a McCain-Obama face off is by far the best scenario for our country, one that will focus on issues and character versus political machinations and maneuvering.

Absolutely. McCain is clearly the best choice for the Republican party. Exit polls indicate as much. Head-to-head projections, too. McCain refuses to back down on his principles, refuses to pander to anyone. Unfortunately, that rigidity hurts him in the primary. He refuses to pull the GOP line on social issues. Many question his stance on immigration. I had hoped he would finish closer in Michigan last night. But, honestly, Romney had been expected to win Michigan for six months or more. And after struggling as much as McCain did over the summer, it's amazing he's come back.

We can't expect McCain to win Nevada, which will likely go to Romney. Right now McCain is leading S Carolina, Florida, and California; but the headlines following a Nevada win by Romney could be enough to boost him to victory in a couple of those states.

South Carolina will be the testing ground...

Nevada is just a flash in the pan and will be completely forgotten in the span of 24 hours...if even that long.  The true measure of the Obama campaign's viability will be in SC.  Will enough African-Americans get over the awe of the supposed "good ole days" of Bill's presidency (of which aggregate income for African-Americans actually decreased) to see that Hilary is nothing more than a political opportunist who moved to NY, won a Senate seat, only has been there for a little under 1 full six year term and started to run for for President...only 5 years after her husband left office in 2001?

My hopes and prayers are for a convincing win in SC.

ACS, the good news is that although the headlines are declaring a Clinton "win" in Nevada, Obama actually won more delegates in the state. That means he'll retain the overall national lead in terms of number of delegates.

Yeah, but not much Barbara.

He desperately needs to woo elder voters who are not afraid of him already.

They are afraid FOR him. That's why they are there in record numbers. If they vote Clinton is not because they support her. But because they have seen too many times the best being trampled by the ordinary. They are there for Obama. But vote the foxy lady.

They invested their hopes too many times before. Barack needs to Demonstrate, that he can deal with dirty tactics. And coming from Chicago, it shouldn't be too hard. Street-wise is the name of the game now.

And there is another point specifically for the elderly WOMAN to be driven home. Do they want to tell their grandaughters that the way up for a woman to break ceilings is on the back of a good catch. Of course not. To be a CEO you don't have to marry a CEO first. Least the CEO at That Company. That's not succession, that's subversion.

Same goes trumps for such a symbolic rank as a President. Hillary actually is against the hope that an ORDINARY Woman could become President. Emancipated women should not be proud of that the least.

Not to say that presently she is employing the worst in MALE tactics (Bushism/Roveism) combined with the worst in female tactics (Subversion) to win Nomination.

If I was a woman I might have savoured some proud IF she used the latter to subvert the former. That would make her a tolerable President. But she seemed to have have passed the age when people can change old habits. 

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