Thursday, January 03, 2008

Next Presidential Battleground: New Hampshire

It's not yet clear how the Iowa results will affect the New Hampshire Primary but it's certain to have some effect. There's a tendency for people to jump on and off political bandwagons, so a good guess going in to New Hampshire is that Huckabee and Obama will improve their current showings, probably at the expense of Clinton and Romney.

It's also not clear how this will affect the national polls, which still show Clinton with a sizable lead and show Giuliani - not even a player in Iowa or New Hampshire - with the national Republican lead.

We were wrong about Iowa, so we won't be predicting anything for at least...24 hours!

Obama holding Iowa lead, CNN projects Obama Victory

CNN Projects Obama as winner in Iowa

With about 70% of the democratic precincts in Barack Obama appears the likely Democratic winner with 35% of the vote, with Edwards and Clinton tied at 32%.

A defeat for Clinton in Iowa will hurt her campaign and energize Obamas, though the quirky Iowa caucus process can quickly fade from memory and it is notable that few of the past Presidents actually won this state. Still, media attention is white hot this year and the Huckabee and Obama wins are likely to fuel a lot more attention and a lot more donation money.

Huckabee Wins Iowa

CNN projects Huckabee as Iowa Winner.

15% precincts have reported for Republicans. Huckabee appears to be showing a whopping 40% to Romney 20% from those precincts, though info is still coming in...

CNN Iowa entrance Polls: Tight Obama v Clinton and Romney v Huckabee. Edwards down

CNN Iowa entrance Polls: Tight Obama v Clinton and Romney v Huckabee. Edwards down.

CNN's got some great coverage tonight from *inside* five Iowa Democratic Caucus locations. there are some 3500 locations so it won't be very helpful in terms of prediction, but it's a great insight into the Iowa process, which is at one level very democratic and open yet at another level it is not very participatory (only a small fraction of the electorate participates) and also to my mind is very biased in favor of more assertive folks who are willing to stand up for their opinions. This last feature is very questionable, as it effectively may disenfranchise some " shy" folks, which is not democratic. The Republican system, a simple straw poll, is arguably more "fair" to all involved.

Huckabee's Surprise?

The Huckabee campaign is now predicting a 5%+ victory tonight in the Iowa Caucuses, as reported by Fox News' Shepard Smith a few moments ago. Fox suggests that the Huckabee Campaign has an exceptional rural religious get out the vote campaign that has been underreported so far during the campaign (though polls should have captured this data).

A close election on both Republican and Democratic sides probably will not shift the balances of power, but a runaway victory or loss by any candidate could do a lot to change the national polls.

This just in: Obama campaign is suggesting there are early indications of record, large turnouts. Most think this will hurt John Edwards and help Clinton and Obama with a *very* large turnout helping Obama the most.

Iowa Caucuses are Coming!

Tonight some 150.000 - 200,000 Iowans will gather at locations all across their state to choose the Democratic and Republican candidates as Iowa's recommendations for the national conventions. As the "jumping off point" for the Presidential Race Iowa's importance to the media is extraordinary - and many would say irrationally overblown by the media.

Some conventional wisdom holds that there are "three tickets out" of Iowa and this year probably won't be the exception to that on the Democratic side, where it's likely that Obama, Edwards, and Clinton will come out with enough support to make the next race - New Hampshire - the media's next darling.

Republican results will be complicated by the fact that Giuliani and McCain, both strong nationally, have made few attempts to do well in Iowa. I'd suggest that after Iowa we'll see the Republican field quickly narrow to Huckabee, Romney, McCain, and Giuliani with the first two as rising stars and the second two as falling stars. I still predict Romney will win the Republican nomination.

Based on the most recent polling averages I'm starting to doubt my own predictions of Romney and Clinton, but it's very hard to predict Caucus results based on polls because people must make a substantial committment to a caucus, especially on the Democratic side where you must also stand up and sometimes speak for your candidate.