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Friday, January 04, 2008

The Big Surprise

There were really only two surprises in Iowa yesterday. Hillary Clinton coming in 3rd in the Democratic caucus, and the fact that she didn't win the female vote. Huckabee wasn't really a surprise, and Obama winning wasn't as big a surprise as the media would make it. Both were doing well in polls for weeks.

A few months ago the Clinton Machine(tm) was spout off about how, if nominated, Hillary Clinton would siphon off 25-50% of all GOP women and have them voting for her.

Well, now we've seen, at least in Iowa (see my last post) that Hillary is having a hard time getting a majority of women in her own party to vote for her. So I wonder, will her folks still stick to the "siphon" idea.

It will be interesting to see what Senator Clinton does over the weekend to try and get top billing back before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. I can't see her letting the media gush over Obama for 96 hours before the next voting takes place. (For those of a technical nature, Wyoming votes tomorrow, but they're less relevant than Iowa). While coming in 3rd in both Iowa and New Hampshire won't doom her candidacy, it does destroy the "inevitability" of it, which is a good portion of what she's been running on. In fact, anything less than a very close 2nd place in New Hampshire may cause her lots of fund raising problems.

Obama, for his part, seems to be doing a decent job today of not rubbing Hillary's nose in the fact that she finished 3rd in the race. That's a good strategy, since Iowa didn't assure him of winning New Hampshire, and a fall off there could be a problem for him, since he's running on the "groundswell for change" platform. Never mind he's never given us the details, only lots of slick sales pitches.

One the GOP Side
For the Huckabee supporters who are ecstatic about last nights results, don't get too giddy. My guess is he'll finish a distant 5th in New Hampshire, and John McCain or Rudy will suddenly be the flavor of the week for the GOP. My predicted order of finish Tuesday is Guiliani, McCain, Romney, Thompson, Huckabee. The top three could flip flop amongst their positions, moving one spot either way.

If you need a reason, it's the lack of evangelical supporters in N.H. As ABC new's pointed out this morning, while 60% of Iowa GOP voters said faith is extremely important to them, that number plummets to 20% in New Hampshire.

While he could come back in South Carolina with help from the same group, my guess is that Romney and Guliani will be 1-2 there, pretty well dooming the Huckster before Super Tuesday.

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