Any way you slice it, Iowa was a stunner.
A virtually all-white rural state selected a charismatic black lawyer from Illinois as their presidential standard-bearer. Talk about change. This is historic. Add to that this stunning statistic. Obama defeated Hillary by eight or nine points. Now they both head to New Hampshire where both are in a tight race for next Tuesday’s primary.
Hillary has been wounded. No doubt about it. But she has money, organization and Bill. New Hampshire is a more friendly state for Hillary than Iowa. But Obama will get a bounce from his victory. Never underestimate the Clinton machine but at this moment the odds favour an Obama victory in the Granite State. Then watch out. Hillary’s current lead among blacks in South Carolina will start to melt. Can you imagine blacks voting against a black candidate who has just won in two white states? Neither can I.
As for John Edwards, he is on the ropes. He has little money and not much of an organization in New Hampshire. If he is defeated there – as he will be – I expect Edwards to drop out and leave a two person race. Clinton vs. Obama.
And the Republicans?
Who in the world a couple of months ago would have a predicted a a banjo-playing Baptist preacher who rejects income taxes and evolution would sweep the Iowa caucuses? But before we get carried away here, let’s cut to the chase. Mike Huckabee has little chance of winning the Republican nomination and no chance whatever of winning the White House. Pat Roberston and Pat Buchanan did well in the Iowa caucuses but quickly came a -cropper. So will Huckabee.
Huckabee’s showing in Iowa is mainly significant because of who it hurts and who it helps. It hurts Romney badly. (If Romney does not win New Hampshire – unlikely – he is kaput.) It helps McCain – a lot. McCain has a good shot at winning N.H. It also helps Guiliani although the New York mayor’s campaign is floundering and by virtually skipping the two early states, he may well have sabatoged his chances.
What do you think?
Are you glad Obama won Iowa?
Do your think Hillary can recover?
Who is your choice among Huckabee, McCain and Rudy Giulian?
I haven’t mentioned Thompson because after New Hampshire – maybe even before – he’ll be gone.