a hot girl in a good mood (morganashkevron) wrote in gop_vs_dem,
a hot girl in a good mood

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thoughts on the Iowa Caucus

The headlines this morning are all about Obama and Huckabee snatching victories in the Iowa caucuses. But this race is far from over and now the chess game really begins. Here are my thoughts on the chances of the remaining Democratic candidates.

Edwards and Clinton both need New Hampshire. If Edwards places a distant 2nd or 3rd, his campaign is basically over. If the votes are close and he wins or comes in a close 2nd, he can move on to South Carolina where it will come down to a fight between him and Obama. If Hillary loses in New Hampshire, her big selling point of electability/inevitabilty will be revealed for the house of cards it really is, leaving her incredibly vulnerable in Nevada (where Edwards' connections to labor unions keeps him relatively strong) and South Carolina (where the Dems are 50% black and will likely vote heavily for Obama or Edwards who is from SC).

Right now, Clinton leads in NH, but Obama is likely to bounce up a few points in the next few days and he could quite possibly take the top spot there, as well. Edwards is weak in NH, but he beat Clinton in Iowa and he could make it a very tight race among the top three. With Dodd and Biden withdrawing from the race, Richardson could gain some traction. The Iowa caucuses only give votes to viable candidates (those with 15% or better in each precinct) and the voters who support candidates with less than 15% have to pick a second choice among the top tier. This means that it is not only possible, but probable that Richardson's numbers are not nearly as low as they appear. He will pick up a few points against Obama and he'll get a lot of the Biden and Dodd crowd.

I'm guessing that Obama will scrape by with a win in New Hampshire, probably with 30% of the vote. Clinton will place second with 27%, Edwards will get about 20% and Richardson might hit 11-12%. If that happens, Obama wins South Carolina with 40% (possibly better), Hillary snags 30% or so, and Edwards and Richardson will get about 15% each, effectively knocking Edwards out of the race and giving Richardson a big boost in media coverage and support. As they head into Nevada, that bounce could really help Richardson who is an incredibly popular governor in the neighboring state of New Mexico. With Edwards out and Clinton looking weaker by the day, he could finish in a strong third place with 25% or more of the vote while Hillary gets into the high twenties and Obama finishes in the high thirties. And that would change everything on Super Tuesday. It's a longshot and it depends on the further implosion of the Clinton campaign and a steady weakening of the Edwards campaign, but this is how it could become a Richardson v. Obama race for the nomination. Stranger things have happened.
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Clinton's got a huge following in SC, especially among female African American voters.
True, but if the pundits are correct that black voters and women voters are now trending more towards Obama, that really slices into Hillary's supporters.
They might interpret last night's results as a sign that white Americans are not afraid to elect an African American candidate, but some voters have also expressed a concern for his safety should he get elected. I've read somewhere that some people say they basically don't want to sacrifice the first African American president. I honestly don't know, this race is very complicated, and Obama could continue to surge, or the Clinton camp could try to play the experience card more in other states where she's more popular because they're less rural and the Clintons are more appreciated. And that's South Carolina, and Northeastern states.
Hillary was a headline, but the chances of her coming through are thin. I think the Iowa caucus really showed what voters think versus what the media exposes. Though I must admit that I am surprised Obama won. I was certain Edwards would take it. In the end I think he'll be the lead candidate, but this is a huge overturn from predictions three months ago.

Huckabee is another huge upstart. I remember reading about him in a College Republican magazine and thinking, "Oh well, just another candidate. But he'd proven even Republicans can have their Jimmy Carters. If it comes down to Huckabee and Obama, we'll have a great race on our hands.
I think if it appears that Huckabee and Obama are the two nominees, Bloomberg is going to be even more tempted to enter the race, because he'll be sure he can get the independent vote, cutting into a fair share of Obama's supporters. Mainstream Republicans are not going to want to elect Huckabee, he's too populist and too socially conservative. Surely the Republican elite is going to oppose that.
I don't know about Bloomberg - I saw an interview he did this week on the Today Show and he seemed pretty adamant that he isn't running for President his year. I wouldn't count him out in 2012, but it doesn't look like he's moving in that direction now. There's also a good chance that Ron Paul will run as 3rd party candidate. He's got a pile of money from all those internet donations and the GOP establishment wants him on the ticket like I want a hole in my head. Plus, Unity 08 hasn't picked anyone for their ticket yet and they'll do whatever they can to snag a big name.
I think Unity will be more interested in someone like Bloomberg who can actually get votes from independents, Republicans and Democrats, and Bloomberg being an establisment candidate, the mayor of a liberal city and the richest candidate out there, I think he's the one they'd most want. Maybe Paul is too wacky for them. He's not mainstream enough. He can get votes from anti-war Democrats, but no other Democrats are going to look at him. I am of the opinion that Bloomberg's getting ready, what with the conference at the University of Oklahoma and all.
Rudy Giuliani was supposed to be the middle ground vote. Where is he at in the polls?
The democrats are doing something unique. Can they pull off the white woman vote or the black man vote? Evolutionary, but if they go up against the White protestant male, will they win?