09 January 2008

New Hampshire Redux

The New Hampshire results are in, Clinton a poll defying first, Obama second, Edwards a distant third, on the Democratic side. On the GOP side, McCain, then Romney, then Huckabee, then Giuliani who was just a nose ahead of Ron Paul.

My take: Put the Edwards campaign on a death watch. If Edwards isn't in first place in South Carolina, I don't see how he can win the nomination, and right now he is in a distant third place in the polls there. Also, the weak Edwards campaign reduces the odds that there will be a brokered convention this year. If Edwards hopes look bleak on February 5, voters will chose Clinton or Obama instead. Richardson and the rest of Democratic field are also now clearly out of contention for anything but the VP slot.

Similarly, Giuliani's campaign is on very thin ice. He performed dismally in both Iowa and New Hampshire. I suspect that positive poll results in the next few states will dissolve in the face of this poor performance. Everyone else in the GOP nomination race is done except for the concession speeches.

There are just two Democrats and three Republicans left with anything more than a long shot at become the next President of the United States. Clinton's win in New Hampshire evens the odds between Clinton and Obama. McCain, Romney and Huckabee have roughly evenly matched strengths and weaknesses creating another close race.

Forced to guess today, I'd favor Obama and Romney slightly as most likely to win their respective nominations. Obama is likely to pick up more of the Edwards vote. Romney balances the economic conservative and Christian conservative wings of the Republican party. But, those are mere guesses. Also, as it stands, either Democrat is likely to defeat any of the Republican nominees. Obama is probably the most likely person to be the next President of the United States, but the race among the top five candidates in the race is far from over.

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