fredag, januari 04, 2008

The campaign after Iowa

This article is a try to qualify as a pundit for the Clinton campaign… It is also a summary and at a same time a development of the article I wrote in Swedish this morning.

In the Democratic camp: three winners, four losers
· A convincing victory for Clinton in Iowa would have made in almost impossible for anyone to stop her nomination. Now, the result was in no mean bad, but she must still be considered a looser since she had the chance to seal the nomination but she didn’t.
· Edwards is a looser even though his narrow win over Clinton. There is only room for one contender besides Clinton, and Obama won that spot.
· Obama is a winner. He eliminated the treat from Edwards and his margin of victory was larger than expected. Obama can ride the positive momentum until Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire.
· Richardson is a winner since he became the best of the rest. He will remain in the battle – for some time. He knocked down Biden and Dodd; both of them have abandoned their bids for the nomination.
· Biden and Dodd lost the battle for the fourth spot to Richardson. They have to return to the Senate (and maybe, in the case of Biden, return as Vice Presidential candidate or Secretary of State).
· The third winner is the Democratic Party. Almost twice as many Iowans participated in the caucus compared to four years ago, and there where twice as many democratic participants as there where republican. The enthusiasm for the Democratic candidates is much higher than for the Republican. This will be an important Democratic advantage in November.

In the Republican camp: one winner, one loser, and lots of question marks
· Huckabee’s victory was a – well, victory. A first place finish in Iowa was his only chance to stay relevant in the race, just as it was for Edwards on the Democratic side. Huckabee won, Edwards didn’t.
· Romney should be disappointed he didn’t finish better than second. That makes the rest of his race harder and a win in New Hampshire is needed to keep him out of deep deep trouble.

The relevance of Iowa
Iowa has a bad track record picking the incoming president. 1976 (Carter) and 2000 (Bush 43) are the only times the winning candidate in November won a contested caucus in Iowa. In 1980 (Carter/Bush 41), 1984 (Mondale), 1988 (Gephardt/Dole), 1992 (Harkin), 1996 (Dole) and 2004 (Kerry) the winner in Iowa lost either the nomination or the general election.

What’s next
The demographic in New Hampshire should be more suited for Obama than for Clinton. Therefore expect Obama to score another win this Tuesday. If Clinton prevail it would give her a crucial advantage in the race.

After an Obama victory in NH, Clinton will still most likely win in Nevada January 19. South Carolina will then be a critical contest setting the tone for the Super Tuesday February 5. Hence, after SC we will know who is the favourite and after February 5 we will know the likely winner. At the Democratic side of the aisle will say…

We problably have to wait longer to know anything about the Republicans. A Romney win in Iowa would have given him a good position. Romney can still win. So can Huckabee, McCain or Guiliani. And it’s possible I have forgotten at least one Republican candidate that could end up as their nominee…

Detta inlägg är pingat på Andra bloggar om USA, primärval, presidentvalet, USA-valet 2008 och Iowa,

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