The state of race
by Jerome Armstrong, Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 10:03:10 PM EST
Gallup has a post-Iowa national poll out. What it shows is on par with Rasmussen's findings. Basically, that the drop of Clinton is divided among gains by Obama and Edwards:
Now Dec Clinton 33 45 Obama 33 27 Edwards 20 15With an expected New Hampshire win, its betting-time on which of these scenarios plays out:
On Wednesday morning, people will wake up and say, Jeez, this guy (Obama) is going to be our nominee, Trippi said. At that point, Trippi said, a closer examination will occur: The world is going to say, who the hell is this guy?
It's not over by a long shot.
Part of why, is Trippi's take:
Nationally, Obama, with 33 percent, is tied or trails Clinton currently. After New Hampshire, Obama will likely get another bump in the polls, but compare this with Kerry. In 2004, after Iowa, Kerry, at 30 percent, led by 13 to 16 percent over the nearest challenger; after New Hampshire, Kerry, at 42 to 49 percent, led by 30 to 35 percent over the nearest challenger.
Obama is not anywhere near the candidate-postion of Kerry. The other thing thing to recall, about surges and tsunamis, is that they are temporary.
Blogger fladem has a must-read here on the race, pointing out that "what history teaches about the current state of the race: it is far from over." There will be a big swing to Obama, but that bounce is reversible. True, with Kerry, there was no reverse, but there are three recent instances (1984, 1992 and 1996), when the bounce from New Hampshire substantially receded about 3 weeks afterwards.
Obviously, the race has shifted from "Clinton's to lose" to "Obama's to lose" but he certainly can. Let's look assume a clear NH victory by Obama (anything otherwise would awake the "its over" crowd on its own) and look at what follows:
Jan 15: Michigan
Jan 19: Nevada
Jan 26: South Carolina
Jan 29: Florida
Feb 5: Super-duper Tuesday
Obamafans will be quick to point out that Michigan and Florida don't count, which is ludicrous. Yes, the DNC has weighed in, but at this point that's largely symbolic. If it matters, there will be a battle and a convention vote of whether those delegates from Michigan or Florida will be allowed, and I will bet on the side that argues voters from Florida should not be disenfranchised- especially if not allowing them allows one candidate to win over the other (akin to a stolen nomination).
Edwards is the real loser in dropping out of Michigan, a state with a lot of pissed off voters, strong in labor, a democratic voter primary. Obama knew it was a potential drag to his Independent-Republican base for winning in the first four key states, and wisely cajoled Edwards into pulling out too. Given two first victories in IA and NH, if Obama had stayed on the ballot for Michigan, he could have continued his path to the nomination via Michigan and its delegates while doing nothing, which is why I've called it a blunder. You can argue all you want about the DNC committee's position on MI, the fact is that Clinton will get a symbolic win-- and pad her real delegate lead with real supporters that will be heading to the DNC convention.
There will be 10 days to pass between New Hampshire and Nevada; then 7 days till South Carolina, and 3 days till Florida.
Nevada is a bit of a wildcard. You have to assume that Trippi is correct, and Obama gets the Culinary endorsement, but 10 days is a ways, and that's going to provide a window. If Clinton, or Edwards, won in either Nevada or South Carolina, that would shake up the race, but Obama seems poised to win them both, and then Florida.
Now, unlike Michigan, Obama and Edwards are on the ballot in Florida. It presents a quandary for them: do they campaign there or do they ignore Florida? Do they wait and see what Clinton does first?
The Republicans are going to be battling it out in Florida for 10 days, following South Carolina. The media coverage will be huge. There will be polls on both sides. I don't see how Clinton can ignore Florida, and expect to go into Feb 5th with any kind of momentum. It's got demographics that favor her, and is a closed democratic primary. And if Clinton goes big into Florida, I don't see how Obama or Edwards can ignore the state's election, and then it matters even more, and a Clinton win in Florida is even bigger.
That's Jan, then on Feb 5th, Clinton is going to win a lot more states and their delegates. So will Edwards. They will both ensure that Obama does not have enough delegates to win the nomination on his own.
So there it is. This certainly isn't a new scenario that I've laid out, and is right in line with the expectation that Clinton would stumble out of the gate. I realize that now is the time to get swept away by the media swoon for a sensationalized moment of declaring it's over, but it's not. We can check back to this post at the end of the month to see who's right.