Northeastern NH is a bit different from the rest of the state; I'd expect McCain to do pretty well there. However, I spent some time in Central and Southern NH over the weekend, and all the talk was Obama. Obama from Democrats, Obama from Undeclareds, even Obama from some Republicans (random comment from a cashier from a Lowe's in Laconia: "I'm a Republican, but I really like that Obama guy. He seems really honest.")
And the "sign primary" was shocking. Not so much the difference between Democrats as between the parties. I've been in NH for the last 5 primaries, and I've never seen the same preponderance of Democratic signs over GOP signs. Hell, even last time it seemed like I saw a decent number of Bush/Cheney signs. But this time ... I'm not exaggerating in saying that only 10% of signs were for mainline Republicans (excluding Ron Paul).
In my experience, Northern NH isn't as likely to get caught up in the same momentum as the more southern parts of the state. But the feel in the Southern part of the state was so Democratic I'd be really surprised if these CNN numbers were anything close to accurate.
I have to say that these results are pretty much what Obama would've designed. The results from the GOP side won't excite any Indies in NH to vote in that primary, so they'll go to the Dem side and vote for Barack. And he'll get the IA bounce going into NH, SC, etc ...
I think it's probably true that a blanket statement is off a bit, but not too far off. Unless a newspaper really goes against the grain and bolsters a non-insider candidate, they don't mean anything beyond firing up supporters (which is not inconsequential).
A DMR endorsement of Clinton won't have much of an effect, imo, because voters have certainly already factored in her established, insider position in their estimation of her. A little reinforcement of that position (as the DMR endorsement is) doesn't do a whole lot for her.
A Globe endorsement of Obama is only marginally more useful because Barack's slightly less "insider," so some institutional support is helpful to him. But that's really not too big a deal, either. The folks who would really pay attention to newspaper endorsements have already decided long before newspapers endorse.
One thing I'm wondering about Paul ... the early Internet communities were fairly conservative and really libertarian, so some of the most mature communities fit that profile. How much does that play into Paul's success here? I have to imagine that some old school listserv-type communities are humming with pro-Paul action.
Seeing the campaign fairly close up, it's pretty obvious what the GOP strategy is going forward: muddy the waters in DC and obstruct everything possible, disgust people with a "Congress" that isn't getting anything done (due to their obstruction), and then try to paint any Democrat as an "insider" in any way they can.
In this race, Ogonowski has tried very hard to play himself up as an outsider and Tsongas as a creature of the Democratic establishment. His bio as a local boy is played up and subtle allusion to the Tsongas name is made, and every action of support from prominent Democrats is highlighted as a sign of her establishment status. Then he's tried to completely confuse people on Iraq in the Lieberman style.
He's had enough money to get the message out, with quite a few mailings to Democrats and Independents based on that goal of confusing the Iraq issue.
So far, I think the GOP is winning the message war on who is at fault for the lack of progress in DC. They are filibustering at double the previous record rate and blaming the Democrats for not getting things done. Until they pay a political price for this course, they'll keep doing it.
Democrats running for President should make some noises about beefing up the enforcement and investigation of these activities. Even the prospect of a criminal investigation after the election would have a chilling effect on the efforts of GOP operatives to flout the law.
I agree with this completely. And it's not just choice ... it's also guns. What would the NRA do?
Even beyond volunteers, the communications channels of the GOP anti-choice and gun organizations are huge. If you've never known a plugged-in social conservative, you have no idea how much information they get through that channel (email, church bulletins, conversations at church, sermons); I'd say it's their primary news source by far. And if they aren't working for the GOP nominee, I don't see how he stands a chance. Same thing with the NRA communications channels.
Basically, if the nominee is anyone other than Hillary, Giuliani gets crushed in an historic manner. Richardson may not be my first choice, but if by some strange twist of fate it's Giuliani-Richardson, the GOP would be in enormous trouble.
That seems like a classic mistake of thinking that since California is pro-choice, its GOP voters are moderate on choice. I don't have data to back up this feeling, but in a low-turnout primary, I'd suspect that CA-GOP voters are probably just as anti-choice as many other states that are more conservative overall.