Obama’s Momentum Going Into New Hampshire

After Obama won in Iowa I confidently predicted that he would win the nomination but soon found that the pundits were arguing the opposite. The conventional wisdom quickly became that Iowa was just one contest and there are many more to go in a wide open race. It is premature to say I was definitely correct, but all indicators lead me to stick to my original view.

My prediction was not based upon merely seeing a repeat of Kerry’s victory in 2004 or any belief that the New Hampshire voters would blindly follow Iowa. The prediction was based upon the particular individuals running this year. I felt that the Iowa caucus would provide a reading on the effectiveness of each campaign as well as create its own momentum. Iowa showed both showed that Obama could bring out the independents to vote for him and gave New Hampshire independents reason to do the same.

Clinton’s strength was the impression that her nomination was inevitable. This contributed to people giving her name to pollsters, but this did not guarantee they would stick with her. I never thought the early New Hampshire polls showing a Clinton lead meant very much, especially as her lead has narrowed. New Hampshire voters decide at the last minute and polls over a week ahead aren’t very predictive.

If there was no Iowa caucus, I think Obama would have pulled out a win New Hampshire, regardless of the polls, due to his greater support by independents, as well as Clinton’s limitations. If Clinton had won in Iowa, she might have had a bounce and won, but with Obama winning he should go on to an easy victory in New Hampshire. As for Edwards, his populism wouldn’t sell well in New Hampshire. Maybe a victory in Iowa could have given him a bounce (especially as polls show a large number of people still see him as a centrist southerner), but after losing in Iowa he has nowhere to go.

With only five days between Iowa and New Hampshire there is too little time for Clinton to make a come back baring a major melt down on Obama’s part. I already thought that Clinton’s attacks looked desperate in the final days before the Iowa caucus. The whole argument that Obama was arguing from “conservative frames” which was picked up my much of the blogosphere was ridiculous to begin with. If anything it played into Obama’s strengths and highlighted the weakness of those who used such arguments. What this argument against “conservative frames” really said was “We are right on everything. If you even consider issues from the point of view of others you are guilty of a thought crime.” The perception that Obama does consider the views of others is one of his strengths, and if they had any effect these attacks wound up pointing that out and helping Obama.

With Clinton losing in Iowa she is looking even more desperate. We see that she is resorting to claims that Obama is too liberal (which are nullified by the opposite clam from Edwards). Clinton is trying to imitate Rudy Giuliani in capitalizing on 9/11. She’s even getting bad advice from Bill. If we can trust Robert Novak, it sounds like even Clinton is preparing how to spin a second place finish.

The first polls are coming in since the Iowa caucus and are showing just what I expected. American Research Group shows that Obama has moved from a four point deficit to a twelve point lead over Clinton. The Concord Monitor shows a lead of one point for Obama. A Suffolk University poll which began before the Iowa results showed Obama cutting into Clinton’s lead. CNN/WMUR shows a tie. Rasmussen shows a ten point lead for Obama after previously trailing by three.

These polls aren’t conclusive but do show the expected bounce for Obama. These polls, as well as further media coverage of Obama as front runner, will bring further support to Obama similar to how the Des Moines Register’s poll contributed to Obama’s momentum in Iowa.

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6 Comments

  1. 1
    John the Marine says:

    I’m probably the last person anyone would think would sing Obama’s praises. But hey stranger things have happened. As a conservative (and I mean hard corps Libertarian, gun toting, French hating… well you get it.) the thing that sets Obama apart is that I don’t feel compelled to hate him. I disagree with almost all of his policies, but he is honest and not experienced (or not corrupt and slimy). I gotta tell ya straight, if it came down to say Huckabee or Obama. I probably wil not vote or pull the lever for, gasp! a Democrat!(Probably because I’m sick of govenors from Arkanas) The fact of the matter is that although I disagree with just about every position the man has, he strikes me as a decent human being and I think that counts for alot more than “experience”. Oh, yeh, anyone who humiliates Hillary is OK with this Marine.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    French hating? I thought conservatives were over French hating now that they see a friendly government there.

    As for Obama, I’ve seen the same expressed many times from conservatives. I doubt we will see anywhere as many conservatives say similar things about Clinton or Edwards.

  3. 3
    Saratha says:

    I think Americans go by their feelings, and would rather choose a cheerleader than someone who would correct flaws in the system they espouse and give them stable government. I find it difficult to understand why Hillary Clinton gets attacked the way she is by some, but understand fully the support given to Obama. Anyway, Americans are known for their naivety and their penchant for going for feel good bubbles, and it’s time the rest of the world stops taking them seriously.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Or maybe people support Obama because his policy proposals, and oppose Clinton because of all the issues she has been wrong on, including her health care proposal, her support for the war, other foreign policy disputes with Obama in the past year, and her nanny state ideas. Clinton can’t correct the flaws in the system when she is one of the flaws in the system.

  5. 5
    Saratha says:

    “nanny state” ideas? Homelessness is not an issue in your country? Nor high medical costs that drive even medical practitioners to explore retirement possibilities in Asian countries? Don’t Americans pay taxes to support government machinery? And is government machinery only for the support of the able? If you can’t be sympathetic to your own citizens, how would you deal with the rest of the world? Respect is only given to those who handle power responsibly.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Saratha,

    ““nanny state” ideas? Homelessness is not an issue in your country? ”

    I have a very low tolerance for this type of crap and if you resort to such straw man arguments in the future your comments will not be put through. Wanting to do something about homelessness has absolutely nothing to do with Clinton’s nanny state proposals. Obama has better ideas for handling poverty (despite you writing him off as a cheerleader in your prior comment), and doesn’t resort to the the type of pandering that Clinton does.

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