Debunking Republican Convention Lies

The Republicans have repeatedly been making untrue statements during their convention, but this is to be expected. After all, the Republican convention is packed with Republicans, along with Joe Lieberman who might as well be a Republican. corrects just a few of the incorrect statements made last night. From their summary:

Joe Lieberman and his former Senate colleague Fred Thompson both made misleading claims about Obama in their prime time GOP convention speeches on Tuesday. We’ve heard two of them before – many times.

  • Lieberman said Obama hadn’t “reached across party lines” to accomplish “anything significant,” though Obama has teamed with GOP Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Lugar to pass laws enhancing government transparency and curtailing the proliferation of nuclear and conventional weapons.
  • Thompson repeated misleading claims about Obama’s tax program, saying it would bring “one of the largest tax increases in American history.” But as increases go, Obama’s package is hardly a history-maker. It would raise taxes for families with incomes above $250,000. Most people would see a cut.
  • Lieberman also accused Obama of “voting to cut off funding for our American troops on the
    battlefield.” But Obama’s only vote against a war-funding bill came after Bush vetoed a version of the bill Obama had supported – and McCain urged the veto.

Factcheck provides further detail in their full post. Unfortunately they missed the worst lie of the night when Fred Thompson said, “And we need a President who doesn’t think that the protection of the unborn or a newly born baby is above his pay grade.” This is quite a distortion of Obama’s actual words regarding how determining when life begins is above his pay grade. While Factcheck didn’t address this point in discussing the convention, they have a previous posting which debunks the right wing lies that Obama supports infanticide.

This is one reason why the Republicans have been doing poorly the last couple of years. They are still picking up votes from low-information voters who believe these lies, but as more voters realize what Democrats really believe the Republicans lose support. When Republicans concentrate on such straw men arguments they have no effect among those who realize such claims have little bearing on actual Democratic beliefs.

There should be plenty to Factcheck tonight also. Mitt Romney showed why many Democrats hoped he would be McCain’s pick (not suspecting McCain would pick someone as unqualified as Sarah Palin). Romney repeated all the standard claims of the right wing as to what Democrats believe. What is amusing is that a very large number of Republicans really do believe that Democrats believe what Romney claims. When the actual views on the issues are considered, most people will support the views of the Democrats over those of the Republicans. This is why the McCain campaign does not want the election to be decided over the issues.

Update: Rudy Giuliani has also demonstrated how dishonest he is tonight. He must really be afraid of Obama’s record and experience to feel compelled to distort it in the manner he did.

Watching this convention I also cannot decide which is the biggest absurdity. We have the Republicans who have been in control of the government trying to run against Washington. We have the party responsible for tremendous increases in the size of government claiming to be the party of small government. We have the party which promotes authoritarianism claiming to be the party of freedom. We have the party of corporate welfare claiming to be the party of free enterprise. We have the party which ignored warnings, including those from Democrats, on the risk from al Qaeda leading to the 9/11 attacks occurring on their watch. Then they got us involved in a war against the wrong country based upon lies. Now they claim they are the party which can be trusted to keep us safe.

Update II: I almost forgot Mike Huckabee. He falsely claimed that Sarah Palin got more votes as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Sen. Joe Biden got running for president. Taegan Goddard notes that Biden received more votes in Florida alone than Palin received, and this was in a primary which officially did not count after Biden withdrew from the race.

Update III: We’re in the midst of Sarah Palin’s speech. She has already told a few whoppers of her own, including the exact same lies about Obama raising taxes which McCain has repeatedly been corrected on by sites such as Factcheck. She also has repeated the same lies about her role in supporting the “bridge to nowhere” which the press has previously debunked.

How can we trust a party to govern when so many of their leaders cannot tell the truth? We have seen the dangers in this over the past eight years.

SciFi Friday Part II: The Week in Review

Lost has benefited greatly from centering the final seasons around telling a story with a definite end point. They have also avoided using the exact same format week after week. This week’s episode got away from telling about one of the Oceanic Six in the flash forwards and instead dealt with Desmond, who is unstuck in time. There was even a brief homage to Billy Pilgrim from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, who was also unstuck in time.

We find that Desmond’s situation isn’t unique. Every episode lately tries to end with a surprise which is consistent with the events of the episode. This week’s ending suggests that Daniel Faraday’s problem is similar to Desmond’s as we see an entry in his notebook saying, “If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant.”

The episode also verifies the earlier hints that something strange is going on with time. The helicopter with Desmond and Sayid left the island at dusk and landed mid day, with those on the island finding a delay which did not surprise Faraday.


Jericho is becoming increasingly political, with some aspects of the United States resembling Iraq, and other aspects containing allusions to the Bush administration. We’ve already seen that the Cheyenne government is pushing a new flag, a new Constitution, and even a new right wing history. This week’s episode has many comparisons to Halliburton and Blackwater with Jennings & Rall being involved in everything, including government functions. Meanwhile Ravenwood is being used as a private army. Does it mean anything that the new government and Dick Cheney both come from Wyoming?

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles remains mixed in quality but is doing an interesting job of applying aspects from the original movie series to current plot lines. A new twist is being added as it is unclear if the cyborg Cameron (Summer Glau, above) can be trusted. The final two episodes of the season are being aired as a two-hour episode on Monday.

Torchwood as aired on BBC America remains behind the BBC showings, but delaying SciFi Friday at least allows me to comment on the more recent episodes while avoiding spoilers for episodes which have not aired yet. Last week’s episode, Adam, involved an alien who lives off of false memories planted in others. He gives the members of the Torchwood team false memories of him having been one of them for years, but in the process disrupts their memories and changes them. Gwen loses all memory of her fiancè Rhys and thinks he is a stalker when she finds him in her apartment. Owen undergoes the biggest change, becoming a real geek. The most dramatic actions come when Adam gives Ianto false memories of being a serial killer after Ianto notes that there is no mention of Adam in his diary.

The episode might be most notable for providing information on Jack’s childhood, but those memories, as well as all other memories involving Adam, must be removed in order for Adam to be eliminated. At the end nobody has memories of Adam but there are clues that he had been there. I did find it a little unrealistic that they would not want to investigate the last couple of days which were missing from their memories.

This week’s episode, Reset, works in three different groups which are involved in studying aliens. Besides Torchwood, there’s UNIT which lends a medical specialist, and there’s a medical center which uses aliens in an unsafe manner to attempt to cure human diseases. The UNIT medical specialist happens to be Martha Jones, who finished medical school very quickly after returning from her adventures with The Doctor. The episode ends with Owen being shot, which will lead into the events of the subsequent two episodes which have already aired in the U.K.


Looking at television beyond science fiction, Saturday Night Live has managed to be in the news several times after returning last week. Last week’s episode began with a skit based upon the Texas debate, which Hillary Clinton mentioned during the Ohio debate (video above). There was some controversy over having a non-black cast member play Obama’s role. The episode also included a defense of Clinton by Tina Fey who argued that it is bitches who get things done. Mike Huckabee also had an appearance.

This week they began with another debate in which Clinton argues that she can get the most done by being so obnoxious that people will just give up on opposing her. This is followed by an appearance by the real Hillary Clinton (video here). Rudy Giuliani also had an appearance in which he compared his campaign to a Saturday Night Live skit which starts out strong but goes nowhere. The musical guest was Wilco, a big supporter of Obama.

There’s good news for fans of Scrubs. While NBC has never shown the show much respect, ABC is now negotiating to pick up eighteen episodes to allow the series to be completed as planned.

A high definition trailer for the Sex and the City movie is available on line here. We find that Carrie and Big do get engaged, but things might not go well at the alter. Charlotte is pregnant, as was seen in earlier pictures, and Steve admits to Miranda that he cheated on her once.

The Other Boleyn Girl opened to mixed reviews. Any movie with both Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson can’t be all bad. There’s one minor coincidence I noted in the cast when comparing this with Showtimes’s version of the story, The Tudors. Scarlett Johansson appeared in the Woody Allen movie Match Point with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who plays Henry in The Tudors.

Season two of The Tudors begins on March 30. During season one, Mary, followed by Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer), worked to seduce Henry. Anne always found ways to ensure that Henry would not be satisfied until they married, as can be seen at the end of season one. Video is available here (definitely not safe for work).

One of the things I watched during the strike was the DVD set of Arrested Development. It is certainly understandable that there were a lot of protests when the show was canceled. Plans have now been announced to make a movie version of the show.

Obama Sweeps Potomac Primary

Barack Obama has another string of landslide victories, sweeping Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Once again he beat expectations. His victory demonstrates how he is taking control of the race by receiving increasing support from Clinton’s core voters. CNN’s exit polls note:

Obama was expected to poll well among young voters, independents and African-Americans, and he did — taking 60 to 70 percent of the votes in the first two groups and nearly 90 percent of black voters, the polls suggest.

But he also was edging out Clinton among voters 65 and older, blue-collar workers and women, all groups that Clinton was counting on as the core of her support…

And young voters flocked to the Obama campaign, the polls suggest. Seventy-five percent of poll respondents under 30 and 67 percent of those under 45 voted for him in Virginia. Those numbers were 68 percent and 71 percent in Maryland.

However, Obama also edged Clinton — 52-47 — among voters over 60 in Virginia and 50 percent of those voters in Maryland, compared with 46 percent for Clinton.

And he split white votes about 50-50 with Clinton in both states — edging her 50-49 in Virginia and trailing 51-46 in Maryland. That’s a big change from previous contests in which Clinton held a big lead over Obama among white Democrats…

In Virginia, Obama led Clinton 59 to 41 percent among the women who were polled. He also took 57 percent of the votes of respondents who said they earn less than $50,000 a year and 59 percent of those who said someone in their household is a member of a union.

Among those voters in Maryland, 59 percent of women backed Obama, 65 percent of those making less than $50,000 voted for him and 61 percent of those in union households supported him.

He was the winner among respondents who said the economy, the Iraq war or health care — a trademark issue for Clinton — was the most important issue to them…

In Virginia, Clinton took an overwhelming 96 percent of the support from voters who said experience was the most important quality a candidate should have. In Maryland, that number was 91 percent.

The increased support for Obama from many of these groups might alter predictions that Clinton can survive the race by winning the final three large states. Clinton has largely based her campaign on a number of myths which are no longer working. Her claims of being the inevitable winner do not hold up as she continues to lose primaries in every region of the country.

The results above also show that voters are no longer blindly accepting her claim of being more experienced. The reality is that Obama is by far the more experienced of the two. Obama has more years of legislative experience. During his years of legislative experience Obama has done far more positive than Clinton has, while Clinton has frequently been on the wrong side of the issues.

Besides his more impressive legislative experience, Obama’s experience in teaching Constitutional law is a skill which should be valuable in undoing much of the harm caused by George Bush. In contrast Clinton has been an advocate of increased presidential power and Executive privilege.

Obama’s experience as a community organizer can also be seen in how he has run his campaigns. Clinton sees both her campaign and her role in government as purely top down. Her Nanny State philosophy results in proposals based upon government control to force her views on all, while Obama shows a far better understanding of the necessary balance between government and private life.

As a result of today’s victories, CNN estimates that Obama leads 1,052 to 951 in pledged delegates. While he might not be able to accumulate enough delegates to clinch victory, if he continues to extend his lead over Clinton it will be difficult for the super delegates to deny him the nomination.

Clinton doesn’t know how to respond. This is the second time in a row that Clinton failed to acknowledge or congratulate Obama for his victory. After Saturday’s victories the Clinton campaign said that the victories didn’t matter because the caucuses were dominated by “activists.” Apparently the views of Democratic “activists” don’t count. Some Clinton supporters are claiming that these losses don’t matter because Clinton didn’t campaign in some of the states she has lost. This sure contradicts the Clinton argument that Michigan and Florida should count, despite the fact that not only didn’t Obama campaign, but all the candidates had pledged not to do so.

Clinton is still holding on to the belief that the Giuliani strategy will work for her as she waits for the big states to vote. Some still believe this will work:

Mike DuHaime, a Republican consultant who managed Rudolph W. Giuliani’s campaign, said Mrs. Clinton was making the right decisions in trying to make the most of her strengths.

“Clearly, she has had success in larger states and there are a whole bunch of delegates at stake on March 4,” Mr. DuHaime said. “They are not trying to figure out who can win the most states; they are trying to figure out who can win the most delegates.”

Some people just do not learn from their mistakes. We sure saw how well this logic worked for Giuliani.

The Biggest Losers Out of Florida: Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton

The good news for Rudy Giuliani is that he was finally able to soundly beat Ron Paul. The bad news is that he came in a distant third place and will be leaving the race to endorse John McCain. At this point McCain is looking very hard to beat, and we will probably know for sure if he’s unstoppable next week. Unless the anti-McCain conservatives can quickly and effectively unite around Romney there’s no stopping McCain. Complicating matters, Huckabee will continue to draw the support of a large share of the social conservatives, reducing potential conservative voters for Romney. Further complicating the issue is that conservatives have good reason to doubt Romney’s commitment to their views.

The good news for Hillary Clinton is that she won. The bad news is that this is a Pyrrhic victory which highlights her growing problems. In terms of delegates, Clinton ties Obama, Edwards, and even Gravel at zero. By celebrating a victory Clinton highlights how she has broken the spirit of the pledges made by the Democratic candidates not to campaign in Florida. As The New Hampshire Union Leader wrote on Tuesday:

Clinton coldly and knowingly lied to New Hampshire and Iowa. Her promise was not a vague statement. It was a signed pledge with a clear and unequivocal meaning.

She signed it thinking that keeping the other candidates out of Michigan and Florida was to her advantage, but knowing she would break it if that proved beneficial later on. It did, and she did.

Clinton has lost a lot of credibility for zero delegates. She might manage to get the delegates at the convention, but if she squeaks by with a stolen victory in this manner she will have a hard time getting enough Democrats out to vote for her to win a general election.

An initial review of the results also highlights Clinton’s growing weaknesses. There was a disproportionate number of women and elderly voters compared to earlier primaries, suggesting that Clinton supporters were more likely to turn out. The Democratic vote was 59% female and 41% male. Greater turnout by Clinton supporters is hardly surprising considering that she was doing the most to appeal for votes in the state.

Clinton’s base remains women and the elderly, except those who are educated. Having Ted Kennedy campaigning should help Obama pick up votes among the elderly, the core Democratic voters, Latinos, and even some working class women. Obama picks up the young, the educated, blacks, and more independent minded Democratic voters on his own. Obama beat Clinton among voters who decided who to vote for in the past week, further showing who has the momentum.

Having John McCain as the likely opponent can also hurt Clinton among Democrats who are choosing based upon electability. McCain negates Clinton’s strengths. If Clinton wants to run based upon experience, McCain has her beat. McCain will be portrayed as the straight talker, running against a candidate who has been widely and accurately branded as a liar and a cheat by members of her own party. McCain has the support of many independents while Clinton’s support is limited to hard core Democrats, potentially reducing her constituency to those who voted Democratic during the party’s losing years.

Clinton offers nothing to inspire very many people to get out to vote for her over John McCain. Both supported the war. Neither is particularly strong on social issues or civil liberties from a liberal perspective, but neither is as awful as the current president. A government junkie like Clinton who has been a strong backer of presidential power and nanny state regulations is hardly going to expand her appeal. It’s really hard to find reasons why it is even worth the wear and tear on my shoes to get out to vote for Hillary Clinton and extend the Clinton/Bush dynasty for yet another four years.

Obama is the only Democrat who can take on John McCain. Obama has shown the ability to not only receive the support of the young, but the ability to get them out to vote, negating McCain’s advantage of strong support among the elderly. Obama, but not Clinton, can challenge McCain on his support for the war, providing a reason to ignore McCain’s greater experience. Obama, but not Clinton, can frame the election as a choice of looking towards the future instead of the past.

Is This “No More Rudy” Tuesday?

The Republican primary in Florida is playing a major role in their nomination battle. After a period in which a different candidate appeared to be winning every week, the race now appears to be down to McCain vs. Romney. Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter have dropped out, with Hunter endorsing Huckabee. Huckabee appears to have a ceiling on his support which will keep him from winning the nomination. Rudy Giuliani’s strategy was to use a win in Florida to propel him to victories on Super Tuesday.

The problem with Rudy’s strategy is that candidates who do not win early are generally not taken seriously in the subsequent contests. Wesley Clark might have doomed his 2004 campaign from the start by not entering into the Iowa caucus. This year Giuliani’s support has gradually eroded, with the final polls showing him in a distant third place. He’s in a tight battle for third with Huckabee, but at least he appears to be on the way to a rare victory over Ron Paul.

Giuliani has predicted that the winner of today’s primary will win the Republican nomination and hinted he might drop out if he doesn’t wn. He might be right about the importance of Florida, especially if McCain or Romney is able to achieve a decisive victory over the other which provides a bounce for next week. Today’s primary, along with big states on Super Tuesday, are winner take all events. Even a string of narrow victories could give one candidate an insurmountable lead in delegates.

With the entire race possibly depending upon today’s results, the race between McCain and Romney became more heated. It even resembled the Democratic race in one respect. McCain pulled a Clinton in distorting Romney’s position, similar to the manner in which Clinton has been distorting many of Obama’s positions in her attacks. McCain distorted an answer from Romney in an interview from last April to claim that Romney supported a deadline to get out of Iraq.

Many conservatives have become upset with McCain for this tactic, similar to how many Democrats have protested the smear campaign launched by the Clintons. I wonder if this could be the start of a trend away from acceptance of this type of campaigning. The real test will be to see if this tactic can be kept out of the general election when there aren’t members of one’s own party who are as likely to be offended. In this case it was particularly strange for McCain to resort to this type of dishonesty. I wouldn’t think McCain would have much difficulty blowing out Romney in a debate over foreign policy. Sure, McCain is crazy to call for remaining in Iraq for one hundred years, but this is a debate before a Republican audience. If Giuliani is really knocked out after today, it is also possible McCain will benefit further from Republicans voters who are concentrating on their view of national security.

The Republican Results Today

As I already noted, Mitt Romney won in Nevada. There is a race for second place with all far behind and, with some votes still left to count, it looks like Ron Paul will come in second place. Currently Romney has 51% of the vote, with Ron Paul at 14% and John McCain at 13%. How many times can Giuliani trail Paul and still be considered a serious candidate? How many Paul supporters will declare this a huge victory?

John McCain has won in South Carolina, helping him go into Super Tuesday as the front runner. Mike Huckabee came in a close second but if he couldn’t win in South Carolina it is getting hard to see enough states where he can win in order to win the nomination. This very well might turn into a race between McCain and Romney unless Rudy Giuliani can manage to start winning somewhere. Should McCain win the nomination, Democrats who have been taking a general election victory for granted might be in for a surprise, especially if Clinton is the nominee.

Duncan Hunter didn’t even wait for the polls to close in South Carolina to drop out. Without being able to do anything in South Carolina it is hard to see how Fred Thompson has a chance, but he says he is staying in. Apparently he enjoys playing the part of a presidential candidate.

Update: Ron Paul isn’t going anywhere despite beating Giuliani in South Carolina and coming in second in Nevada. Paul came in second in Nevada primarily because he was the only one besides Romney to spend money there, yet he still came in far behind. That said, there is one point where Paul’s results do have meaning. It is sure hard to justify having a debate which includes Rudy Giuliani or Fred Thompson but excludes Ron Paul.

Michigan Primary Results

The Republican race remains a wide open affair after Mitt Romney’s victory. Romney, Huckabee, and McCain now all have victories, and the race is becoming more a race for accumulating delegates than individual victories. We will know soon whether Fred Thompson can win in South Carolina to become a credible candidate, and whether Rudy Giuliani’s strategy of waiting for Florida and Super Tuesday. So far Giuliani and Thompson are doing more poorly than Ron Paul.

Romney’s victory might be written off as being due to being a favorite son as his father was once governor here. While that certainly helped, it is not enough to explain his victory, especially as the older voters, who would have remembered his father, went for McCain.

The most important factor in Romney’s victory, beyond the fortunes spent on advertising, was that he did the best at convincing voters that under him Washington could fix Michigan’s economic problems. That is hardly a traditional Republican message, as Ross Douthat has discussed. David Brooks wrote:

In Michigan, the full corporate Mitt was on display. His campaign was a reminder of how far corporate Republicans are from free market Republicans.

Hillary Clinton beat uncommitted, but not that impressively. I wonder how many additional anti-Clinton votes were not even counted as write in votes for Obama and Edwards were discarded. The big losers were the Michigan Democrats who were willing to break party rules to have an early event, and then have it become irrelevant. Now that the campaign appears like it could go on even beyond Super Tuesday, a later primary with participating candidates would have been far more significant.

It is difficult to evaluate the results of the Michigan primary as those who turned out might not be a representative sample. It might be a bad sign for Clinton that exit polls show blacks supported uncommitted over Clinton by a 70-26 percent margin. As was the case in earlier contests, Clinton did more poorly among younger voters, more educated voters, and more affluent voters.

Fighting to Transform Politics, Not to Lose

Cross posted from The Carpetbagger Report:

Having three of us guest blogging for Steve is bound to create a different atmosphere here than usual over the weekend, allowing for a variety of impressions of the same events or articles. Steve M. started off with his views of Francis Wilkinson’s op-ed in The New York Times.

Steve M. certainly has a point in his disdain for this op-ed. Wilkinson writes, “If Mr. Huckabee and Mr. McCain continue to set the tone for the Republican side, Mrs. Clinton would find it hard to escape the partisan past she unwillingly symbolizes.” From what I know of both Huckabee and McCain, it would be a serious mistake to believe they have buried the hatchet. More likely they are just holding back for just the right moment to stab their Democratic opponent in the back.

It is probably true that Huckabee and McCain would run a less negative campaign than the demagogic warmonger Rudy Giuliani. Mitt Romney has already been planning to run against Hillary Clinton by the ridiculous tactic of equating her with France. Even should McCain or Huckabee win the nomination it would be incredibly naive to believe that the right wing noise machine is going to just pack up and shut itself down. A democratic candidate must be able to respond to their attacks.

I’ve never been a great fan of Hillary Clinton, but I must admit I did respect her for not mincing words when interviewed on The Today Show back on January 27, 1998:

Matt Lauer: “You have said, I understand, to some close friends, that this is the last great battle, and that one side or the other is going down here.”

Hillary Clinton: “Well, I don’t know if I’ve been that dramatic. That would sound like a good line from a movie. But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this — they have popped up in other settings. This is — the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.”

There were also times during the campaigns of 2000 and 2004 where the old Clinton war room sure would have come in handy.

If Wilkinson really advocates unilateral disarmament this would be a terrible mistake. However I see more in his op-ed and there is an element of truth in what he says. To build a new majority, as opposed to scraping by with a narrow win along the old red/blue divide, a Democratic campaign must concentrate on why people should vote for them, and not just what was wrong with George Bush. As Wilkinson wrote, “If this fragile moment endures, the next president will be the candidate whose person and politics make the sturdiest bridge across America’s political divide.” (more…)

Yet Another Political Position Quiz

Electoral Compass is yet another site which asks a series of questions and then matches them with the candidates. As with many of these sites, it is entertaining but has limitations which prevent it from actually making the decision for you. Many positions can be altered by a change in wording. There is no attempt to prioritize the issues. I might disagree with a candidate on some issues which wouldn’t affect my vote, but other issues might completely rule out a candidate.

After taking the test you see where you line up on a spectrum of both social and economic issues. Questions on Iraq and terrorism are included in the test, but it would be more revealing if they were along a third continuum. One notable finding is that the Democrats and Republicans are clumped into two very discrete groups. Among the Republicans, Ron Paul is less socially conservative, but remains much less conservative than any of the Democratic candidates. Of course if they included questions on legalization of all drugs and prostitution the results might be quite different. Paul also falls right in line with the other Republicans on economic issues, but a true test would show real distinctions here.

All the Democrats are significantly more liberal on social as well as economic issues than any of the Republicans. This helps shoot down the idea that Rudy Giuliani is a social liberal. He is the most socially liberal Republican after Ron Paul in this study, but not by very much. Fred Thompson comes in as the most conservative candidate, and the furthest from my views on this test.

I won’t knock the test very much as it did tell me to vote for Barack Obama. He is shown as being a little more socially liberal and economically to the right than the other Democrats who are lumped closer together. One useful feature is that after taking the test you can compare your answers to the answers of the candidates. For whatever it might mean, I once took a different test which advised me to vote for Gravel. As he’s not included on this test I could not determine if a different set of questions would provide the same result.

The Significance of the New Hampshire Primary

The conventional wisdom is that Iowa sends a message but New Hampshire chooses the nominees. While candidates have survived a loss in New Hampshire, nobody has survived a loss in both New Hampshire and Iowa since we’ve had the current pattern. This appears like it will hold for the Democrats, but the Republican race remains in doubt.

Considering the dynamic of this year’s race, I felt that if either Obama or Clinton would win in Iowa they would go on to win the nomination. Besides providing additional momentum, Iowa served as a measure of whether the campaign models of each campaign would be successful. Obama showed that he could bring in new voters in records numbers, which should continue in future states. The record turn out being reported today might indicate that Obama is continuing to pull in more voters. Most likely Obama will win big and be unstoppable, with many Democratic leaders reportedly being on the verge of jumping on the bandwagon. Any other outcome than a clear Obama victory would create some question as to the outcome.

Edwards’ populist policies are unlikely to receive much support in New Hampshire. Should he manage to repeat his second place finish as in Iowa it could eliminate Clinton as a serious candidate. Edwards would then get his desire for a two-way race against Obama, but his chances would not be very good.

The Republican race is less predictable as the Iowa winner is not expected to repeat in New Hampshire. Iowa had a strong evangelical base for Huckabee to propel him to victory, but he does not have this advantage in New Hampshire. While not expected to win, the number of votes he does receive might give some clue as to whether Huckabee can exceed expectations. With South Carolina coming up next, Huckabee is in a good position to regain any lost momentum from his expected failure to win in New Hampshire.

The main race among Republicans is between John McCain and Mitt Romney. McCain is expected to win, but Romney has been advertising heavily and a come back cannot entirely be ruled out. If Romney loses in New Hampshire his chances for winning the nomination will become quite poor. McCain will be the front runner should he have an impressive win in New Hampshire, but he still has considerable opposition from many Republican groups.

One question regarding the Republican race is whether the fiscal conservatives and mainstream Republicans will unite behind a single candidate to try to stop Huckabee. In a divided race Huckabee can go all the way, but there is no clear consensus candidate to oppose him. The big question of out New Hampshire is whether McCain can unite the fiscal conservatives behind him with a victory.

McCain is not only fighting against the other Republicans but is fighting against Obama for independent voters who supported him in 2000. Obama’s success this year might reduce McCain’s vote among independents, and perhaps even cost him a clear victory.

New Hampshire might be Ron Paul’s last chance to receive any meaningful attention. With a libertarian tradition, Paul could conceivably pull in more voters in New Hampshire than in the states to follow, but he might also suffer from Obama’s support among independents. Most likely New Hampshire will provide further evidence that Paul’s on line support does not translate to a meaningful number of votes in the real world.

Giuliani and Thompson don’t appear to be significant players in New Hampshire, raising questions as to whether they can survive by waiting for later states. They might be able to pick up some momentum by exceeding expectations even with a respectable third place finish. An upset second place finish might turn out to be almost as valuable as a victory, similar to Bill Clinton’s second place finish in 1992.