Wednesday, January 09, 2008


LiveBlogging: New Hampshire Results


Wow.

I'm reminded of two quotations. The first is attributed to Mark Twain:


"Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated."


The other is a line from Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting (although I'm sure it didn't originate in this film):

"You like apples?
How about DEM apples!"

I had rehearsal this evening, and so I didn't get back until just recently, and honestly wasn't too terribly interested in rushing home, as I was pretty damned sure that I knew what the outcome was going to be.

I'm not sure if it's the Clinton campaign that needs to be congratulated for a seemingly impossible and implausible win in New Hampshire this evening, or if it's the polling industry that needs to be trashed and told never to speak again.

Probably a hearty dose of both.

If Iowa was a remarkable and historic night for Barack Obama, then surely the same must be said of Hillary Clinton's win this evening in New Hampshire. To tell the truth, I'm not even sure that the Clinton campaign KNOWS what they did right tonight - not that they're going to argue with the results, of course.

The Clinton campaign had INTERNAL polling numbers that suggested they were going to lose by eleven points. The Obama campaign had INTERNAL numbers that suggested that they were going to win by fourteen. The Clinton campaign had been discussing whether they were going to announce changes to their campaign staff prior to the loss, or tomorrow - after the loss.

These, my friends, are not pundits speaking, or media-driven polls. These are all FACTS from within the campaigns themselves.

So, what the hell happened? I'm not even going to hazard a guess, nor do I want to listen to any of the pundits on this one in terms of their "expertise" - clearly, they KNEW that Obama was going to win tonight.

I do know this much - Hillary Clinton is a better candidate for having weathered this storm, and gaining this crucial victory. And Barack Obama is going to be a stronger candidate having this "alleged victory" taken away from him.

Earlier today (if you watched the Russert clip I posted earlier today, you already heard this), the Culinary Workers union in Nevada (the state's largest union presence) was set to announce their endorsement of Obama on Wednesday morning, which would all but hand the victory in Nevada to Obama. Tonight, that endorsement looks to be hanging neutral once more, at least until later in the week if not later.

So, while New Hampshire and Nevada seemed to be locked up this afternoon, it now appears that everything is in play once again.

If you're a political junkie/nerd like I am, then you're probably feeling the same way I am right now.... The next couple of days and weeks are going to be pretty damned amazing, given the surprising events of the last week.

And if you want to get a little snarky about it, go talk to your colleagues about it like this - Obama and Clinton realistically tied. Although Clinton took more of the popular vote, they both wind up with nine delegates a piece. So there. :)

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:07 AM /

2 Comments

  • Blogger Cb posted at 8:46 AM  
    Well this morning on MSNBC Chris Matthews is blaming the voters for lying to the pollsters out of white guilt. They didn't want to admit that they had NOT voted for the African American. It has happened before. If nothing else it helps to point out that racism (and all its constituent and corollary siblings) is not something contained solely within the south. I am proud, for example, that Louisiana elected Bobby Jindahl, an Indian American.

    Now the question is how does Obama handle this. If he "blames the refs" or plays "the race card" I think he will lose.

  • Blogger Cb posted at 9:47 AM  
    Oh and a good link on the credibility of the polls http://www.pollster.com/blogs/nh_results_thread.php. One quote:
    12:50 - ABC polling director Gary Langer has some very worthy first impressions:
    There will be a serious, critical look at the final pre-election polls in the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire; that is essential. It is simply unprecedented for so many polls to have been so wrong. We need to know why.
    But we need to know it through careful, empirically based analysis. There will be a lot of claims about what happened - about respondents who reputedly lied, about alleged difficulties polling in biracial contests. That may be so. It also may be a smokescreen - a convenient foil for pollsters who'd rather fault their respondents than own up to other possibilities - such as their own failings in sampling and likely voter modeling. [....]
    The data may tell us; it may not. What's beyond question is that it is incumbent on us - and particularly on the producers of the New Hampshire pre-election polls - to look at the data, and to look closely, and to do it without prejudging.

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