Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hillary's Comeback

Putting aside ideology and party, Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire was a comeback. The media had all but embalmed her after losing the Iowa caucuses the week before. The entire run-up to the New Hampshire primaries, media stories obsessed over the "Obama bounce" that occurred following Barack Obama's victory in Iowa. Included were Hillary's gaffes, her campaign adviser having to resign after some choice remarks about Obama's past drug use, her crying episode, which probably benefited her campaign, and the overexposure of ex-President Bill Clinton campaigning for his wife, replete with accusations made by the ex-Pres about Hillary's staff.

Does this mean that the Obama campaign is suffering a setback? Too much attention is given to the state primary polls. Here are the national numbers among Democrats.


Candidate

2/9-11/07

5/10-13/07

9/14-16/07

11/30 -12/2/07

1/4-6/08

Hillary

48%

42%

47%

39%

33%

Barack

23%

28%

25%

24%

33%

Edwards

14%

14%

11%

15%

20%

Richardson

5%

3%

5%

4%

1%

Kucinich

-

1%

2%

4%

3%

http://www.pollingreport.com/wh08dem.htm

As you can see, Obama has indeed experienced an upwards movement, just in the last month, of almost 10 points. Edwards has moved up, as well. Hillary's slippage, though, is only 6 points. Plus, much of this, the most recent polls, are a product of the perceptions as a result of the Iowa caucuses. Hillary's recovery in New Hampshire is certain to give her an increase in the overall national polls and will likely retake the lead in the next Gallup poll.

Nevertheless, Obama's campaign is not dead. He is in a statistical dead heat with Hillary nationally. One cannot help but to think that if Senator Clinton has a couple of more "comebacks" come Super Tuesday, she will pull away. Regardless of what one thinks of her views and votes, especially on foreign policy issues, she is a seasoned campaigner.

What is even more surprising is the comeback of Senator John McCain. His Presidential campaign was all but dead several months ago. Out of money, firing most of his campaign staff, sinking in the polls like one of Tony Soprano's victims, it appeared as though McCaign's campaign would not even make it to New Hampshire, but he won, knocking off Mitt Romney, who spent more money in the state than all of the other candidates combined.

Be that as it may, the national numbers among Republicans are less friendly and kind for McCain.


Candidate

2/9-11/07

5/10-13/07

9/14-16/07

11/30 -12/2/07

1/4-6/08

Giuliani

42%

32%

30%

25%

20%

McCain

25%

24%

18%

15%

19%

Romney

6%

10%

7%

12%

9%

Thompson

-

12%

22%

15%

12%

Huckabee

2%

1%

4%

16%

25%

Paul

-

-

4%

4%

4%

http://www.pollingreport.com/wh08rep.htm

In spite of his win in New Hampshire, McCain is in third place nationally. He is comfortably behind Huckabee and finally starting to gain to Giuliani. There is variation in the Republican field, however, but McCain has won New Hampshire before (as did Pat Buchanan in 1996). What will be more telling is if he can win those Bible Belt states from Huckabee come Super Tuesday.

Also of note is Ron Paul's similar national score to Dennis Kucinich (the real anti-war progressive candidate) within their parties (4% to 3% in the most recent Gallup polls). I suppose this should dispel the notion that Kucinich's campaign should be jettisoned by those who conveniently ignore Paul's views on race, civil rights, and the Civil War. Conversely, there are many more white leftists who support Ron Paul, and are willing to forget their worldviews, than paleoconservatives campaigning for Kucinich. If nothing else, at least paleoconservatives know what they believe in. It is a shame that so few progressives are as unified (proving yet again why we are deader than door nails on the American ideological landscape).

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