Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hawkeye Cauci Results

As you know, both Huckabee and Obama came out on top tonight, and if you're listening to the MSM or surfing the web right now, you'd think this was SHOCKING! "OMG, who could have predicted this???" Well, Bob Novak for one on the Democrat race, who also predicted Clinton coming in third, which it's appearing to be right now. And on the Republican race, the RCP polling average was very close with the candidate placements, i.e., Huck 1st, Mitt 2nd, McCain and Thompson virtually tied, etc.

So after all of the money spent and not a single delegate being awarded tonight (at least on the Republican side), here's who benefited tonight:

1) Obama: Clearly the HUGE winner tonight, even more so than Huckabee in that Obama needed to win here to have any chance in other states, whereas I could have foreseen Huckabee still winning in South Carolina even if he lost here and New Hampshire (plus should Rudy win, I still view Huck as runningmate material, which is still a nice prize, whereas I don't see Hillary picking Obama). Obama has certainly dented the Hillary campaign, especially if she ultimately finishes in third place. But now he actually has to win some other states, and since Hillary currently leads in essentially every other state (save perhaps Illinois), he still has a big mountain to climb.

2) Huckabee: If you're in first place, and by a much larger margin than what the polls showed, then you've certainly had a good night. Now let's see how his win impacts NH...

3) Giuliani: Despite finishing in last place for the major candidates (though in a state that he hasn't seriously campaigned in for months), Huckabee winning Iowa helped Rudy, more so than McCain. Whereas Rudy and McCain are competing mostly against Romney in NH, MI, etc., Rudy needed a Huckabee victory to stop Romney's momentum. Rudy doesn't need to even win in NH next week to win the primary, i.e., the Florida firewall strategy, though a third place or close fourth place finish there would help.

4) McCain: Not beating Thompson here hurts [wow, as the numbers keep coming in, he may have bested Thompson; but wait, new numbers now show Thompson back in third, my mind's about to explode!], but again, McCain, like Rudy, needed Huck to beat Romney here for McCain to have a shot at winning the NH primary next week. However, McCain just needs to hope that Huck's finish here doesn't ultimately give him enough momentum for Huck to best him in NH next week.

5) Thompson: For such a lackluster campaign, finishing in third place or close to tied with McCain isn't quite bad at all. I mean, hell, he beat Ron Paul!

And now for the losers:

1) Edwards: Was there any way for Edwards to win the nomination without winning Iowa? Not at all. He may still keep the campaign going for a few more weeks, hope for a surprise in South Carolina, but frankly, he's done, and it's about time. I never understood why he was chosen as Kerry's runningmate in '04. Despite polls showing that he couldn't even win reelection for his Senate seat in NC, they still picked him, because you know, "We need to compete in the South." And what happened? The race was decided in the Midwest. Back in October of 2003, as a panelist on a local access cable TV talkshow in Ithaca, I was asked who I thought would win the Dem primary. Given Dean-mania at the time, everyone said Howard Dean, except for me who predicted a Kerry/Gephardt ticket, believing correctly that Dean would somehow implode (I had no idea by how much, though). And had Kerry followed his gut and picked the Midwestern, union-backed Gephardt instead of the Southern Ken doll, we just might be looking at Kerry's reelection campaign this year (granted, I shudder at the thought!).

2) Romney: It's not shocking that he lost; it's shocking that he lost by 9 points after all of the money and volunteers he pumped into this state. The domino effect against him started tonight!

3) Clinton: Certainly an embarrassing loss that will be covered endlessly for the next few days before NH, but she's still the frontrunner.

4) Biden & Dodd: They dropped out tonight. Raise your hands if you actually knew they were running...

5) The rest of the field: We hardly knew thee, literally!


Lee Strong said...

My guess is that this win will make Huckabee more competitive in New Hampshire. I think McCain will win there, but Huck could come in second, or a very strong third. I believe a third-place finish for Romney will effectively end Romney's campaign.

Looking ahead, Huckabee is leading in nine other states - including Texas and Ohio - and is close in a couple of others (such as Michigan). What will be telling will be Florida - his first real test against Giuliani. Giuliani leads there, but his lead has been slipping. A series of Huckabee wins could tip it Huckabee's way.

But Giuliani is currently also leading in NY, NJ, Pennsylvania (though he could lose that state), Illinois and California. Big states. Lots of delegates.

We'll see. But for this morning, I'm a happy camper.

The Ontario Republican said...

Having just come back from NH, I must admit that I did not see as much of a presence for Huckabee as I expected after his IA win. He received a few point bump in the polls, slightly edging out Rudy for third place, but I'm expecting Rudy to still win the bronze in NH given how extensive his 72 hour effort has been. Plus Rudy did much better than Huckabee in last night's debate. But, we shall see...