January 28, 2004

New Hampshire Predictions Watch

So how did we do?

The results with 97% of precincts in (with my pre-primary predictions juxtaposed in parantheses):

Kerry: 38.5 % (34%)
Dean: 26.3% (28%)
Clark: 12.4% (10%)
Edwards: 12.1% (14%)
Lieberman: 8.6 (8%)

So, like much of the punditry class, I got a bit (though not as much as many) too bullish on Edwards.

I really thought he'd beat Clark by 3-4%. I was wrong (perhaps swayed by reader Linda who wrote in from New Hampshire describing Edwards as a "force of nature"!)

Kerry did a bit stronger than I expected, Dean a tad less well.

I nailed Lieberman.

And Clark, well, I still think he looked like a mortician through the final days of the primary. And I think he's now down for the count--despite his protestations to the contrary.

So's Joe.

Edwards admitted he needs to win South Carolina to stay alive last night on Larry King's show.

He better turn on the southern charm--big time--while keeping Sharpton and Clark numbers down there.

Why? Because Kerry has big momentum in SC (from 2% in December to 17% in January--post Iowa, but pre-NH--so that might pick up more).

And Dean? Dean appears in for the long haul (though crushing blows on February 3rd might force some real re-thinking regarding the merits of zig-zagging the country looking a tad Naderite).

He's got cash, lots of drive, Deaniacs still running amok, strong organization, and so on. A very strong show, for instance, in Missouri would give him more cred. His fiery brand of populism will also play well in places like Wisconsin. And Santa Fe types will likely like him too.

So where is this race heading? I think, sooner rather than later, into a two person race.

The quickest way that happens is for Clark to prove very weak in SC (and other February 3rd states) and for Edwards to come in number 2 there after Kerry.

Then Dean and Kerry will likely bloody themselves for a few more weeks.

And I think Kerry will win by TKO a bit further down the road.

For now, I trust most of Karl Rove's troops are busy scouring the very, very long voting history of the junior senator of Massachusetts.

There's a lot to mine there. But I still think Kerry is the biggest threat to Bush--despite his liberal voting record, weakness at the stump, and tired resort to Shrumisms.

That's good news, even for Bush supporters.

A hard-fought, quality general election campaign is a refreshing tonic that re-invigorates our American democracy.

So, as they're saying, bring it on.

Posted by Gregory at January 28, 2004 11:59 AM
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