Friday, January 11, 2008

Don't Be Fooled: Presidential Race is Three-Way Tie

Every Presidential Election year around June, people start complaining about how "the media" annointed a party nominee in February, before half the nation had voted for a primary candidates or half the delegates had been awarded.

Yeah, the Tweetys and the Russerts are assholes, but why do supporters of the second- and third-place candidates let themselves be fooled?

I'm starting to hear totally unwarranted panic from Obama supporters and even less-warranted surrender from Edwards supporters, all of which feeds directly into the Big Lie of Hillary inevitability.

(Full Disclosure: I'm a strong Edwards supporter.)

Salon commenter CarolynETaylor makes some good points about why the real "Comeback Kid" in New Hampshire is Edwards:

(More after the jump.)

Yes, it was disappointing to Edwards' supporters that he didn't do better than he did with 17% but that sentence should say "even better" in light of his own progress among New Hampshire voters.

He received nearly twice as many votes as he did in New Hampshire in 2004, going from 26,000 to 48,000, which, given the overall increase in voters meant going from 12% to 17%. That too is significant, although given the agenda of the MSM, it will, I bet, never show up at all, so "lost" in the obsession over this being a Clinton-Obama race, period.

I think it's safe to say that Southerners have tended to have an extra hurdle to mount in NH primaries. In 1992, the very time when placing 2nd made Bill Clinton the "comeback kid," Clinton received 41,540 votes (compared to Tsongas' 55,000). That 1992 Bill Clinton vote count is 6,500 FEWER votes than Edwards received there yesterday.

It all depends on what the media choose to focus on. If they single-mindedly focus only on horse-race results and do not see under the first-place finishes what other data are there to mine which may stand in some contradiction to the more simplistic storyline, then that too is part of the problem. Sure, Hillary is lead story today, but is her new "comeback kid" story the ONLY story out of NH?

Why can't the media just as easily be saying, Wow, Edwards finished 2nd in Iowa over Clinton despite being vastly outspent, now he nearly doubled his numbers in New Hampshire over his previous election, if he can repeat his victory of 2004 in South Carolina (despite the media bandwagon for his opponents), he's just as much in this race as anyone.

Kentucky's primary isn't until May, and if everybody just calms down and hangs in there, my primary vote might actually count, for the first time in my life.

Cross-posted at BlueGrassRoots.