Friday, January 4, 2008

Iowa breakout and New Hampshire portents

First, the Democrats:
Obama won among both men and women. Clinton won among those who rated Pakistan as very important; Obama won the “somewhat importants” and Edwards the “not importants.” Obama took central and eastern Iowa, Clinton the west. The two were about even among Democrats; Obama won crushingly among crossover Republicans and handily among independents. Obama ran better among people making more than $100K than less than that. And, in the less than $100K category, he still ran a little better with those making more than $50K rather than those making less than. Edwards, populist schtick aside, ALSO ran better with the rich set. Only Clinton, of the top three, polled better with lower incomes. Edwards did best with self described conservatives (weird), while Obama won moderates, liberals and very liberals.

For the GOP.:
Huckabee took all Pakistan categories, though Paul challenged him closely on the “not at alls.” Romney won the non-evangelical vote. Huck took those enthusiastic, satisfied or dissatisfied about Bush, while Paul won, with an absolute majority no less, those angry at Bush. Almost no Democrats crossed over; Paul won independents, again with an absolute majority. Romney won the over $100Kers; Huck took the unders, and in all individual income classes under $100K. McCain and Romney tied for the moderates; Huckabee took the somewhat and very conservatives. Romney won among voters considering experience and electability, Huckabee on shared values and straight speaking. Huckabee won those who said religion was very or somewhat important, Romney among the not much or not at all groups. A number of Huckabee’s supporters had decided for him more than a month ago, somewhat belying the “groundswell” theme.

Notes for New Hampshire? Below the fold.

Edwards can stand to finish third, but not with anything less than 20 percent, in my book. If he can’t do that, it shows his Iowa finish was due to nothing other than camping out there. Should Clinton go more negative and paint Obama as the candidate of the rich and non-Democrats, given Iowa? She may have to, in some way, shape or form.

For Obama, winning GOP crossovers and independents means, as stupid as it is, his “nonpartisanness” theme is winning points, and so is the idea of electability. Stay the course.

Biden and Dodd are out. Kucinich was never in, even before getting visited by a UFO.

That leaves Richardson. He has to break 10 percent in New Hampshire or effectively write his candidacy off. And, with Tom Udall already declared for the New Mexico Senate race to replace Domenici, that leaves sitting in the statehouse in Santa Fe, unless he can elbow out Biden to be Secretary of State.

For the GOP:
I think Romney needs to start spinning the “expectations” game in New Hampshire ASAP. Pump up McCain, talk about how both the Concord Montor and Manchester Union Leader have “anti-endorsed” him, etc. That makes second, as long as it’s a close second to McCain, seem OK.

Huckabee, if his staff has any brains, needs to spin expectations as well. It’s unlikely that he’s going to do better than a fairly distant third.

Paul? He needs to beat the bushes for antiwar independents and even crossover Democrats who haven’t seen through him yet, as well as angry, anti-Bush fiscal conservatives. And, if Fox won’t let him debate, campaign against Fox, too, with famously or stereotypically independent New Hampshireites. Given Huckabee’s lack of organization, and the relative lack of the Religious Right in the Granite State, a third-place finish for Paul is not out of the question at all. If he beats out Huckabee, the GOP race threatens to become the bloodbath we’d love.

Thompson? He did break double figures in Iowa. If he can do that again in New Hampshire, maybe he means it about sticking in the race.

Rudy? If you can’t get at least 5 percent here, fold it up.