Enough debris to keep a CSI episode going for weeks...
Let's first examine our prediction from two days ago. While delegates are still being assigned, we did pretty well - extremely well in fact. McCain's total is likely to be almost spot on. Romney ran weaker - much weaker - in the South than even we anticipated, and that weakness meant Huckabee was able to score some wins in states like Georgia and Tennessee and impressively almost Missouri. As a result, McCain took the lion's share.
Romney has no logical path to win the nomination, except John McCain's expiration. No other route exists. Huckabee seems to be boosting for position in the party, and likely stays in since his campaign has been high mileage on little fuel. Texas should spell the end of both campaigns.
This much you knew, since we told you so two days ago.
To the Democrats. A tremendous number of dynamics at play. Small state victories for Obama where youth voters at Universities - the only population centers in many of these states - help Obama rack up large vote totals. Clinton showing the results of long preparation in large states that contain traditional Democrat machinery.
Problems loom for both.
Obama has a problem - it's with Latino voters. I have seen it discussed, but there is an issue nobody is talking about - the notable Latino/Black tension emerging in urban areas. As a constituency party, Democrats are susceptible to a zero-sum struggle between the emerging Latino community and traditional Black Democrats. This is not something that is going to be solved during this election. Expect this to be a major problem for Obama in a general election. Also worrisome, blue-collar union voters are not Obama voters. Not NEA voters - these are easily in an Obama tent. But traditional union guys from the Local 533 Steamfitters union don't buy in during the revival-like speeches of Obama. Call them "Fuggedaboutit" voters, they will not take easily to an Obama candidacy. Why? They prefer straight grit to lilted prose.
Hillary has her own problems. Foremost, as reported today, she has money troubles. Hillary has more big donors, but those donors are easily capped at roughly $2k, where Obama's donors are more numerous wells he can return to as needed. The other problem she has is that she cannot secure the nomination anytime soon. She is unlikely to have good news until states like Texas, where a large Latino vote should give her delegates to counter what is likely to be a steady drip of losses in upcoming caucus states. Hillary also has a problem with men - very, very few like her, and that will not change in the general election either. The real question is what damage will be done between the traditional black vote and Hillary's campaign if the primary stretches to a convention where Democrat super-delegates go to the traditional uppercrust white candidate - especially if Obama manages to limp in with a slight delegate lead. Hillary will use whatever pieces of the Democrat machinery are available at the convention to secure the nomination - that's not underhanded, that's politics. That could create a notable backlash and leave a very bad taste in the mouth of black voters - the only Obama constituency likely to hold a grudge in such an event, as wealthy liberals will vote for Hillary in a heartbeat, and young voters will probably vote in the paltry underwhelming fashion they do in most other elections.
Hillary's strength right now is with women - there are more women than men, and more women vote than men. This is a natural advantage. But there is that cadre of women that against type do not like Hillary - where they may support Obama, they may find McCain an acceptable candidate - why? Because they will feel comfortable with a McCain that is "reasonable" to them - like Goldilocks, they can be convinced to go with a candidate not too right, not too left, but just right....
As of today, McCain has the nomination for the Republicans. We give the edge on the Democrat side to Hillary - she has the operators, she will win in traditional Democrat states, and at the convention, she has the brass ones to do what it will take to win.
The question for the general then becomes - will disaffected conservatives have the brass ones to do what it will taken to win...Posted by MEC2 at February 6, 2008 07:45 PM