Friday, January 04, 2008

Caucus, Caucus, Caucus!

The results are in from Iowa. Yes, after only twelve months of endless polls and speculation we have results. Here they are:


Obama: 38% (16 delegates)
Edwards: 30% (14 delegates)
Clinton: 29% (15 delegates)
Richardson: 2%
Biden 1%


Huckabee: 34% (17 delegates)
Romney: 25% (12 delegates)
Thompson: 13% (3 delegates)
McCain: 13% (3 delegates)
Paul: 10% (2 delegates)
Giuliani: 4%
Hunter: 1%

The important numbers should actually be the ones in brackets. These include delegates who are selected by the voters and those super delegates who can choose who they want to vote for. Thus, Clinton leads Edwards and the huge gap in the Republican race. I hate how CNN reports this as a winner take all thing. It isn't. This is PR and they are reporting it as First past the post. The real story is here. However, super delegates are notoriously disloyal and are likely to jump ship if it looks like one of the other ships is going to win the race. Please note how well PR treated the small candidates on the Democratic side. The most interesting thing on the Republican side is the performance of Congressman Paul. Paul has fundraised better than almost anyone on the republican side (Romney's spending more but that's a lot of his own money). Now, Paul's support up to now has been a little shady. Largely web-based and not all from the most reputable sources (conspiracy theorists/racists). However, a ten percent showing in Iowa shows that he has a real following. Will he win the nomination? Of course not. Is it a trend to look for in American politics? Maybe. The congressman's message may resonate even more in the Granite state where Republicans are more interested in their wallet and big government than the God-fearing Iowans. So, I will be watching that with great interest. Outside of that, bad night for the inevitables. Romney is in trouble. As is Clinton. Edwards has to pray Clinton wins New Hampshire and he can play the native son card in the now Colbert-free South Carolina primary, otherwise he's done. The delegate count is close. Dodd is gone which means there are 11 Connecticut super delegates looking for a home. However, as is often the case in politics perception is way more important than reality and the title of Winner of the Iowa Caucus goes a long way in America.

I'm not hugely surprised by the result. I thought both results were going to be closer but aside from that. I am leaning towards the junior senator from Illinois, so I am pleased with the results. Huckabee, like a lot of the Christian right, scares the pants off me but I am glad he kicked Romney's butt. I am still confused by Rudy's strategy. If he was just avoiding Iowa or just avoiding Iowa and New Hampshire okay. However, I can't see him bursting on to the scene in South Carolina either. Michigan was governed by Romney's father and McCain did well there in 2000 so I don't see that one happening. Poor Nevada moved up their caucuses and nobody cares (with the possible exception of Richardson) so a win there is unlikely to generate much buzz going into the February 5th. I just can't see the big states bailing him out at that point. Anyhoo, that's enough random ramblings for one night. We shall see what Tuesday brings.

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