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Old 01-25-2004, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: College
Does New Hampshire matter?

This election is literally making history when it comes to shattering conventional wisdom. It was mere weeks ago that Dean was invincible, and mere days ago that he came in a distant third in Iowa. Now, a NH victory is literally not on the table for Dean.

I could go on, but you get the point.

It's all one big expectations game. The New Hampshire primary is effectively a battle for second. Both Dean and Clark need it. Edwards does too, but it's not as critical for him, because no one expects him to do it. The Edwards victory scenario doesn't require a strong NH finish. The Clark scenario very much does. He skipped Iowa, and needs to make sure he's a part of the increasingly narrow field. Dean needs a strong finish, but Dean is well positioned to run a full scale 50 state campaign after NH. The other candidates are not. Clark has money, but his campaign staff was chosen after everyone else's, and is therefore a bit weaker. Edwards and Kerry are running out of money.

There are a two real scenarios for the Kerry win.

1. He wins in a landslide, with 45% of the vote. The media anoints him the frontrunner, and his ultimate victory begins to become a foregone conclusion. Voters take notice, and he receives a lot of favorable free media coverage. The viability of Dean becomes very questionable.

2. Kerry has a slimmer margin of victory. The second place campaign gets a real boost. Clark gets to stay alive, Dean gets a boost going into the rest of the primaries. If Edwards finishes second, god forbid, Clark is toast, and the media plays Edwards as the darkhorse comeback kid type candidate. Besides, people like Edwards. (IMHO, he has BY FAR the best stump speech out of the group. We're talking Clintonesque crowd working skills.)

Edwards is the wild card here. If he finishes third, that means Dean or Clark is in FOURTH. If Clark finishes fourth, he's toast. Dean is better positioned to place fourth (remember the 50 state strategy), but also remember that it's an expectations game. When the frontrunner finishes 3rd in Iowa and 4th in NH, it doesn't look good. He gets asked uncomfortable questions.

The ARG Tracking Poll

Dean, Clark, and Edwards are in a statistical dead heat. Kerry has more than any two of them put together.

The Suffolk Poll

This poll has Dean edging closer to Kerry, and doesn't give Kerry as big an advantage. The sample is much smaller.

Whatever the outcome is, I'm sure it will be something unexpected. I'm pulling for Edwards, so at this point I'll be happy if he comes in third. One last bit: I heard an argument the other day that the Dean scream hurts Edwards. Why? Had Dean not made so much news, the number 2 story out of NH would have been the strong Edwards finish. Instead, we get YEAHHGH! Go figure.
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Old 01-25-2004, 01:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Venice, Florida
Winning in NH doesn't really mean all that much, what counts in not losing badly. Bush didnt win NH, McLean did. Clinton didnt win in NH, but didnt do badly. It is basically a republican state, You never here of any democrat giving a speech in Peterborough or New London. They never stray out of Concord/Manchester or Nashua, the cities.
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Old 01-25-2004, 08:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: USA
It does seem to matter a great deal to the press. They make big front-page news out of these early results because they love a horse race. What is reported shapes our thinking - as always - and perception becomes reality...
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Old 01-26-2004, 09:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: RI
*gasps as someone knows a town besides Concord, Manchester, Berlin etc...*
Hey, no knockin New London, I went to school there, and work there in the summer =p.
I kinda wish I was home to see all the candidates and stuff, but I'm in school.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Democratic nomination

Since 1976 there have been five elections with an open Democratic nomination. How reliable has the New Hampshire primary been at predicting the future nominee? Slightly better than the Iowa caucus. But more interestingly, out of five non-incumbent elections, the 1st or 2nd place winner of the primary eventually went on to win the nomination.



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Last edited by mixedmedia; 08-28-2008 at 02:34 AM..
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