Hillary Clinton and John McCain win the New Hampshire primaries -but not by much. Hillary s margin of victory over Barack Obama was only three percentage points and McCain s was five points over Mitt Romney. Mike Huckabee, the Republican winner in Iowa was a far distant third – something to be said for New England common sense.
The results in New Hampshire do not significantly chanhe my interpretation of the historical significance of this year s election. Whether the next President of the United States is a white woman or a black man, either option will be history making. And if either McCain or Huckabee is elected, the evengelicals will continue to have an unholy influence on American domestic and foreign policy which will have, IMHO, far-reaching negative consequences that will seriously alter what America is and how this country is perceived by the rest of the world.
The media has used the Lazarus metaphor to talk about McCain s surprising victory in New Hampshire. This early in the primary process it is really silly to ule out any of the candidates as dead. Just because McCain did not do well in Iowas does not mean he was dead, politically speaking, going into New Hampshire. So, there was no real miraculous ressurection in New Hampshire.
The same goes for Hillary. Her victory in New Hampshire was not as surprising as was McCain s. After all, Hillary is a Senator from Nre York and has many ties to the New England region. I would have been more surprised had Obama repeated his Iowa finish than Clinton s victory.
What does all this mean for November? Well, most importantly, it means that both races for who will be the standard bearers in November are sill wide open. Neither party has a cear-cut front-runner. The Nevada causus and the South Carolina primary, both later this month, may alter that situation, or they may turn both races into real dogfights. I prefer to see the latter because that will help spark voter interest and keep the issues at the forefront.
Also, a dogfight will give the media – and me – a lot more to talk about. The media will be able to really wax poetic and resort to even more hyperbole than usual. Something to look forward to, I suppose.