Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Momentum, schmomentum

Hillary Clinton has narrowly won the New Hampshire primary. That is pretty friggin' amazing. Just about all the polls had her trailing Obama significantly, some by double digits. Now it looks like she's won by around three points. Of course, that's what the polls looked like before the Iowa Caucuses. The surge in Obama's polls standing came after his surprise victory there. This was labeled "momentum." Turns out it was a bunch of hooey.

What actually happened? Were people lying in the polls? Probably a lot of the inaccuracy came from the fact that there were large numbers of undecided voters right up until this morning. This went largely unreported by the media, who glommed onto the Obama-rising/we're-sick-of-the-Clintons narrative. So it's possible a lot of these late-deciders went Clinton's way. I'm looking forward to seeing some exit polls on this. What might have changed their mind? Did a lot of people finally get pissed at the sexist crap dished out at Clinton? Did they decide they liked her detailed plans for her presidency as opposed to Obama's vague hopefulness?

I'm also curious what happened with independents. The assumption was that most of NH's independent voters would enter the Democratic primary to vote for Obama. But maybe a lot of them chose to participate on the GOP side to put McCain over the top. Still, given how many more people participated on the Democratic side than on the Republican side, I'd guess that a lot of independents participated in the Dem. primary and went with Clinton. Pretty amazing.

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