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January 7, 2008
New Hampshire shaping up to be an Obama landslide
A candidate winning Iowa usually gets a "bump" in support that shows up in New Hampshire.
This is more like an earthquake:
Amid frenetic last-minute campaigning, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds the onetime front-runners in New Hampshire lagging as Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have surged to leads before Tuesday's primary. So what happened? Independents are breaking massively for Obama. It appears to me that many Independents and Democrats were looking for an excuse to throw Hillary under a bus. That excuse was Iowa and the surging enthusiasm generated by Obama's candidacy has been obvious since Friday morning. Hillary is not done, not by a long shot. As Richard Baehr points out in his excellent article today:
Obama vaulted to a 13 percentage-point advantage over New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton three weeks after they were tied here. McCain gained a four-point edge over Mitt Romney, a former governor of neighboring Massachusetts who has campaigned almost as a favorite son.
The poll results spotlight the phenomenal rise of the 46-year-old senator from Illinois, who would be the first African-American nominated by a major party for president, and the 71-year-old senator from Arizona whose cash-short campaign was dismissed as all but over last summer.
In the coming months as her campaign unravels, it will not be pretty. A woman who has aimed for the White House for 40 years, lived through her husband's success and thought this time was hers, will not go quietly or in a dignified fashion into the night. One can sense the seething bitterness over this young interloper arriving on the scene to trump her glass ceiling-breaking vision of the first woman president with a much bigger ceiling-smasher, race. I think Hillary has one last argument to make on her behalf; the idea that the early primary states have too much pull in the nominating process. This may play well on Super Tuesday and give her enough victories to halt the Obama juggernaut. But in the end, Obama's positive message of change will probably overwhelm her.
It could very well be that people simply want to get beyond the Clinton-Bush years and start over again - something that has happened time and time again in American history.