The “News du jour” is that Hillary climbed the ranks to wind up toppling Obama in the New Hampshire primary!
With more than 90 per cent of the vote counted, Ms. Clinton held a narrow but significant two-percentage-point lead, 39-36, in the critical New Hampshire primary, a contest that carries significance far beyond this small and unrepresentative state.
Meanwhile, in the Republican race, Senator John McCain triumphed, dealing Mitt Romney a second defeat in less than a week and keeping the Republican race wide open.
Ms. Clinton’s comeback after being badly beaten in Iowa last week and with election-eve polls showing her trailing Mr. Obama by a double-digit margin clearly recast the Democrat race.
Mr. Obama admitted his campaign fell short of its hoped-for second consecutive victory. “I want to congratulate Senator Clinton on a hard-fought victory here in New Hampshire,” Mr. Obama said in a concession speech after both campaigns had waited late into the evening as the nail-biting count of a record turnout dragged on.
These ongoing record turnouts are intriguing. It’s one of the most “pressing” issues in political spheres today — how to get voters to show up for the election! The fact that there was a record turnout suggests to me that the people voting really wanted the result, and were likely motivated by the polls a day previous. It goes to show that the best way to get voters to participate is to give them a real choice… not just two clones debating it out amongst one another!
Of course, it helps that both Obama and Clinton have their respective niches. The article points out that Hillary’s swing is largely due to the women who voted at the polls. Since Obama is dominating the young voters in every region, it was up to the women — presumably primarily older ones — to turn around these results. Since both youth and women are traditionally less-tapped resources, one must assume that a large reason for the voter turnout was the involvement of less active demographics.
Still, a major factor here seems to be that Clinton is pulling away from her husband’s legacy, ever so slightly. In her victory speech, she makes a point of drawing upon the fact that she has listened to her critics and found her own voice. Though there have been few opportunities for her to make a major splash, presumably she is referring to those critics who accused her of being less open than Obama, and less trustworthy. Though some moments have been less-than-pretty (like Bill Clinton taking shots at Obama), even people who fear Clinton, such as Andrew Sullivan, admit that she has been a bit more “human” of late.
So, though I personally may pull for Obama, I must appreciate that Clinton managed to pull this one off, if only because it’s having excellent effects on the public. Any time you can encourage the vast majority of a population to pay heed to politics, the potential for change is enormous. And if anything, change seems to be a-comin’ to the United Sates!
Man, am I jealous!