Despite election eve polls showing her losing by 13%, Hillary Clinton came back to win the New Hampshire Democratic Primary tonight, derailing the Barack Obama media bandwagon by winning single women voters by 16% and married women by 11% (Obama led by 13% among male voters).
In her victory speech, she proclaimed New Hampshire was where she had “found [her] voice,” standing alone at the podium, husband Bill being conveniently seated out of the camera shot. It was her night, and her speech was as good a speech as I’ve heard her deliver. It is still a two-person race with a long way to go, but her performance tonight – at the polls and the podium – belied the rumors which had been circulating for the last 24 hours or so that she might withdraw from the race.
I wonder where those rumors came from, btw? Obviously, it wasn’t from her campaign, so it must have been a opposition plant – what used to be described as “dirty tricks,” at least when Republicans pulled them.
In any event, New Hampshire Democrats opted for distasteful substance over empty style. Trailing badly, John Edwards vowed to fight on until the convention, noting that 48 states and over 99% of the voting population had not yet “been heard.” Whatever gives the Breck Girl the idea that when we “hear” from those yet uncounted, they will be any more for him than they were four years ago, when he lost, is unspecified. Edwards drew lower support in both Iowa and New Hampshire than he did in 2004, and cannot win South Carolina as he did four years ago. He LOST four years ago, and is doing worse this time. Hel-looooo? Johnny boy? Anyone paying attention in there, or are you transfixed by the mirror again?
Ironically, the lemming-like media rush to Obama after his big Iowa win may have cost him New Hampshire. The sheer hysteria of Obamania apparently led the pollsters to adjust their “weighting” of the samples to reflect higher participation by young voters, mirroring Obama’s success in drawing them to the Iowa Caucuses. In New Hampshire, though, the increase in turnout was across the demographic board, with older and female voters showing up in the same higher numbers as young voters did. Had the polls not counted her out, Hillary’s emotional connection with New Hampshire women might never have happened.
Anything that makes Brian Williams cry is a good thing.