For McCain a win is a win. Like it or not he isn’t going away — at least not yet. But Super Tuesday will be a very tough road to hoe. Other than Arizona (obviously), McCain could wind up that day with nothing and therefore out of the race. Time will tell.
Romney is in deep trouble. For him to have failed in Iowa is one thing. But to have failed in New Hampshire and by a pretty large margin — especially given the proximity factor and the vast sums of time and money he spent — is a horse of another color. Romney needs wins or strong second-place finishes in Florida and California — otherwise he’ll go from circling the drain to down the drain, Michigan and Massachusetts notwithstanding. And if Romney doesn’t win Michigan outright — with such built-in name recognition and a money advantage too — then Florida and California will become that much taller mountains to climb.
As expected Huckabee wasn’t too much of a factor. The Northern states are going to be tough sledding for him. Florida will be his true test.
For Giuliani it’s all about Florida and California. If he wins *both* those states, obviously he’s a very strong contender if not the presumtive nominee. If he finishes a solid 2nd in Florida and California he’ll still be in the thick of things. But if he finishes 3rd or a distant 2nd in those two states fah-get-a-bout-it, he’ll only be a spoiler or a (Northeastern) delegate broker.
Regarding the MediaDemocrats, these results once again prove that it’s one thing for putative “youth voters” to answer phone calls from pollsters; it’s quite another thing for them to go out and vote. Ask Howard Dean.
In addition I think everyone out there — myself included — was to some degree duped by the *uniformity* of pre-vote polling that showed Obama with leads and momentum. One conclusion that can and probably should be drawn — and Democrats and the PC police sure won’t like it — is that the white Democrat primary voters in the Granite State might have said they were going to vote for Obama, when contacted by pollsters, to avoid the specter of racism, but when they actually got in the privacy of their voting booths — unlike the scenario presented in Iowa, without privacy — they voted to a material degree along racial lines. If you don’t believe that that can happen among Democrats in an “enlightened” Northeastern state like New Hampshire, well, honestly, denial ain’t a river in Egypt and bubbles are not merely for stocks and real estate.
Nevertheless, it’s astonishing that Hillary — with her vast resources and ruthlessness — still is struggling so mightily with a freshman Senator.
If Obama wins Michigan *and* South Carolina, Hillary truly will be on the hot seat. But if Hillary wins California and New Jersey, to go along with an obvious upcoming win in New York, Obama easily could and probably would morph overnight from media star to imploded supernova, regardless of prior tallies. If Obama wins California, however, man alive, Hillary might literally explode — like the drummer in This is Spinal Tap.
Time will tell.
Next stop: Michigan.
UPDATE: I forgot that Obama took himself off the ballot in Michigan; so, ix nay on that point.