Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Hampshire iconoclasts

The culture of New Hampshire is that they are iconoclasts, they swerve rights when Iowa goes left. There's a reason why the libertarians want to move en masse to New Hampshire and make it a truly "free" state.

So what happened? How did the Obama bump from Iowa disappear in a 39-36 win for Hillary? In a word, Hillary showed some emotion. As I stated in an earlier post, it's what people have been wanting to see from her. And it was a game changer - the women's vote made the race.

Here's TNR's take on the demographics:

Here are the groups in which Obama enjoyed a significant margin over Clinton: men, young voters (18-24), voters making more than $50,000, voters with post-graduate education (a good indication of professionals), independents, first time voters, voters without religious affiliation, men without children and single men, voters who said they were getting ahead financially, voters who thought the war in Iraq was the most important issue, who wanted change, and who wanted someone who could unite the country.

Here are Clinton's groups: women, particularly married women, voters over 40, voters making less than $50,000, voters without a college degree, union voters, Democrats, Catholics (an important constituency for the Democrats), people very worried about the economy, voters who thought the economy was most important, voters who valued experience, and voters who evaluated candidates on whether they "care about people like me."

And politicalwire (Taeggan goddard) writes that "Two key factors for Clinton making this a close race: Unlike Iowa, she's beating Obama among women and there are more older voters."

As we know from Iowa, Obama's support by age group groups off about 20 per 20 year bracket. So that he only wound up with 18% of the senior vote. This is I think emblematic of how much or how little our elders are willing to change, and perhaps of how some views are deeply entrenched. On the other hand votes for Hillary are a vote for change on the most basic level, since she would be the first female president. But she is staunchly an establishmentarian to the core.

But let's analyze deeper - New Hampshire is a state that's favorable to female candidates - the former Governor Jeanne Shaheen now running for Senate (in Clinton's camp), Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (in Obama's camp). Sadly, these are the only two women who have been elected to major federal or executive offices in NH but it's better than Iowa.

Iowa, not so much. Iowa has never elected a female senator, never elected a female Congressmember, nor a female Governor.

Let's also consider that Karen Hicks, who built Dean's political campaign in New Hampshire in 2004, has strong ties to Shaheen and to the state. And she knows how to work magic. Plus there is definitely an ex-New Yorker factor in New Hampshire, as well as New Yorkers who own a vacation home up there. (This is undoubtedly a tiny percentage and not something that would account for a 3 percent win.)

Also, I really don't think Edwards bashing Clinton for being too emotional helped. I also didn't like when Hillary said after one debate that all the guys were beating up on her - it's what you do when there's a frontrunner. But I think the reason why I was more willing to accept that there was some genuine emotion in Hillary's display this time is because well, just because she deftly incorporated some talking points into her emotion doesn't mean that the emotion's not there, or that it's not valid. I argue in talking points sometimes, especially on immigration, but I feel it full force.

For my analysis of the upcoming race, go here.

PS: Heads up on the new anti-Obama 527.

PPS: Hello to the folks from Burston-Marsteller (aka, Mark Penn's crappy corporate PR umbrella shill firm which represents Big Tobacco amongst other killers.) I'm mightily amused. I can say I've gotten hits from other nations that haven't amused me as much as this one.

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