Wednesday, February 06, 2008


As the first results began coming in last night, I concluded that Obama was basically done. With the exception of Georgia, which was called for him early, I was surprised to see Hillary, rather quickly, win in Oklahoma. As the second wave of primary results started to come in, it was evident that Hillary was racking up large leads in NY, NJ, Massachusetts (again, surprisingly, given the Obama's endorsements), Tennessee, and Missouri. All over but the shoutin', it appeared. Obama would need a surprise come from behind win in California, at least, to maintain any sense of momentum.

But as the third wave of results came up, it showed Obama balancing Hillary's earlier double digit wins with similarly styled margins in albeit smaller states like North Dakota, Idaho, Minnesota, Colorado, Utah and Kansas.

Finally, as the first results for California and Arizona were arriving, one of Hillary's big margin states--Missouri--was tightening. What earlier had been a Hillary margin of almost twenty points had shrunk to one, with Obama favored precincts still out. But then the one point margin widened again to three, and after Obama's speech, I finally turned in to bed.

Only this morning did I learn that Obama had pulled out the narrow win in Missouri, ending Super Tuesday with more states won than Hillary. Now it also appears that Obama took more delegates to go along with those states. And there are rumors that Hillary is coming up short on cash with Obama comfortably in the black (no pun intended). Even more surprisingly, despite Hillary's popular vote blow-out margins in NY, California, Massachusetts and New Jersey, Obama managed to nearly tie her popular vote totals.

Now the campaign returns to a more spread out schedule, which should be favorable to Obama's apparent organizational prowess and overall likeability.

This means that this race will continue to be the most competitive we have seen in some time. While I believe this is overall a positive occurence, I also must admit it introduces a much greater level of uncertainty and unpredictability into the process. For all practical purposes, in modern times, we simply haven't been here before. And should Obama win the nomination, the fall campaign would be another trip through unchartered waters. Obama will bring change whether he seeks it or not.

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