Friday, January 04, 2008


It's the first Friday of the New Year. I've got a cold, or am getting a cold. I'm hoping to get some rest this weekend; maybe I'll be able to fend off whatever I'm getting.

The big news today is that Obama bested Edwards and Clinton and Huckabee beat millionaire Romney in Iowa. The Huckabee win is interesting. Conservative Washington insiders hate him. He's not their candidate. He's an actual member of the Christian fundamentalist base that neocons rely on for votes but like to keep quietly tucked away from the spotlight. He's also the only non-millionaire GOP contender. He's not one of the 'use the fundies for votes' business set, he's one of the fundies. The base that the GOP has appealed to has turned out and picked a candidate that appeals to them. Go figure. Check out these stats (via Pam) on Huckanut in Iowa:
Some 45 percent of Huckabee's vote came from those who described themselves as "born again," according to news media entrance polls, and Huckabee won 55 percent of those people who said religion mattered a "great deal." Romney only got 19 percent of the born-again votes and only 12 percent of those who said they cared a great deal about religion.
Only a shortsighted conservative would be surprised. Huckabee is a bed of nightmares (and to be sure, he is a nut, scroll through items on him here and here) the GOP made for itself.

Switching to the losers, the Giuliani camp has been repeating that they aren't focused on Iowa or New Hampshire, but taking a 'big state' approach. Still, it was more than a little funny to see blimp-floating Ron Paul best America's mayor 10% to 4%. And where else but FauxNews would would you find this kind of delusion? Politico's Mike Allen:
Tonight is a fantastic night for John McCain. … He’s one of the biggest winners of the night. He’s now in a fantastic position. Except for Barack Obama, there’s almost no one you’d rather be tonight than John McCain.
McCain finished fourth, behind GOP savior Fred Thompson.

New Hampshire will certainly be interesting. My bet is that if Romney doesn't take the state (perhaps McCain will repeat his 2000 victory), his candidacy is done.

Pam has some interesting stats up that I haven't been able to find a source for, but are very hopeful:

Total Iowa Turnout (approximate)

Percentage of total vote
24.5% Obama
20.5% Edwards
19.8% Clinton
11.4% Huckabee (R)

I did find these exciting stats though:

Democrats reported turnout at 239,000, and nearly 115,000 Republicans took part.
Doing the math, that's a total of 354,000. Huck's 39,814 votes make for 11.2% of the total. It's a bit mushy (but fun) to lump together separate parties' primary numbers, but the turnout numbers sure are encouraging.