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Sunday, January 6, 2008
By Steven L. Taylor

~Rounding-up, analyzing and handicapping the 2008 election~


~If Sabato can use a crystal ball, why can’t I use a toaster?~

General News, Poll, Commentary and Bloggage

  • CBS: Polls: Obama, McCain hold edge in New Hampshire
  • ABC has an estimated delegate count.
  • For info on the calendar, delegate numbers and the like, surf over to the Green Papers.
  • Kansas City Star: Two parties’ presidential candidates hold very different debates
  • New Hampshire Union Leader: Independents’ day: undeclared voters key on Tuesday
  • Jon Swift: Iowa Caucus Results Explained
  • Jeralyn @ TalkLeft: New Hampshire Demographics and the Independent Vote
  • Stephen Bainbridge asks Post-Iowa Questions for Hugh Hewitt and A Post-Iowa Question for Andrew Sullivan

Checking the Bread: Movement Since the Last ToM


Barack Obama

Dough is on the rise.

Mike Huckabee

Dough is on the rise

Hillary Clinton

The heat is on

Mitt Romney

Heat’s off this week

John Edwards

The heat is on

John McCain

Dough is on the rise

Bill Richardson

Getting darker

Fred Thompson

Getting darker

Joe Biden

Out of the toaster (dropped out)

Rudy Giuliani

Getting darker

Christopher Dodd

Out of the toaster (dropped out)

Ron Paul

Beyond toasted

Dennis Kucinich

Beyond toasted

Duncan Hunter

Beyond toasted

Mike Gravel

Beyond toasted

Gazing into the Polished Stainless Steel of the Toaster. Much was made of the Iowa results, yet I continue to argue that only so much can be derived from those results. For example, while it is possible that Obama can go into New Hampshire and take a clear lead (not that would end the race). However, it is also quite likely that Clinton will win and we will find ourselves without a clear front-runner. Edwards, I think, missed his chance to make it a three-way race by failing to win in Iowa. Indeed, barring an unlikely surge in NH, he’s done and isn’t veepable1

Back to Clinton and Iowa. A lot of the analysis of her loss seems to ignore the fact that it was known going into the race that she might well finish third, especially given the fact that second choices ultimately were figured into the voting. Now, there is no doubt that the worst possible outcome for Clinton was a third place finish and an Obama win. Still, beyond all the media hoopla about Clinton’s loss, the fact of the matter is that she actually tied with Edwards for second for all practical purposes. As the Green Papers notes, Edwards won 744 county delegates (or 29.75%) and Clinton won 737 county delegates (29.47%) which translates into a tie for national delegates at 14 each. For that matter, Obama only won 3 more delegates (17). As such, the notion that Iowa was a devastating loss for Clinton is simply incorrect.

One thing I have noticed in watching and reading a lot of the post-Iowa coverage is that it seems that many analysts are allowing their positions to be colored by their preferences. For example, I think that a lot of the sunny Obama analysis has been driven by anti-Hillary feelings (such as the GOP consultant on MTP this morning, and the general warm-and-fuzzies coming from GOP circles about Obama). While I do think that Obama has a better shot at taking away independent and disaffected Republicans in November than does Hillary, I think a lot of GOP-leaning analysts are suffering from “the enemy of my enemy in my friend” syndrome, forgetting that once/if Obama defeats Hillary he will become “the enemy” (as others have noted).

On the GOP side, while I continue to think that Huckabee may well be the most likable candidate on that side of the political ledger, he is still not going to be able to capture the nomination. His Southern Baptist roots will not play well in the West, and his less-than-fiscally-conservative views are problematic with substantial portions of the GOP base. Beyond that, there are other segments of the GOP base that believe his foreign policy is Carter-esque. He also is going to be attacked on electability grounds. His likely third place finish in NH will ultimately be a better indicator of his status than his win in IA.

Now, on to the Pre-NH rankings:


The bag is currently empty.

The bag is currently empty.

Barack Obama

Obama’s win in Iowa was big, although I continue to think it isn’t the watershed that many are painting it to be. A big win in NH, however, will change my mind on that count.

  • ABC News: Bill Bradley to Back Barack Obama
  • MSNBC: Initial takeaway: Obama gets to play frontrunner
  • Scott Lemieux points to Obama’s Legislative Achievements
  • Kevin Drum: Misc. Obama blogging.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton is far from done. As noted above, the Iowa loss was not as big as it has been made out to be. Further, I think that she can still survive a loss in NH—it just can’t be a huge one.

  • Reuters: Clinton battles to keep New Hampshire from Obama
  • Joe Gandelman asks: Is Bill Clinton About To Sandbag Hillary Clinton’s Campaign?
  • Karen Tumulty in Time: Clinton Machine Shaken by Setback
  • John Holbo ponders Hillary For VP?

Mike Huckabee

Despite the hoopla surrounding Huckabee’s win in IA, I do not see him being able to sustain the momentum. He will come in a distant third in NH and while SC may be kind to him, it won’t be enough.

  • Via the NYT: Huckabee Moves to New Hampshire, With Tweaks to His Message
  • Reuters: Huckabee tax plan raises eyebrows in U.S.
  • Stephen Green doesn’t care for the Huckster.
  • Henry Farrell makes the case for Huckmentum.

John McCain

McCain had a good showing in IA and is likely to win in NH.

  • Via the NYT: McCain May Benefit From Huckabee’s Jolt to G.O.P.

Mitt Romney

At least Romney got a win in Wyoming. Still, his loss to Huckabee was damaging and unless he wins this week in NH, he is on his way to the bottom of the Toaster.

  • Via the NYT:
    Romney Wins Most Wyoming Delegates
  • The Washington Wire: Beginning of the End for Romney?

John Edwards

Barring a miracle, he is bound for Burnt Toast status on his way to Crumb Pile. At a minimum, he isn’t getting too much press at the moment. Most folks are either talking about how Obama is the big winner or how Clinton in the big loser.

  • MSNBC: Edwards: not a two-person race

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani will hang on after NH no matter what, as his strategy is predicated on a late start. However, Hizzoner has miscalculated.

Fred Thompson

If Thompson comes in anywhere near the 1% that some polls show him at in NH, he’s done. Really at the moment he is Burnt Toast walking.

Bill Richardson

Richardson’s campaign has been dead from the beginning. I still think he is quite veepable, however.

  • Des Moines Register: Richardson is resolute: ‘This race is not over’

Ron Paul

Dennis Kucinich & Mike Gravel

  • The AP: Kucinich, Hunter, Gravel cut from ABC News presidential debates
  • Austin American-Statesman: Kucinich sues Texas Democrats over loyalty pledge he won’t sign
  • American Chronicle: Film Star Viggo Mortensen Campaigns with Dennis Kucinich in NH Today

Duncan Hunter

Give credit where credit is due: Hunter did win a delegate in Wyoming, which actually puts him ahead of Paul. Still, Paul has the money and passion to keep running. Hunter will likely drop out after NH.

Oh yeah: technically Alan Keyes and John Cox are down here in the Crumb Pile as well…


  1. On balance, I think one gets one shot at being a running mate, and Edwards has had his. And really—what did he add in 2004 and what would he add this time? []
Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments/Trackbacks (13)|
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

13 Responses to “Some Concord Grape Jelly for Your Toast? (It’s the Pre-NH ToM)”

  1. Political Mavens » Pre-NH ToM Says:

    [...] Some Concord Grape Jelly for Your Toast? (It’s the Pre-NH ToM) [...]

  2. Captain D. Says:

    This is the funnest thing I’ve seen on the subject yet. Very very fun.

    It might make me want to actually leave my shell of enlightened apathy from time to time to see who is where in the toaster.

    The crumb pile is the best part.

  3. Angry Guy Says:

    If I hear from a Democrat the word “change” I think I will go mad. I just hope people starting asking what “change” really means, like change the income tax rates, capitol gains, and the AMT. I forgot, “Big Oil”, “Big Pharma” and every other “Big Busines”(Wal-Mart), go ahead and set up the off shore accounts you are roadkill.

  4. Eric Lindholm Says:

    Would a double-digit loss in NH constitute a “huge loss” for Hillary? Cause it’s sure looking that way.

  5. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

    Double-digits would be huge, yes. However, most of the polls have the two of them tied (except ARG) so I am not sure that a double-digit loss is likely.

  6. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

    And I now see the Rasmussen poll has a double-digit lead as well-interesting.

  7. MSS Says:

    As such, the notion that Iowa was a devastating loss for Clinton is simply incorrect.

    I suppose I do not see why the same logic does not also apply to Edwards, yet the Toaster instead applies the MSM logic (ooh, that stings more than accidentally touching the coils in the toaster, no?) that Edwards was “defeated” by tying. (Oh, and the tie was noted previously at greener pastures-or, rather orchards-than the Green Papers!)

    Oh, the Concord grape on toast is a very nice addition!

  8. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

    The thing is, the Toaster always argued that Clinton could lose IA and be ok, but that Edwards had to win outright.

  9. Outside The Beltway | OTB Says:

    Rudy Giuliani vs. Ron Paul

    Pat Lang sees a conspiracy afoot in Fox News’ decision to keep Ron Paul out of last night’s debate:
    The supposedly conservative Fox News organization did not invite to their debate ,Dr. Paul, a true blue Libertarian Conservative who is risi…

  10. Punditry Says:

    Pre-NH Toast o Meter

    Steve Taylor's insightful pre-New Hampshire toast-o-meter is up, with my man Fred down in the crumbs at the bottom. Sigh.

  11. Allen in Fort Worth Says:

    The phrase “Burnt Toast Walking” has had me laughing for the last 5 minutes.
    This is a great site.

  12. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

    Thanks :)

  13. PoliBlog ™: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » NH Post Toasties Says:

    [...] Hillary Clinton: As I said in the pre-NH ToM, “Obama’s win in Iowa was big, although I continue to think it isn’t the watershed that many are painting it to be,” and “Clinton is far from done.” While most of the polls were starting to look pretty bleak for Clinton, I have to admit that I am not surprised that the results were close and that she won. There was too much of a rush to anoint Obama and declare Clinton dead after one data point (i.e., the Iowa results). Do I think that Clinton is a lock on the nomination? No, but I still think she is the slight favorite. [...]


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