Sunday, January 13, 2008

thoughts on New Hampshire

January 5th

After the dust settled and the smoke cleared in Iowa, A cry for change could be heard resounding throughout the state. Upstart Senator Barack Obama was able to dominate the Democratic Caucus while Republican Mike Huckabee triumphs over front-runner Mitt Romney. With all of this surprise and inconsistency in the Caucus, what can be expected from the rest of the nation? Is this the year that the Democratic party will nominate a black man? Or a woman? Iowa has had its say but there is so much still left unanswered by the nation. Who will be able to emerge from either field and claim the presidency?

After a second place finish at the Iowa Caucuses on Thursday, John Edwards looks to keep his hopes alive by a strong showing in New Hampshire. Edwards was able to edge out Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton on Thursday to secure the second place finish falling only a few points behind winner Barack Obama. Edwards was able to push himself into the pack of Clinton and Obama despite being outspent by the duo almost ten to one. Pundits point to an array of situations that could have led to the good showing by Edwards. First and probably most important, Edwards has been campaigning in Iowa for years now. After his second place finish four years ago Senator Edwards has practically camped out in the state. This could be a major reason why the Iowa public voted for him. Also, Edwards has collected many middle/ working class votes because of his history as a lawyer and a populist candidate. Edwards reminds us of his upbringing in Seneca, South Carolina where his parents where mill workers. Edwards populist appeal may have been one of the major reasons why he was able to secure the win in Iowa.

Unfortunately, Edwards faces a new challenge in New Hampshire on Tuesday. His middle-class working-class platform will appeal much less to the more white-collar professionals (doctors don't really like John Edwards because he sued them a lot as a lawyer) in New Hampshire. He must be able to win the vote of unions with which he was very successful in doing in Iowa. He must also be able to steal a portion of the young vote from Barack Obama. This could help him secure another second place finish. Another thing going against John Edwards is his lack of funds. He may have been able to keep up with the other two candidates in Iowa but he will not be able to go much further with the meager funds that he has. He has taken out a federal matching loan that severely limits his finances. John Edwards biggest hope is that he can survive New Hampshire, which has never been too hospitable to Southern candidates, and manage to win in his home state of South Carolina.

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