Heading to New Hampshire

Well the Iowa result has shaken the two races up and things are not so close now.

The markets now have the cost of betting $1 on getting the nomination as 66c for Obama and 30c for Clinton. Edwards is around 3c.

On the GOP side, McCain is leading on 37c, Giuliani next on 27c, Romney 18c, Huckabee 16c, Thompson 2c.

Turning to the polls, there have been five in New Hampshire and Obama’s lead over Clinton ranges from 3% to 13% and it is hard to see him not winning New Hampshire.

And again on the GOP side, McCain leads Romney in all five polls – from 4% to 14%.  So unless there is a massive upset, McCain should win there.

After New Hampshire it is more murky.  One has Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina and Florida.  Florida may be a big battle for three reasons.  Firstly it has a lot of delegates.  Secondly it is a key swing state and electability there is important and finally it is the last chance to get momentum before Super Duper Tuesday on 5 February.

Oh yes the Republicans also have Louisiana, Hawaii and Maine before SDT.

Obama is generating excitement on a level not seen for some decades.  He is becoming a symbol as much as a candidate.  Liberal Republicans such as Andrew Sullivan rave about him. I’m not quite so convinced.

On the symbolic level yes he does have significant promise.  But his lack of experience make him a risky choice.  As I have said before my preferred Democrat is Hillary Clinton.  Not because I like her.  In fact quite the opposite.  But she would be a safe and competent President. However she is so tied into the battles of the past, while Obama is branded as a candidate for the future,  that she is in danger of becoming irrelevant.

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