Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Last Day of the New Hampshire Endgame

The last New Hampshire polls are in, and there is little change of trend from Monday. The Obama rise continues to look steady and strong. The sensitive trend estimator in red continues fit the sharp turn in Obama support better than the slower-to-change blue estimator, though both end up close to one another in estimating current support.

The current estimates are 39.0% for Obama and 29.9% for Clinton. If you like the more stable standard blue estimate, the numbers are 36.7% and 30.4% respectively.

There is the tiniest of hints that Romney's decline and McCain's surge have both flattened just a bit in the sensitive Red estimator, though the actual difference between the red and blue trend estimates is trivial for each candidate.

The sensitive red trend puts McCain at 33.4% and Romney at 27.5%, while the standard blue estimate has it 34.2% to 27.5%.

The first bit of suspense tonight will be whether McCain succeeds in holding a lead over Romney. The trend data say yes, but there is some considerable variation in the McCain poll results.

On the Democratic side, the question should be the size of the Obama win.

Edwards looks to be a distant third, a result that should be damaging to his campaign to emerge as one of the two "change" candidates.

Huckabee appears to have utterly failed to capitalize on his Iowa success. That is a big deal, in my view, because his campaign needed dramatic successes to bootstrap itself into a national effort. Iowa alone is not enough. Can he recapture the Iowa momentum in Michigan or Nevada or South Carolina in the face of a new look at McCain? (Or a reborn Romney should an upset happen in NH.)

The Thompson campaign gave up in NH, and Giuliani's collapse there just continues the question of whether his once high flying campaign can survive the early series of losses he now seems set for.

Some of these questions will be answered tonight.