Thursday, January 10, 2008

Don't underestimate New Hampshire Ground War For Clinton

It is always fascinating to watch the MSM pundits pontificate about the reasons they think New Hampshire voters voted this way or that way and their conclusions may have some validity, but....

Actually, there are a lot of buts. Voter studies and research that I have read informs me that voting can be emotional or rational and all shades in between. They also inform me that there are many reasons why people cast a ballot one way or another and why those choices may not seem rational. Of course, for the person making that choice, it is rational to them.

So, if an older woman who saw the video of Hillary cast her ballot out of sympathy for another older woman " because Obama didn't need my vote with a 10 point lead" that was her rational choice. She was an Obama voter with mixed feelings. It doesn't really matter whether Glenn Beck thinks the emotions were faked or not. The vote was cast.

Kudos to CNN for following up to reveal a bit more about the woman who asked the question that made Hillary respond emotionally. Great little piece of story-telling there that may reveal the truth or not. But the woman really was an Obama supporter.

If other women felt the progressive boys were "ganging up" on Hillary and gave her a sympathy vote, that is simply another reason for voting for a candidate. The votes were cast.

But with a large number of voters still undecided as they walked into the New Hampshire voting places, a well organized ground war, even a modestly well organized ground war on Monday and Tuesday could easily have made the pollsters look silly. It wasn't that those votes shifted at all. The uncertainty didn't subside until they stepped into the polling place.

Polls, of course, only measure where people are at a point in time. The polls were most likely accurate, but things changed or were changing. Change happens in elections. That's what makes them fun and a bit unpredictable.

And a good ground war, which seems to be the case for Hillary in New Hampshire, may have kept it from going the other way -- a 2 point Obama victory.

Ground wars are hard to cover and perhaps they should be.

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