||[Jan. 20th, 2004|09:48 am]
After skimming thru the coverage of the Iowa Caucus, and the analysis of the vote, I really think that it's important not to read too much into it, for a couple of reasons.|
1) The results were reported in percentages of delegates, not in percentage of votes. So, for example, Gephardt had about 50 supporters in my precinct, over 10%, but ended up with zero delegates to the county convention. Kucinich ended up with 1% of the delegates, but could have had a solid 14% of the caucus attendees at the beginning of the night. Kucinich instructed precinct captains to go for Edwards if their group was below 14%, which may have given Edwards a big boost.
2) People vote emotionally. Kerry has been showing commercials featuring a guy who was on his boat in Vietnam, saying he saved his life. Iowa as a state has a lot of veterans, and a lot of people who, though liberal in many ways, are staunchly patriotic as any red-white-and-blue-boater-wearing Republican. A common Kerry poster shows a Vietnam-era picture of him in a fatigue jacket, which does 2 things -- remind people of his military service, and remind people of his anti-war credentials from back in the day.
Top this with a tearful reunion with another of his Navy buddies in Des Moines last month, and Kerry had the whole state puddling up with tears.
But he's going now into a series of states where that sort of emotional appeal may be totally not a factor, without the money or organization that Dean and others have. If I had to look in my crystal ball, here's how I'd call New Hampshire: Dean and Kerry finishing on top, fairly close, followed by Edwards, with a big diss to Wesley Clark, who will come in 4th and look like a chump. Oh, and people will start to forget that Lieberman is even in the race, just like they've already forgotten about Al Sharpton.