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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Novak's NH Predictions

Below is Robert Novak’s outlook on New Hampshire for both the REPs and DEMs. It looks as though Hillary will suffer another defeat and Mitt is surging back strong; the insight seems on point to me.

Republican

1. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) had pulled even with front-running former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney prior to the Iowa caucuses and pulled ahead based on Romney's disappointing second-place finish in Iowa.
2. After Saturday night's ABC debate, Romney, from neighboring Massachusetts, seemed to be in freefall. The other candidates personally dislike him, and they ganged up on him. The only problem for McCain appeared to be that he overplayed his hand in going after Romney with too much vehemence and personal animosity.
3. But Romney made a remarkable comeback in Sunday night's Fox News debate, dominating his opponents. He capitalized on McCain's weaknesses on tax and immigration policy. We attended a focus group of mainly undecided Republican
voters arranged for Fox by pollster Frank Luntz. They entered the room before
the debate widely divided and left it after the debate heavily for Romney -- because of the immigration issue.
4. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee never was expected to repeat his Iowa win in the less fertile soil of New Hampshire, but his performance in the Fox debate was truly dreadful. The Luntz focus group hated Huckabee's refusal to answer questions about his record.
5. If McCain does win in New Hampshire, he will be the new national frontrunner. Romney may be finished, with Giuliani given the best chance of overcoming McCain.
Our shaky New Hampshire projection on election eve:
1st Place: McCain, but vulnerable.2nd Place: Romney, but rallying.3rd Place: Huckabee.4th Place: Giuliani.5th Place: Former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.).

Democratic
1. The third-place finish in Iowa by Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) had a negative impact in New Hampshire, where she had been slipping against Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) even before her loss in Iowa. It is beginning to look like a double-digit loss for
Clinton.
2. She was supposed to come out swinging against Obama in New Hampshire, but her boring, pedantic campaign style had not really changed from Iowa. At one rally where we were present, Clinton never mentioned Obama by name and criticized him only once (on healthcare) as "one of my opponents." Former President Bill Clinton, campaigning separately, is sprightlier but no more effective.
3. In contrast, "Obamamania" reigns supreme -- generating enthusiasm not seen since the 1968 campaign of Robert F. Kennedy. He attracts new voters and enerates
support across ideological and party lines. In truth, he worries Republicans sick, but for now, he threatens the long, slowly built Clinton campaign.
4. Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), who dwells on finishing ahead of Clinton in Iowa, looks like the odd man out in New Hampshire, with very little interest in him.
5. Clinton will not drop out after New Hampshire, as has been reported, and she can still stop Obama in the big states. But it will not be easy or automatic.
Our election eve projection for New Hampshire:
1st Place: Obama, going away.2nd Place: Clinton.3rd Place:
Edwards.4th Place: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson



Article here:http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=24330

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