Thursday, January 10, 2008

First Primary goes to Hillary and McCain!!!

Hi friends

Well, almost as I predicted. We have Hillary Clinton and John McCain taking the winners places in New Hampshire Primary. But I did not anticipate Mitt Romney as a frontrunner from the Republican camp. I felt that “actor” Rudy Giuliani would be one of the main frontrunners. But hey, I am not an American voter.

For the confused-looking readers, here is some information: (Taken from Wikipedia)

A Caucus is a meeting of members of a political party or subgroup to coordinate members' actions, choose group policy, or nominate candidates for various offices. The term is frequently used to discuss the caucuses used by some states to select presidential nominees, such as the Iowa caucuses. Along these same lines, in early American history, the Congressional nominating caucus and legislative caucus were influential meetings of congressmen to decide the party's nominee for President and party platforms. Similar caucuses were held by the parties at state level.

The series of Presidential primary elections and caucuses is one of the first steps in the process of electing the President of the United States of America. The primary elections are run by state and local governments in the states which do not have caucuses. A state primary election usually determines which candidates for president will be supported by that state at the national convention of each political party.

The current dates up to and including "Super Tuesday" are now:

January 3—Iowa Caucus
January 5—Republican Wyoming caucus
January 8—New Hampshire Primary
January 15—Michigan Primary (allowed on appeal)
January 19—Nevada Caucus / Republican South Carolina Primary
January 26—Democratic South Carolina Primary
January 29—Florida Primary
February 2―Maine caucus
February 5―"Super Tuesday": Primaries/caucuses for both parties in 19 states, plus three Democratic-only caucuses and one Republican-only primary

Iowa and New Hampshire set the tone for the campaign—and allow an outsider to topple the favorite. In recent elections, the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary have garnered over half the national and international media attention paid to the entire selection process.

The present situation:

Well, the Iowa caucus was a close race for both the parties. For the Democrats, the order was Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton; for the Republicans, it was much closer with Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney getting the top 2 places, but the rest like Fred Thompson, John McCain and Ron Paul were placed in a good position too.

The Wyoming caucus went unnoticed. But the clear Republican winner there was Mitt Romney. No one even came close. Wyoming is the smallest state in the US in terms of population and has largely been ignored in the elections. Also the major rivals like McCain, Giuliani and Huckabee did not participate at all.

The New Hampshire primaries were a big turnaround. Almost all the polls showed Barack Obama in the lead for the Democrats. But many analysts say that a last-minute effort by Hillary Clinton with her emotional and teary appeal that did the trick. But I feel there is another, more logical explanation – Hillary managed to get all her supporters to vote, but Obama couldn’t. This effect led to Barack’s narrow defeat. You cannot say that one speech changed the whole story. I admit that Barack Obama is more practical and being a member from the minority, he can garner many of the Afro-American votes easily. But the voters need to show that. They need a conversion. I don’t’ know what the effect is called, but it results when the leader’s supporters do not go and vote for him as they feel he is already winning anyways by a huge margin. So this results in the main competitor creeping into a slender lead and winning. If anyone knows what this effect is called, please do drop a comment.

But the real surprise – John Mc Cain won from the Republican side. He defeated Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. That was a shocker for many analysts. But I was happy at that. New Hampshire has been the place where many potential future nominees have won. So I am hopeful for a McCain nomination to challenge the democrats further. The national leaders so far, in the exit-polls are Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

A sad point for me: Ron Paul’s performance was not upto the mark in all these 3 primaries. Let’s hope for a better show soon from this person.

A good point: Mike Huckabee’s loss. That person looks more confused than the master Bush himself, contradicting himself many times in many of his speeches and also in a few interviews that I have seen on TV. His win can only increase the problems of the country I feel. Let’s see what the American voters think about that.

Well, that is it for today. Let us wait and watch. Next on the US elections on January 15th.


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