New Hampshire post-mortem
Well, the votes have been counted and one of the best things is that none of us will have to hear about New Hampshire for at least another four years. I mean, really. The other thing is that conventional wisdom and, to a great degree, polling was thoroughly discredited last night.
By now, we all know that Hillary bested Obama by 3 points, and McCain bested Romney by 5 points. As they say, a "w" is a "w", but with this new compressed primary schedule, a "w" is still a "w", but it ain't what it used to be. Why's that? Because there isn't as much time as there used to be between these various contests (or an insignificant amount of votes and delegates) to get what you really used to get from the win - time. That being time to bask in the glow of the win, hit up donors while wearing the mantle of "big mo", hit up more local officials and party leaders for endorsements, etc.. Now' days, a campaign barely has time to cut the ads they're going to run in the next state and get them up on TV.
And am I the only one getting a little sick of the self-assured pundits on every network pronouncing campaigns "dead"? Please. And what do these guys know anyway? At this point, none of them have been right, so why should they be right any other time; especially when the rules of the game have changed and the people who actually do this for a living are still figuring it out?
Without being able to divine the future, why not just review some objective facts?
1) Each party's nomination process is different...has different rules...and in many cases, different rules from state to state.
2) Nobody gets the nomination until a majority of the delegates at their convention votes for them. Delegates come from ALL fifty states....not just the first 3 or 4.
3) At this point, only 1/2 of 1 percent of all the people who could vote in this process have voted.
4) Money matters. And, given the compressed schedule, (meaning less time between primaries and any big win), there's less time to raise it...made doubly worse by the fact that you need more of it.
5) Organization matters. Especially since time and money (see number 4) are at a premium. Meaning the candidates with the better support within the party structure are better off down the stretch.
6) A shorter schedule makes it more likely that almost all the candidates will hang around to "see what happens". Why drop out, when you could hang around on a shoe-string and earned media and wait to see if someone else screws up?
Given the large number of candidates on the Republican side, and the proportional delegate allocation on the Democrat side, there's a better than usual chance that either of the parties could find themselves at convention in the fall without a nominee. Which will have meant that the pundits will have been wrong the whole time, and the hacks will be in political nirvana.