Thursday, January 3, 2008

Oh, What A Night!

The 2008 election season has finally kicked off. And the Democrats are in the lead, at least by my assessment. As expected, Obama won Iowa. I attribute this win to the fact that he pushed for independents to attend the caucus, and that he spend $9.5 million more than any other Democrat. No doubt, Obama drummed up support to a fever pitch and people are excited to participate in an historic election. Could he win the nomination? Maybe. Of course, Iowa is just the beginning and with a race this close, it’s too early to tell who the Democratic front-runner is. What we do have are three viable candidates who are ready to lead America in a return to greatness.

The great news tonight is the second place showing for John Edwards. While the media was busy with Obama and Clinton, Edwards was busy taking his message on the road. While many people counted him out and predicted him to come in a distant third, he was busy proving that he cannot be ignored. His message is strong enough to win votes without all the money and hype.

The best sign, for the Democratic Party, is the enthusiasm shown by independent voters. The early predictions are that the turnout for the Democratic Party was double that of the Republican Party. People are excited about this election process and the Democratic candidates are the ones that people want to support.

The impact of Iowa could be historical. This “red” state had a 2:1 voter turnout in favor of the Democratic Party. If the red-ness of Iowa could be at stake and independents are running headlong toward the Democratic Party, the country could be headed for a red-blue transformation.

And more good news, in the form of the continued downward slide of the Republican Party. Even though Huckabee won Iowa, it’s unlikely that he will win New Hampshire (or any other state without strong evangelical backing). Romney came in second and that could hurt his already low national numbers. His negative Iowa campaign is also going to further diminish his chances of winning the nomination. So now McCain and Guiliani are the likely New Hampshire winners, although they performed poorly in Iowa.

Looks like the Republican Party is having a bit of an identity crisis. No clear front-runner to sweep the primaries and support scattered throughout the conservative spectrum will all contribute to an uphill battle for the Republicans this election season. And an endorsement from Bush or Cheney will certainly hurt any candidate more that it can help. The people want change and the Republicans just can’t (or won’t) make that happen.

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