I just returned from the John Edwards campaign headquarters, where the third place finisher promised to take his message to the remaining 48 states (see the photo posted above). Barack Obama is making his concession speech as I write, and his coronation is apparently at least temporarily derailed. Spin it as he may, Clinton is ahead in most of the states set to vote in the next month, and her status as the frontrunner was restored. New Hampshire was to serve as her firewall all along, and tonight, it served its purpose. Like her husband in 1992, she is the comeback kid!
McCain placed all of his marbles in the Granite State, and he turned back the clock to 2000 and hurdled to the front of the race for the GOP nomination. The campaign now shifts to Michigan, Romney's home state, but also a state claimed by McCain in 2000. Then, it's on to South Carolina, where the party's southern base makes its voice heard. Look for Huckabee to do well there, and for McCain, Romney, and Thompson to fight for win, show and place. Any of these candidates, with Giuliani also added to the mix, could claim the nomination. Michigan beckons.
As for the Democrats, they head next to Nevada for caucuses there on Jan. 19. One week later, South Carolina will prove as a pivotal test for the Dems too, with black voters forced to decide between nominating the first female or African American candidate for president. Native son John Edwards will also be in the mix.
In the end, the late polls released in New Hampshire proved fallible. Although mostly accurate on the GOP side, they erred badly in the Democratic column, and they have pies on their face, not to mention the pundits who prematurely crowned the upstart Obama. The intrigue of this 2008 contest only grows. So on to the Silver State, then the Palmetto State. Before long, Tsunami Tuesday lurks.
The message delivered by New Hampshire voters was "Stop the press!" Allow the American people to select their own candidates. Premature predictions and prognostications must await the word of the people.
I'll be back tomorrow with a wrap on New Hampshire on both this blog and in another podcast. Until then, goodnight from the Granite State. I leave you with footage from Ward 1 of Manchester where voters flocked to Brookside Congregational Church until the polls closed at 7pm.