I have to say that Barack Obama’s victory was mighty impressive. Not only did he win by a pretty solid margin, 38% vs. 30% for both Clinton and Edwards, but he won in virtually every subcategory. He won among both men and women; he won among Democrats, independents, and Republicans; he won among every income group; and he won among people most concerned with economy, the war, and healthcare.
Even more impressive, the Democratic primary attracted many more voters, indicating that Democrats (and Obama in particular) drew in more people, and especially independent voters. That’s a powerful measure of the enthusiasm out there for the Democratic field, and especially for Senator Obama. Congratulations to all the candidates, especially Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, both apparently ending their campaigns. Hillary did well, and I’m interested to see how she runs now that she can’t simply claim that her victory is inevitable. Given how long Edwards has spent in Iowa, he’s got to be a bit disappointed to finish so far behind Obama, but he still got more votes than any Republican (except maybe Huckabee).
On the Republican side, we fell into the “third best case” laid out by Publius. Huckabee wins, but without national support even among prominent evangelicals, he won’t repeat that performance elsewhere. Rudy tanked, Romney underperformed his expectations, and McCain barely beat out batshit crazy protest candidate Ron Paul, and tied with Fred Thompson, who barely woke up long enough to file paperwork to get on the ballot. All of them will have to go back to the drawing boards, and if we’re lucky, they’ll stick to their doodling until November.