Friday, January 04, 2008

The most interesting result

Iowa has had its caususes, and they've thrown up the most interesting result possible for the Democrats. With 1758 of 1780 precincts reporting, Barack Obama has a commanding lead, while John Edwards has a wafer thin 0.4% lead over Hillary Clinton. Clinton in third! Which means the nomination is still wide-open. However, this also demonstrates one of the flaws of the staggered primary process as well, in that this sort of close third place in an early primary (one which contributes very few delgates, to boot) would simply sink most candidates, as donors fled to back the "winning" campaign. Clinton will survive, because she has sufficient money to push on to Super Duper Tuesday in February. But if the positions had been reversed, and it was Edwards coming in third, he'd be pretty much out immediately.

The other interesting news is the turnout - 220,000 democrats caucused, compared with 115,000 republicans. As TPM noted, "that is a very big vote in itself".