Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What happened in New Hampshire

By Libby

I may be the only one not surprised by Hillary's win. I predicted it on Saturday. The polls surprised me but the result didn't. I lived most of my life in New England. I don't know much about polls. I usually ignore them. But I do know about cranky Yankees and I was pretty sure they weren't going to give Obama another win.

Everyone is speculating about why the polls were so wrong and the pollsters are doing some heavy explaining. I've been working since seven so I only scanned the headlines and read a few posts but I'd say everybody's right about what happened.

The Bradley Effect can't be discounted. Outside of the Greater Boston Area, there are not a lot of black people except in a few outlying urban enclaves and where they exist they're not thought of highly. Fourth generation and higher Yankees are not going to trust a black man, although only the lower income population would admit it publicly.

The Tweety Effect and the Crying Game was material. The insipid pile on over Hillary's flash of irritation at the debate and her 'crying' was so obviously unfair that it engendered some sympathy for her and added irritation with the media. Yankees are a proud people. They don't take kindly to manipulations and aren't above wanting to make fools of the city slickers. And there's a large feminist population that were going to vote for her no matter what.

Finally, never discount the power of the political machine. Hillary is still their anointed candidate and the machine is well oiled to deliver the vote in the urban areas where it counts.

Meanwhile, questions arise about the validity of the count. It is interesting to see where the votes were counted by a computer but I think New Hampshire isn't the place to make that fight. While I'm mindful that Hillary is the GOP's preferred candidate, the results here are not completely inexplicable and I fear we'll find more fertile grounds for that battle by Super Tuesday.

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