Obama Scores Major Endorsements, Bill Richardson Drops Out
Posted by Ashish on 01.10.2008
Plus a few new polls, Giuliani's flawed strategy, and more!
Barack Obama got a boost yesterday following his narrow loss to Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. Obama scored both the Nevada SEIU and Culinary Workers union endorsements in Nevada. Both unions have huge memberships and the Culinary Workers union in particular is said to be very popular in Nevada and can generate thousands of votes for whomever they endorse. Of course, Clinton had the Democratic machine firmly behind her in Nevada, led by Rory Reid, son of Harry Reid. What this means is that Nevada could end up being as tight as Iowa and New Hampshire were.
Obama also spoke in New Jersey today. It was another huge crowd, roughly 3000 people inside, and another 1500 that waited outside because there wasn't enough room. He spoke to both crowds and painted himself as the underdog again, saying that the fight for change will be a tough one. He even took a John Edwards line, saying that when someone fights for change, the status quo will try to stop them. I'd look for Obama to sharpen up his contrasts with Clinton in the coming days and possibly contest her experience claim. He got hammered among voters who wanted experience in New Hampshire and the truth of the matter is, Clinton has less time in elected office than Obama. Obama has chosen to focus more on the themes of hope and change and may need to spend more time going over the specifics of his policy plans as well as what he has accomplished in Illinois and as a Senator.
Clinton more or less took the day off today, regrouping and I would assume, spending time with her camp to decide how they want to play Nevada and South Carolina.
The other big news is that Bill Richardson has ended his bid. Richardson got 2% in Iowa and 5% in New Hampshire. He was hoping to become the Mike Huckabee of the Democratic race, but it just never happened for him. He had by far the most impressive resume of anyone running on the Democratic side, but as we all know, personality, money, and organization tend to outweigh resumes when it comes to Presidential politics in America. It's interesting that Richardson is dropping out before Nevada. Nevada has a big Hispanic population and one would have thought that he would have at least done a bit better there. The question now is if his supporters break in any particular direction or just spread around to Obama/Clinton/Edwards in a somewhat even manner.
On the Republican side, a new Rossman Group poll has Mike Huckabee holding a 1 point lead in Michigan over Mitt Romney, with John McCain not far behind. Huckabee, at last word, was planning to skip Michigan and just focus on South Carolina, but if he has a real shot at winning there, he needs to go after it. If he can win Michigan and South Carolina back-to-back, it would give him a lot of momentum going into February. The problem for him, and McCain, is that they are lacking money and organization, and have to pick and choose which battles they want to fight.
I remain doubtful about Rudy Giuliani's chances at pulling off his big state strategy. It's January 9th and he is already basically being portrayed as out of the picture. His name is rarely mentioned by the media and that is going to continue all the way until February. He has already dropped drastically in Florida and the February 5th states and another three weeks of attention going to Huckabee, Romney, and McCain is going to result in even bigger drops for him. Unless he knows something nobody else knows, his strategy is likely going to kill his campaign before it even gets started.