A night of surprises in New Hampshire leads to another blog post about the winners and losers in the aftermath.
- Hillary Clinton. She needed a win and got it. It wasn't nearly as decisive as it could have been, but any victory you can walk away from is a good one for Hillary. But I wouldn't read too much into the "stunning upset" angle because it was so close.
- Barack Obama. A second place finish in New Hampshire wasn't what he was looking for, but by keeping it close (2%), he established himself as a real candidate, not a flash in the pan. Combine this with the number of Hollywood liberals looking to back him and Obama comes out a winner.
- Mitt Romney. A second place finish is also good for Romney for 2 reasons. First, he's still getting delegates. As long as the people who manage to beat him in these high profile primaries fail to impress in other primaries and as long as Romney continues to get second place, it won't matter how many second place finishes he gets.
- Rudy Giuliani. Again, he pulls out a decent showing (4th place) in spite of not campaigning that much in New Hampshire. As much as people have questioned his strategy, to date, it's turning out to be a pretty sound one.
- John McCain. He was in a similar position as Hillary Clinton. He needed a win to remain viable, and he won, but...
- John McCain. ...it won't matter. McCain still trails in the national polls and in the polls in the upcoming caucuses and primaries. One victory does not constitute a comeback, especially when it was pretty much a fait accompli. Come back when you stun the Republican field after New Hampshire.
- Mike Huckabee. Remember how the media fawned over Huckabee and said the Iowa Caucuses would propel him to the Republican candidacy? It propelled him all right...to third place in New Hampshire. And it wasn't even close. Romney beat him by TWENTY POINTS, and he only beat Giuliani by 2%. The Huckaboom...has become a Huckabust.
- John Edwards. A third place finish out of a race that is essentially a three person race for the Democrats. And it wasn't even close (20%). At some point, Edwards is going to realize that he's third banana in this situation and will either waste money to stay in or get out and hope for a VP slot.
- Fred Thompson. After beating McCain in Iowa, he barely showed up on the radar in New Hampshire. If he's going to be seen as a serious candidate, he needs to place in the top three on a more consistent basis.
- Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. Why are you two even in the Democrat race? Kucinich barely beat Gravel, Chris Dodd, and Joe Biden in percent of votes cast for him, and the latter two aren't even running anymore! And Gravel coming in behind Biden in the vote count has to hurt. You guys aren't even also-rans. You're more like also-limps.
As it stands, after two "events" as it were, Obama and Romney are still the strongest of their respective fields, and no amount of spin and "upset victories" will change that.