Obama Moving Up In New Hampshire
December 23, 2007

The Democratic half of that Globe poll I just mentioned shows Obama pulling ahead in New Hampshire--he edges Hillary 30 to 28. (He's up nine points and she's down seven since early November.) Two things jump out at me in the Globe's write-up. First, I suggested in my recent Obama piece that he could hold his own with blue-collar voters. The Globe finds evidence of this, too: One of the major shifts in the Democratic race came in New Hampshire's biggest city, Manchester, which is home to many blue-collar voters.

Edwards's Post-debate Jujitsu (plus: Elizabeth Slaps Tnr)
December 13, 2007

Indianola, Iowa  I don't have a ton to add to Mike's debate analysis. The one thing I will say is that when I first heard the new version of the Clinton pitch Mike mentioned--"Some people believe you get [change] by demanding it. Some people believe you get it by hoping for it. I believe you get it by working hard for change"--I thought it was a winning distillation of the Clinton message. But, having just come back from an Edwards event in Indianola, I'm beginning to rethink that a bit. Edwards basically turned the line around on her--arguing that the only way to get change is to demand it.

Someone's In Trouble After Iowa, And It's Not John Edwards
December 04, 2007

I agree with E.J. Dionne--I think Edwards takes second in Iowa. My thinking is this: Clinton and Obama are engaged in a death-match there. Someone is going to win that death-match, and someone is going to lose it, and the person who loses it is going to be in big trouble. That's because the person who loses will not only have lost on semi-substantive grounds (by which I mean not just health-care or foreign policy but whether they have the experience, judgment, character, etc. to be president), but because they will have been diminished in the process.

Des Moines Register: Obama And Huckabee Surging
December 02, 2007

For those who haven't seen it yet, the latest Des Moines Register poll has Obama leading Clinton and Edwards 28-25-23. On the GOP side, Huckabee now leads Romney 29-24, with Giuliani in third at 13. One thing that occurred to me reading the accompanying Register pieces is that Obama may be benefiting from an interesting dynamic among women.

Quickie Debate Wrap-up
November 15, 2007

This was a solid night for Obama. He was focused, energized, tough, charismatic. Sometimes he can sound like his mind is elsewhere while answering a question--there are lots of "um"s and "uh"s and not much direct eye contact. Tonight he suppressed most of those tics. He showed some pluck in exchanges with Hillary on health care and Social Security. He was specific and knowledgeable on trade policy and immigration, even showing spontaneous flashes of humor on the latter.

More On The Planted Question
November 13, 2007

Okay, so maybe I was wrong about that planted question not being part of a systematic effort by the Clinton campaign.

I Know You Are But What Am I?
November 13, 2007

As Noam and Mike pointed out in this week’s print magazine, the Clinton campaign relies heavily on what game theorists like to call “retaliatory escalation”—a.k.a. “club[bing] would-be attackers over the head with their own words.” Case in point: Yesterday, John Edwards slammed Clinton for coaching audience members at a Q&A, calling the tactic “what George Bush does.” The Clinton team responded, “What George Bush does is attack Democrats and divide the country … Sen. Edwards' campaign resembles that more and more every day.”   And it worked!

Hillary's Electability
November 08, 2007

From Time magazine: While recent national polls show Clinton matching up well against every potential Republican competitor, the picture looks very different in Republican and swing states. Says a purple-state Congressman who is nervous about holding onto his seat if Clinton is the nominee: "She certainly will get Republicans riled up. They will not only go out and vote against her--they'll stop off at their neighbors' house along the way and drag them to the polls." A late-October Quinnipiac University survey underscored this point.

The Bill Clinton Defense
November 01, 2007

Richard Wolffe has an interesting nugget in Newsweek about Clinton's plan to defuse the attacks headed her way:  But Clinton's campaign is honing its counterattack. Her aides say the opposition isn't just attacking Hillary but also impugning her husband—a tack they're confident will turn off most Democrats. "I don't think there's a very large constituency in the Democratic Party for that," says Clinton's communications director, Howard Wolfson.

Edwards's Dilemma, Cont'd.
October 31, 2007

Edwards deputy campaign manager Jonathan Prince makes a few points in response to my previous item. They're as follows (I'm paraphrasing): 1.) There's no historical example of someone getting killed in between wrapping up the nomination and the convention, at least not under analogous circumstances. True, Dole took a big hit from Clinton in 1996.