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As one bubble bursts is a new one being created?

January 5, 2008

As the Paulites finally throw in their hand is will the supporters of Obama provide the next source of easy money?

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If one group of people were made to look quite silly by the events of Wednesday night, it was those who believed that Ron Paul could ever be a significant force in US Politics. Although Paul’s 9.93% was respectable when compared with Mike Gravel, Denis Kucinich and Chris Dodd on the Democrat side (and was ahead of Giuliani), it was a cold taste of reality for those who believe that there were a large number of Paulites ready to come out and win the election for the Texas crank.

However, Obama’s victory has propelled his price from around thirty percent to above fifty for the first time ever. Given that he is still behind Hillary in the national polls (and in the last pre-Iowa) polls in the Granite state – is this a new bubble? My view is that, for the moment at least, it is not. Although Hillary’s national lead, and the fact that Edwards has decided to launch all out war against Obama, makes him less likely than Hillary to win, I would say that the contract is merely overpriced. If Obama wins in New Hampshire I would guess that a victory in South Carolina would be very likely (though not inevitable if Edwards is still in the contest), giving him a trememdous amount of momentum that would dwarf any national poll lead. Although Hillary will chalk up a victory in Michigan I believe that he could do very well on the de facto national primary day on February.

However, I still think Edwards is in with a shout in New Hampshire and if Obama misses any of the above steps his campaign will be quickly back to square one. Even if Obama does manage to win a large number of states Hillary will not conceed until Obama gets a majority of delegates, even if this means a brokered convention. Of course, Barack Obama could get around that by putting her on the ticket but do you really think a ticket that combined inexperience and polarisation would be at all viable?

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