Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"Can't vote for the brother?" "No, gotta vote for the sister!"

Much has been made about the fact that the late poll numbers -- both the independent polls and those conducted by the campaigns themselves -- were way off the mark on the Democratic side of yesterday's New Hampshire primary. The answer, it seems, is really quite simple.

It was not the Bradley effect. It was not a case of primary voters walking into the voting booth, closing that curtain and saying to themselves, "Here in the booth, alone with my thoughts, I cannot pull the lever/mark the box/whatever for the black man." [note: This is in contrast to the more public forum of the Iowa caucuses.]

So it was not a case of "can't vote for the brother." What it was, on the other hand, was a case of women going into the booth and thinking: "Gotta vote for the sister!!!" Simple as that.

I'll admit it: I've become an Obama supporter. Not a hugely strong one, but that's the button I would push were the Texas primary to be held today. I like his resume (community organizer, president of Harvard Law Review). I like the break with the past.

Realistically though, from a policy perspective, the differences are not huge. And, given the history, I can certainly understand the late Hillary vote. [It's not anything like voting for "one of your own" who's clearly a member of the "other side" -- the prospective "Condi effect" as it were.]

It's early -- and the beat goes on. As John Edwards said: "Two states down, forty-eight to go!"

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