Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Handicapping the Races

Kenneth Quinnell has put together a cogent summary of where the candidates are now that we’re past Iowa and New Hampshire and are heading into the stretch before Super Tuesday.

Here’s his look at the Republicans:

This one is still pretty up in the air with four candidates still having paths open to them that could lead to the nomination. It turns out the media narrative was at least right about McCain gaining a bump from Romney’s loss in Iowa, something the blogs were pretty skeptical about. All of these candidates have such strong weaknesses it’s hard to imagine any of them winning, but McCain’s strong win and high name recognition makes him the front-runner at this point. He could still lose it, but it would take one of the other candidates pulling off some kind of surprise, which I’m not sure they can do at this point.

Follow the link for his analysis of each candidate.

And here are the Democrats:

I guess I was right on the last one of these. Like frequently happens over the years, Iowa isn’t that particularly important. Obama is in trouble. As is the media, who breathlessly talked about how Obama was the winner of the nomination already. They were wrong, so they’re now going overboard with their proclamations about how unique this election is and how historic this comeback is. History says otherwise. Of course, the turnaround probably had a lot to do with their idiotic focus on Clinton’s “tears.” People in New Hampshire — women in particular — thought that whole thing was silly and that might’ve not only pushed New Hampshire to Clinton, it might have guaranteed her the nomination. Based on last time, these rankings haven’t changed at all, Clinton’s just a stronger No. 1.

Same as above; follow the link.

I have a great deal of respect for Kenneth’s knowledge and insight, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I basically agree with his conclusions. He is a true student of the craft and art of political science, and if it came down to choosing his judgment over that of someone like, oh, any talking head on cable TV, I’d go with Kenneth’s picks any time.

Update: Kenneth teaches the pundits how to do it right.