Saturday, January 05, 2008

"Observations from the ground in NH: Day 3"

PsiFighter37's diary on Kos:
Yesterday, I offered up some initial observations on my first couple of days in New Hampshire. While I did have a chance to go canvassing one evening (and it was incredibly chilly), most of my work had been in the field office to date. Starting today, though, I will be spending almost all of my time out in the field canvassing voters. As usual, a great deal of people weren't home, but I was able to make some observations from those I did speak to.

Follow me below the fold for what I saw the first day after the Iowa caucuses...

  1. First, the results may be having an effect on some voters. There were a definite number of people who moved from being undecided - or even supporting another candidate entirely - to being solid votes for Obama on Tuesday. Everyone I spoke with was well aware of the results of the Iowa caucus, and I do think that, at least from today's sample size, there could be a relevant spillover effect from the momentum to the votes. If anything, it will increase his viability. One voter I spoke continued to express concern about America's willingness to elect an African-American president despite his victory (namely by citing the South), but I think that Obama's ability to turn out an overwhelming of African-Americans in the South could lead to a few surprises in the general election.

In addition, the subtraction of Senators Biden and Dodd from the campaign may also help Obama out. I spoke with one person who had supported Biden; upon being informed that he had dropped out last night, he immediately said that he was likely to vote for Obama. Simply put, while candidates like Biden and Dodd emphasized their experience, there's a reason that they chose those candidates instead of Clinton, who has essentially taken the mantle as the 'experience' candidate. While I'm sure there are only pockets of support for them, this may help boost Obama a little bit in the polls as well.

  1. That being said, many voters are still undecided. One voter I spoke with was excited about Obama's victory but said that she was changing her mind every day (yesterday was Edwards; today is Clinton). I think many people's minds will begin to be made up after tomorrow's debate (which is taking place in New Hampshire). Just about every voter I spoke with was well aware about it and would be watching. At this point, it seems like people are just trying to make up their minds about the candidates instead of getting hung up on one or two issues. Issues brought up by various voters included Iraq, immigration, and health care, but in the end, I think a great many people will sit down in front of the TV tomorrow night and make up their minds. I wouldn't be surprised to see a reasonably significant move in the daily tracking polls beginning on Sunday.
  1. John Edwards is trying to make a major push here in New Hampshire, given that he was unable to win the Iowa caucuses. I heard his ads on the radio the most, and there were many more Edwards lawn signs planted overnight. A new one here reads "The fight for the middle class is on!" I don't think it's particularly effective, given that Edwards' name is not prominently placed on the sign. In addition, the coloring for their signs is plain awful. It's a blue background with dark red lettering that makes it exceedingly difficult to even glance at as one drives by. All in all, I still think it's exceedingly unlikely that Edwards can grow his support here by much. Undecideds here are largely debating between Clinton and Obama, and of the Edwards supporters I have heard of, they are 'hard' supporters.
It's likely that pre-Iowa polling numbers in New Hampshire for Edwards reflect what is close to Edwards' ceiling in terms of support.



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