« | »

NYT Says Iowa Turnout Spells Doom For GOP

From those deep thinkers at the New York Times:

Obama Takes Iowa in a Big Turnout as Clinton Falters; Huckabee Victor

By ADAM NAGOURNEY

Published: January 4, 2008

DES MOINES — Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a first-term Democratic senator trying to become the nation’s first African-American president, rolled to victory in the Iowa caucuses on Thursday night, lifted by a record turnout of voters who embraced his promise of change.

The victory by Mr. Obama, 46, amounted to a startling setback for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, 60, of New York, who just months ago presented herself as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. The result left uncertain the prospects for John Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, who had staked his second bid for the White House on winning Iowa.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Edwards, who edged her out for second place by less than a percentage point, both vowed to stay in the race.

“They said this day would never come,” Mr. Obama said as he claimed his victory at a packed rally in downtown Des Moines.

On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas who was barely a blip on the national scene just two months ago, defeated Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, delivering a serious setback to Mr. Romney’s high-spending campaign and putting pressure on Mr. Romney to win in New Hampshire next Tuesday.

Mr. Huckabee, a Baptist minister, was carried in large part by evangelical voters, who helped him withstand extensive spending by Mr. Romney on television advertising and a get-out-the-vote effort.

“Tonight we proved that American politics is still in the hands of ordinary folks like you,” said Mr. Huckabee, who ran on a platform that combined economic populism with an appeal to social conservatives.

Mr. Huckabee won with 34.4 percent of the delegate support, after 86 percent of precincts had reported. Mr. Romney had 25.4 percent, former Senator Fred D. Thompson of Tennessee had 13.4 percent and Senator John McCain of Arizona had 13.2 percent.

On the Democratic side, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Obama had 37.6 percent of the delegate support, Mr. Edwards 29.8 percent and Mrs. Clinton had 29.5 percent. Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico was fourth, at 2.11 percent.

Two Democrats, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, dropped out of the race after winning only tiny percentages of the vote.

A record number of Democrats turned out to caucus — more than 239,000, compared with fewer than 125,000 in 2004 — producing scenes of overcrowded firehouses and schools and long lines of people waiting to register their preferences.

The images stood as evidence of the success of Mr. Obama’s effort to reach out to thousands of first-time caucusgoers, including many independent voters and younger voters. The huge turn-out — by contrast, 108,000 Republicans caucused on Thursday — demonstrated the extent to which opposition to President Bush has energized Democrats, and served as another warning to Republicans about the problems they face this November in swing states like this.

Mr. Obama’s victory in this overwhelmingly white state was a powerful answer to the question of whether America was prepared to vote for a black person for president. What was remarkable was the extent to which race was not a factor in this contest. Surveys of voters entering the caucuses also indicated that he had won the support of many independents, a development that his aides used to rebut suggestions from rivals that he could not win a general election. In addition, voters clearly rejected the argument that Mr. Obama does not have sufficient experience to take over the White House, a central point pressed by Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Obama took the stage, smiling broadly and clapping his hands in response to the roar of cheers that greeted him.

“They said this country was too divided, too disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose,” Mr. Obama said. “But on this January night, at this defining moment in history, you have done what the cynics said we couldn’t do.” …

The Turnout

Isn’t it interesting the several moral lessons that the New York Times discovers in Barack Obama’s victory. Yet there are none to be found in Mr. Huckabee’s — which is probably even more of a surprise.

But of course, no matter what, the hapless GOP is in trouble:

The huge turn-out — by contrast, 108,000 Republicans caucused on Thursday — demonstrated the extent to which opposition to President Bush has energized Democrats, and served as another warning to Republicans about the problems they face this November in swing states like this.

It couldn’t be that the huge turnout was due to the media attention to the race, Oprah Winfrey, or maybe even the “extent to which opposition to” Mrs. Clinton has energized Democrats.

Nope, it was all Bush’s fault.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 4th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “NYT Says Iowa Turnout Spells Doom For GOP”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.


« Front Page | To Top
« | »