Some of you may recall that I predicted Barack Obama would attract such a large number of indepdendent voters away from John McCain, it would result in Obama and Mitt Romney winning the primary.
To be sure, Obama attracted a lot of independent voters. One exit poll I saw indicated that he had more independents than Democrats. (That doesn’t bode well for the future, when states’ primaries are closed to independents – and it could benefit Clinton).
So what happened? It appears the independent voters walked away from the Iowa winner because the tracking polls showed him doing so well. It’s almost like they thought “Obama doesn’t need my vote, he’s going to win — I think I’ll vote for McCain.”
For McCain, it’s on to Michigan. Romney’s firewall. Romney’s father was governor Michigan, and Mitt has bought TV time in the state for this next week. And, we have a full week of campaigning in the Great Lakes state. Don’t forget Huckabee and Giuliani, tho — they were both competitive in polls in December. And it will be important as a lead in to South Carolina just four days later.*
The Democrats are skipping Michigan, with only Clinton’s name on the ballot there. The results will be meaningless. They are moving on to Nevada the 19th and South Carolina on the 26th. Nevada is a closed caucus, so Obama’s independent appeal will be irrelevant.
It will be interesting to see how the campaigns spin the results… and how the pundits analyze them.
* NOTE: Republicans vote in South Carolina on Saturday the 19th, Democrats vote a week later.