Mark Curtis's blog

Iowa Day # 4, "De-Parting Shots from Iowa!"

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I feel like the last person in Iowa. All the candidates are gone, and most of the media is on its way to New Hampshire. I follow on Saturday.

Here are some departing thoughts.

-Iowa is 95% white, yet voted strongly (38%) in favor of a Black male.

-Women vote in greater numbers than men, and many thought that favored Hillary Clinton. Instead, Barack Obama won the female vote.

-So Obama, transcends racial and gender steroetypes. What's the appeal? Perhaps its a positive message of unity and hope. Perhaps, he can still claim to be a Washington, DC "outsider" with only two years in the Senate. Ands perhaps his "middle class, midwest roots" played well here in the midwest. We'll see what Hew Hamshirites say!

-This is NOT over, on either side. If McCain and Clinton win in New Hampshire, then Thompson and Edwards win in South Carolina, we may have a 3-way free-for-all in both parties, heading for the national "showdown" on Super Tuesday, February 5th, which includes California.

-Are you voting absentee in California? The ballots are being mailed today. Will you be swayed by the first results in Iowa and New Hampshire? California voting officials estimate 30% of state voters will vote early, by absentee. Wow!

-Will Huckabee get an "Iowa Bounce?" Last I saw he had 5% of the New Hampshire GOP vote, running 5th among the GOP field. Let's see if he gains momentum and traction, over the next 4 days.

-McCain won New Hampshire in 2000, aboard a bus called "the Straight Talk Express!" Can he repeat? He has surged 10 points in the polls!

-1992 Bill Cinton dubbed himself "the comeback kid" after a weak start in Iowa, and a strong 2nd in the "Granite State." Can he help Hillary do the same?
Tune in Tuesday and find out!

I will be on KGO-AM 810 Radio with Ronn Owens next week Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from New Hampshire at 9:05. Watch for me 'live' with Ross McGowan, on "Mornings on Two" Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:40, as we assess the winners and losers.

See you from New Hampshire!

Mark

"Iowa: The Winners and the Losers"

(Des Moines, Iowa) -- OK, so Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama won the Iowa Caucuses. But who were the real winners and losers?

WINNERS:

1) Hope and Optimism: While Huckabee and Obama are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, some of the themes strike a similar chord. Last night in his victory speech, Obama said, "We are choosing hope over fear. We are choosing unity over division." Huckabee said, "It's not about who raises the most money. It's about raising the most hopes and aspirations." People like a positive message!

2) Political spouses. At the Edwards rally, people cheer for Elizabeth more than John. At Clinton events, people want to shake Bill's hand more than Hillary. At Obama events, when Baracak calls Michelle, "the love of my life" he really sounds sincere. Crowrds love it! Being a political spouse is tough work...so its nice to see these folks get some recognition.

3) Celebrity endorsements work....."sometimes" but not always. Oprah helped Obama, and Chuck Norris gave some "chops" to Huckabee's campaign...or was it Mrs. Norris, who stood behind Huckabee, and was the "buzz" of the CNN newsroom where I was working!

LOSERS:

1) Big Money. Mitt Romney spent $7.5 million here, but lost to Mike Huckabee, who spent only half a million.

2) Negative Ads: The only real attack ads came from Romney, attacking Huckabee. Romney got trounced. Memo to all candidates. Iowans HATE negative ads. Just ask Howard Dean and Dick Gephrardt from 2004. They led in the polls, then launched a vicious attack on each other and lost badly. As Howard Dean said, "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!

3) "Old material!" Hillary Clinton's speeches seem "old and tired," a rehash the stuff we have heard from the Clinton's over 16 years. Now that is NOT a slam on their policies, or them personally. But the speeches really need some new ideas, some energy and some inspiration. They just fell flat!

More to come from Iowa, then on to New Hampshire on Saturday!

Mark

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