In the Arena

Hillarious Overkill

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Drudge has a banner headline: IS IT THE END? and a picture of New York’s Junior Senator up at his blog… and links to this story. Brother Fineman over at Newsweek is similarly dire, predicting that Clinton could lose all four of the early primaries.

Well, yes, she could. Or she could win a couple. Or win them all. The New Hampshire poll cited above has these interesting details:

Of the likely Democratic primary voters surveyed for the Monitor poll, 37 percent aren’t registered with a political party. When it came to those undeclared voters, Obama trounced his opponents: 40 percent of undeclared voters likely to vote in the Democratic primary backed Obama, compared with 23 percent for Clinton and 13 percent for former North Carolina senator John Edwards.

Clinton, in contrast, won the support of more registered Democrats: 36 percent said they’d vote for Clinton, compared with 27 percent for Obama and 21 percent for Edwards.

And while it’s fascinating–in a McCainian (2000) way–that the independents are drifting Obama-ward, Clinton still has a significant lead among more reliable Democrats.

The big thing is everyone, especially my colleagues, should calm down until further notice. Clinton has been overhyped, especially among right-wingers and TV hosts, from the start–and now the reverse hyperbole has kicked in. Neither was, and is, credible. Four years ago, about this time, Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean and a CNN host asked me, “Joe, is it over?” I replied, well, no one has actually voted yet. Same rule applies double here–Obama doesn’t have nearly the lead that Dean had. And I wouldn’t count John Edwards out, either. You want to see real momentum? Take a look over on the Republican side, at CHRISTIAN LEADER Huckabee.

I love a good horse race as much as anyone. But these definitive pronouncements as the horses make the clubhouse turn are just silly.