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January 07, 2008

The 2008 Elections Are Not Over After One Measly Vote

It's amazing to me how many people are eager to call a winner after one small state, in some of the most unorthodox voting procedures known to man, made its selection of two candidates to receive delegates, representing a miniscule portion of the totals needed to declare a winner.

While Obama and Huckabee were not necessarily the front-runners three months ago or six months ago, and it was clear both the Clinton campaign and Romney campaign had hoped for more than they received, not to mention the campaigns for Edwards, Giuliani or Thompson, one loss does not indicate it's all over.

Yet, I can't seem to read a single story on the New Hampshire primary that doesn't have some side element of how Hillary might drop out if she loses to Obama here, or that Mitt Romney's campaign is teetering on the brink of disaster. It's completely asinine. And the ensuing tidal wave of "what day will Hillary give up?" stories, with everybody jumping on the Obama bandwagon, is driving me a little nuts.

Yes, tradition has it that Iowa and New Hampshire go first. Great. But if you think this political contest is over, when delegate-rich states like California, Texas and Florida haven't even entered the voting booth, then something is terribly wrong. A whole swath of states is set to make a real impact in early February on Super Tuesday. California specifically made this move so we would be part of the process. Heck, I remember we used to hold our primaries in June! And yet, it'd just be easier for the media and the TV gasbags to declare a winner after one vote. Ridiculous.

If you want to get it all over with in one swoop, then maybe the right thing to do is have a national primary for both parties on the same day to choose a nominee. If not, then let the people vote. Let the people who work behind desks have as much impact as those who work behind tractors and quiet down already. And Hillary? Romney? Please don't think of giving up. Yet. The political process needs continued discussion. We have hardly begun.