Monday, January 7, 2008

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I'm not saying this definitively, but I'm pretty sure that in a past life, Mark Penn killed a man

Your humble blogger has returned from his overseas travels in better physical shape but still jet-lagged.

I'm not so jet-lagged, however, to not appreciate this supreme bit of karmic payback that Hillary Clinton pollster Mark Penn might be facing this Tueday.

I received the following in an e-mail from Clinton's press office on Saturday (likely authored by Penn) entitled "WHERE IS THE BOUNCE?":

Two polls that had the race within a few points before the Iowa caucuses have the race tied in New Hampshire after the Iowa caucuses.

In today's CNN/WMUR New Hampshire poll, Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama are tied at 33 percent - their last two polls had Hillary up 4 points and before that had Hillary down 2 points, so there is no statistically significant change in their numbers before and after the Iowa caucuses.

And the Concord Monitor is out as well today with a poll showing the race at 33 percent for Hillary Clinton, 34 percent for Barack Obama and 23 percent for John Edwards exactly the same margin as before Iowa.

Contrast that with the 17 points John Kerry gained in 2004 in the Boston Globe poll, which catapulted him from a 17-point deficit to a 20-point lead in New Hampshire after the Iowa caucuses. Or with the 7 points Al Gore gained in 2000 in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, increasing his lead in New Hampshire from 5 points to 18 points.

New Hampshire voters are fiercely independent. They will make their own decisions about who to support.

According to Reuters, the fiercely independent New Hampshire voters are beginning to make their decision:
Democrat Barack Obama rocketed to a 10-point lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire one day before their showdown in the state's presidential primary, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Monday.

This is the first of the rolling New Hampshire polls taken entirely after last week's caucuses in Iowa, where Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee scored breakthrough wins that left Clinton and Romney reeling.

Obama, an Illinois senator bidding to make history as the first black U.S. president, gained 11 points on Clinton to lead the one-time Democratic front-runner 39 percent to 29 percent. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards was third with 19 percent.

"This is a breathtaking movement in Obama's direction," said pollster John Zogby. "It's a surge for Obama and movement away from Clinton."

To be fair to Penn, not all of the tracking polls are showing this big a lead.

Still, there's something about the initial press release that suggests that karmic payback is coming.

posted by Dan on 01.07.08 at 09:02 AM


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