See here for other posts under "Politics" if you're interested in that sort of thing. The thing that spurred today's post is a poll that has Hillary Clinton with 50% of the approaching Iowa caucus, followed by Barack Obama with just 22%. I have liked Obama's chances since February or so, and I have actually liked some of what he's said. He also seems more believable to me than Clinton, although they are both masters of this game and would both probably do whatever they feel necessary to win. In any case, those poll numbers stunned me, even though it's been a runaway in Iowa for a while now. After thinking how this could be, it occurred to me that Iowa is just not a state that he would be expected to do well in, which begged the question, "which states COULD he do well in?" Well, not New York - Clinton should have that locked up. Florida, I would also think Clinton would have (I'm sticking with the big states here, since they determine the winner). Texas could go to Obama due to the innate loathing of Clinton that most Texans have. Illinois is Obama's home state, so I'll give that to him. The rest of the states, I'm not really up on, so we'll call those a tie for laziness's sake.
Which brings us to California. California was her solid beachhead, her main source of funding, and it's got ALL of those electoral votes. Then Obama came along and quickly garnered substantial star power of his own, with Oprah Winfrey being the 800-pound gorilla in his camp (her sway with the entertainment industry, with women, and with African-Americans is simply beyond measure). She's not the only Hollywood heavy on his side though. I honestly cannot give California to either Obama or Clinton at this point, and will state for the record that the winner of that primary will be the Democratic candidate for President and likely the next U.S. President. If I were those candidates, I would be spending at least one day a week between now and the February 5 California primary in the state and rely on my political machine to handle the rest of the numerous states holding primaries on that same day.
As astounding as it may seem, we should know the identity of the next U.S. President by the time we go to bed the night of February 5, 2008, less than 3 months from now and a full 9 months before the election (not to mention almost a year before he/she is inaugurated). For those who prefer stability and planning, life doesn't get much better than that.