Clinton and McCain Comeback in New Hampshire

Different state, different result. While Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee were the clear winners in Iowa last week, it was Hillary Clinton and John McCain, Iowa’s approximate third-place vote-getters, who came out on top in New Hampshire yesterday. Senator Clinton’s win over Senator Obama was especially surprising to most of the political pundits.

What lesson should we take away from the vote in New Hampshire? Mainly, that pundits are not right nearly as much as they think they are. The conventional wisdom of the professional pundits had Hillary down-and-out after last week’s Iowa caucus, and most political experts were completely discounting McCain’s chances over six months ago, long before any vote was to be taken. Those views look rather absurd in light of yesterday’s primary.

So does this mean that Clinton and McCain are now destined to receive the nominations of their respective parties? Of course not; predicting that would be making the same stupid mistake in reverse. We simply never know how people will cast their votes until they actually do, and all the political hypothesizing should be taken with a grain of salt.

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