Thursday, January 03, 2008

Obama, Huckabee Draw First Blood

But super sunday will tell the tale

After months of nail-biting anxiety, the United States presidential primaries have kicked off.

Republican Mike Huckabee claimed a crucial first victory on the first primary of the season, the Iowa straw poll. Barack Obama beat out his Democrat competitors.

Obama won the support of an impressive 38% of Iowa voters, while Clinton and John Edwards claimed 29% and 30% of the vote, respectively. Huckabee won 34% of the vote, with Ames straw poll winner Mitt Romney settling for 25%. John McCain, who left Iowa for a jump-start on the New Hampshire poll, tied Fred Thompson with 13%.

Already, candidates have begun to abandon their campaign, as Democrats Joe Biden and Chris Dodd have both elected to drop out of the race.

Things are about to get very interesting.

Although claiming a first win is a crucial feat, the Presidential picture will likely remain murky until the February 6 "super Tuesday" primaries, when California, Alaska, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Conneticiutt and Delaware all go to their caucuses.

In the meantime, however, the race will begin to take on its first signs of political intrigue, as New Hampshire, Nevada, Michigan, Florida and South Carolina will all have held their own primaries. As victories are claimed and other candidates realize they can no longer win, support will inevitably be lent to other candidates. Things will get interesting as people begin to speculate what price has been paid for the endorsements of drop out candidates.

Even for those who rarely pay attention to American politics, the coming months will most certainly make them sit up and take notice.

First blood has been drawn in the race to determine who will contest the 2008 presidential election, but the show's only begun.

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