Emory Report
January 14, 2008
Volume 60, Number 15

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January 14, 2008
N.H. primary defies polls

By Carol Clark

A record turnout of voters in the New Hampshire primary delivered a surprise comeback for Hillary Clinton and boosted John McCain’s bid. Emory experts weigh in on what remain lively and fluid races for the presidential nominations of both parties.

“Hillary really improved among women voters. She went from 30 percent of the women’s vote in Iowa to 46 percent in New Hampshire. Among men, Barack Obama beat her by 11 points. What Hillary has to do is expand her base of support to men, and also do well among minorities, as the contest moves into more diverse electorates.” Merle Black, Asa G. Candler Professor of Politics and Government

“The South Carolina primary is going to be a crucial test for both parties. For the Democrats, it’s the first test of a large black vote. For the Republicans, it will be a real test to see whether John McCain can build on New Hampshire and win in a state with a more conservative Republican electorate. The Republican race could go on beyond Super Tuesday. For the first time in decades, we could see a Republican convention where the outcome is not preordained.” Alan Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science

“The New Hampshire primary confirmed that, for both parties, the race for the presidential nomination is still up in the air. The high level of competition bodes well for increased voter turnout as the primaries continue. However, [the New Hampshire] contest taught the leading Democratic candidates a valuable lesson: one must play to the base. If a candidate fails to capture the imagination of the base, he or she will lose a partisan caucus or primary.” Andra Gillespie, assistant professor of political science