Well, we are now well into September and the political races are heating up…or so we should think. However, on the Democratic side of the house it appears to me that things are at a low simmer. Over the Summer, the race was brought to a boil and now the cook has turned down the heat. Strange thing for this to happen when no one has even voted yet and certainly many people would completely disagree with this assessment; especially Edwards, Obama, and Richardson. But ultimately, Hillary has already won the nomination. While Barack Obama is still extremely exciting and popular and has the backing of a strong group of individuals, his hayday was July and August. He has faded and will continue to.
You see, the Democratic race (and one may be able to argue the GOP at a lesser level) is dying because voters feel that Hillary is unavoidable candidate to represent their party in the General. As a result, people are going to be less inclined to support the other candidates. It seems to me that Obama has some extremely strong backing, perhaps the strongest in the entire race for both parties, however more and more big names are turning to Hillary. I believe that most of those Hillary supporters, or at least the recent converts, like Obama more and believe that he would be a better president. There are probably a lot of voters that feel the same way. But because people want to back the eventual winner, most of those endorsements and votes will ultimately go to Clinton; despite the fact that if they all voted for whom they actually liked best, Obama would win.
The only state that is remotely competitive right now is Iowa. There is a solid race and if the winner is anyone but Hillary, that candidate may have a small chance to really use that as momentum. But most likely, there will not be a quick enough turn over and bumb before New Hampshire, where Hillary currently leads by 20. Once Hillary wins New Hampshire, the ball will be in her court and the nomination will be hers. So here is my prediction, you already know that I am picking Hillary for the nomination, but I will predict that she will win 48 states. She will lose Illinois and New Mexico, and New Mexico is just a shot in the dark, I think the ever popular Richardson can pull that out. This prediction of course is assuming that both Obama and Richardson are still in the race come Feb. 5th. If one or both drops out before then, that respective state will go to Hillary. It is well within the realm of possibility that Clinton could win all 50 states and DC.
What this does for Clinton is it allows her to save her money for the general election, where she already has a much larger war chest than any GOPer. She can do a minimum of campaigning now, for she is the most well known of the candidates and she has the media to give her free positive advertising. If I were Obama, I would quickly realize that the race is all but over and hold off until 2012 or 2016. If he plays his cards right he will be a perfect Dem candidate. He is still young enough for the wait to not matter too much.
This win by Hillary in such a manner ultimately establishes her as the de facto incumbent candidate. With this status, the money, and the fact that the GOP are eating themselves alive in an extremely close race, Hillary not only holds the advantage in the primary, but also in the general. Much to my chagrin.