It’s now about eight hours until close of polls in New Hampshire. Back at home, Britain is clocking off. So this is my last thought for today. Question: which lesser noticed factors might tip the balance in the Democratic race? In no particular order, the factors which might upset Obama, or help Clinton, include:
- Years. The people I meet in New Hampshire are mostly not under 25. The people I meet on Obama’s team, and at Obama’s events, mostly are. Will the older majority deliver a surprise?
- Tears. Hillary’s crying incident yesterday is being talked about a lot, both by campaigns and by voters. It has certainly given her more coverage. It has also shown she has changed her behaviour. But can looking vulnerable actually help her win?
- Toil and sweat. Each state with a primary has a basically autonomous “field” operation, to get out the vote. In Iowa, Obama surprised everyone by having a better operation than Hillary. In New Hampshire the same may not be true.
- Husbands. Twice today I’ve met voters who have used phrases like “with Hillary, you get two for the price of one.” Bill Clinton was hugely popular here. His presence has been little reported, but it might it make a difference.
- Sunshine. It’s a gorgeous sunny day here today, with temperatures even inching above freezing. For New Hampshire in January this is global warming came early. But will the warm temperatures mean a higher turnout of cold-fearing oldsters or idle, sunshine-seeking youngsters? This split is critical for Clinton and Obama, who dominate old and young voters respectively.
- Bloody minded independents. It is almost a trope of New Hampshire polit…