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Why Was Hillary’s 29% Showing in Iowa a “Devastating Loss?”

- January 8, 2008

With Obama surging in New Hampshire, I can understand why some journalists are saying that a loss in New Hampshire would be a devastating loss for Clinton, but what I didn’t understand was why they were saying that Clinton’s 29% showing in Iowa was a “devastating loss.” For example, see these news stories: the result of her devastating loss in Iowa (Time), a devastating and humiliating loss (Fox News), critically wounded by her devastating loss in Iowa (NY Post).

You get the idea. I know Clinton was favored to win Iowa a year ago when the polls were meaningless, but more recently, most of the polls had Obama winning the caucus and Edwards and Clinton fighting it our for second place. No one has been saying that Edwards’ 30% showing in Iowa was a devastating loss. So if Clinton’s 29% was expected, why was her loss so devastating? Maybe a left-wing media conspiracy? All kidding aside, I’m just perplexed by the post-Iowa news coverage.

P.S. Does anyone remember Bill finishing fourth in Iowa with 3% (yes, Harkin the Iowa native was in that caucus) and second in NH with 24.8% going on to win the nomination?