Update 1/8/08 11:22pm EST: Well, it’s more or less over.  Clinton has clinched this one, although narrowly.  This just goes to show what I said earlier, that people called it far too early.  Obama was predicted to come out of this with a huge lead, and instead he come out with a narrow loss.  I also thought McCain was called too early, though that prediction ended up being right.

I think we’ve seen now that the two races are not going to have certain winners for a long while now.  Doubtlessly, McCain, Huckabee, and Romney will keep fighting until the bitter end on this.  Same for Obama, Clinton, and Edwards (but particularly the first two) on the Democratic side.  I think it’s pretty clear now who the front runners will be for the rest of the race.  Giuliani will perhaps win his home state of New York, and perhaps another state or so, if he’s lucky.  Still, I think doing this bad in two key states has spelled the beginning of the end for him.  I think Paul will probably stay in for a while longer as well, but I would not be surprised to see Thompson and Hunter pull out soon.  In fact, if Hunter doesn’t pull before South Carolina, I’d be very surprised.  1% and 0% for the first two states, respectively, is not very good at all.  Thompson, though…come on.  He’ll probably do okay in his home state, but I think it’s over for him.  I still maintain that Huckabee’s got the lead in the South.

As for the Dems, Gravel had better start packing, too.  He’s done worse than Dodd in both states now, and Dodd pulled out last week.  It’s over Gravel, move on.  It’s going to be interesting to see how all three candidates from both sides flip back and forth between top and 2nd or 3rd in the next couple big primaries & caucuses.  However, I think it’ll be more interesting on the Republican side, because we really don’t know which of the three will clinch it.  The Dems, I think it’ll be either Obama or Clinton, but for the Republicans, it’s a big question mark at this point.

And with that, I’ll see you for South Carolina.

Update 1/8/08 10pm EST: Still way too close to call. Instead, I’ll just write something up when somebody else calls it. Not even going to try. But, I’ll say one thing. Clinton’s been going strong for a while now.

Looks like McCain clenched it for the Republicans, as expected, but looks like it’s going to be close for the Democrats. I think people were expecting this big Obama blow away, but even if he wins, I think Clinton is going to find herself with a comfortable margin behind him. And she needs it right now.

I won’t call it yet, though. Be back at about 50% of precincts reporting in.

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