Though it’s too early to draw a lot of dramatic conclusions, there were some interesting data points from Iowa that might spread across some other contests:
Remember how this was going to be such a critical election because we’re in the middle of the war of our generation? Turns out Iowa voters, especially on the GOP side, didn’t give that aspect much consideration as they put Huckabee at the top of their list. And Huckabee is incredibly (shockingly even) weak on foreign policy issues.
The divide between Left and Right will not blur or blend at all this election season. While Obama pushes the unity message, the difference between the top three on the Dem side and the top two on the GOP side could not be more dramatic – especially when it comes to so-called family values and the religiosity of politics.
The Dem race really began at the Boston convention in 2004. Hillary (with an assist from Bill) was the one with the star power. But Obama was the one who rocked the house (and even spoke at the first ever Blogger’s Breakfast) and inspired the crowd, and had many wishing he were running instead of the boring Kerry. The Obama excitement overwhelming Hilary trend continued through Iowa.
Huckabee has no chance of winning the nomination, but even this step should concern those of a more secular/sane ilk. Not that they shouldn’t have been concerned before.
The GOP looks almost certain to be divided and searching for a candidate for a while. This is exactly the opposite of the strategy that put W in the White House.
And finally, it’s perfectly American and entirely normal to be sitting home tonight and thinking to yourself: “Iowa? Where the fuck is Iowa?”