UNITED STATES

Our Observers comment on the NH results

The results of the primaries turned forecasts on their head. Our Observers assess the surprising comebacks of .

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The results of the primaries turned forecasts on their head. Our Observers assess the surprising comebacks of Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

The New Hampshire ‘Roller Coaster of Surprises!’

Tuesday night's New Hampshire Primary rollercoaster blew Iowa's excitement (on 3 January)completely out of the water!

Last week, we saw the liberal African-American Illinois Senator Barack Obama wow Iowa's young voters and independents to seize victory in one of the whitest states ( 97.5 %) in the country. And on the other side of the political spectrum, we saw the ultra-conservative Baptist Minister Mike Huckabee coast to victory thanks to a huge turnout of Evangelical voters (who made up 60% of Iowa Republican voters).

Now this time around in New Hampshire no one expected back-to-back victories for Huckabee (with only 20% of the Republicans in New Hampshire identifying themselves as Evangelical). However, Obama had catapulted ahead in the New Hampshire polls, following Iowa's super showing - the Illinois Senator overcame a double-digit deficit in the polls and all of the sudden leapt ahead as the big favorite ...

But something happened at Tuesday night's New Hampshire Primary that defied all the polls and pundits ... Hillary Clinton, who was preparing herself for back-to-back losses, managed a completely unexpected win, turning the tables on Obama and getting to play, herself, the "comeback kid!"

There are reports now that say, out of nowhere, women over 40 showed up in droves at the very last minute, sweeping Hillary Clinton to victory ... Now there was an episode earlier in the week where Hillary Clinton became teary-eyed in front of the cameras ... and it appears it made her appear more human to voters who originally saw her as cold, calculating and robotic. Could that have been one of the determining factors that shot Clinton to first? Nobody really knows. Regardless, it still needs to be stressed that a large number of New Hampshire voters remained undecided until the very last minute, which might have played a role in proving the polls wrong. And it is also worthy to note that almost half of the Democratic Primary voters were independents (an incredibly significant amount).

Prior to the Clinton win, pundits were asking if Obama just might coast to victory in the upcoming states. But this fateful New Hampshire evening put the Clintons (you have to include Bill here!) back on the warpath!

“Mac is back!” -- but which one is the question

Somebody snuck into the political morgue tonight and cut the toe tag off Republican John McCain's campaign in New Hampshire. "Mac is back!," his supporters chanted.

The question, though, is which McCain is back - the honorable, independent, truth-speaking maverick ... or the guy who started backing away from his own views as he got closer to announcing a presidential run? While Republicans Mitt Romney and Rudolph Giuliani have flip-flopped so much they're making Sen. John Kerry look consistent, McCain started backtracking too - especially in coddling up to the far evangelical right he once said did not share his views.

Somehow, though, he overcame an internal campaign staff battle, his positions on Iraq and immigration, and a string of political obituaries. Tonight, he sounded more like the old John McCain. The McCain independents and moderates on both sides of the aisle can get excited about supporting.