early and often

This Thing Is Still Wide Open

Hillary and McCain

Photo: Getty Images

The rapidly emerging conventional wisdom after tonight’s victories in New Hampshire for Hillary Clinton and John McCain runs as follows:

• Both races are still up for grabs, although the Democrats have probably narrowed to a Barack-Hillary face-off.

• We’ll all be sick of hearing about The Cry very soon.

• Unless McCain runs the table through Florida, even Rudy still has a shot, because Republican momentum is so divided.

On the big question of the night — why were the polls showing Obama with a double-digit lead so wrong, and how did Hillary come back? — there are many answers. Because the media underplayed the margin of error, says Talking Points Memo. Because Democrats like a fighter, says Slate. Because people like to look racially progressive when they talk to pollsters but turn conservative in the voting booth (a.k.a. the “Bradley Effect”) says the National Review and many others (Franklin Foer has a less depressing variation on this theme, too.) Because New Hampshire voters didn’t want to copy Iowa again, says the New Republic. Because of voter backlash against the media’s Obama hype, says Andrew Sullivan. One thing is for sure: The year ahead is going to be pretty interesting.

This Thing Is Still Wide Open