Concord, NH -
Greetings from the dock at Snow Pond. We're blogging lakeside, literally. Its a late September scorcher here in the Granite State with temps pushing the mid-to-upper eighties in the Merrimack Valley. I can't wait to finish this post and jump immediately into the water before I put a suit on and head to Hanover, where the Democrats are at it again, debating tonight at Dartmouth College, home of the Big Green.
Here's to hoping that the hot weather will get the candidates all hot and bothered up on the stage, and jolt a bit of metaphorical lightning to go with the actual stuff that hit the Republicans a few months ago.
The stage is certainly set for it. Although I have stated before (and will state forevermore) that polls aren't important to us here at 3Q, we'll put up a willing suspension of disbelief for a moment to take a look at the latest snapshot.
According to the CNN/WMUR Poll that came out yesterday, Clinton is stomping all over everyone (yes, I chose the Gore inclusive polling results, in part because they don't dramatically change the landscape. He draws his votes from a fairly even set of candidates).
No opinion 9%
But what interests me more is the level of decisiveness of those sampled, cuz it ain't very high. Which means there is still hope for the other eight, even if it slims with each passing poll.
Definitely decided 17%
Leaning toward someone 28%
Still trying to decide 55%
So what does that mean? Even if we ignore the issues of the latest Biden/Richardson tussle and the Joe Trippi e-mail and the fact that Mike Gravel aka Ol' Uncle Ornery is in the house, tonight's debate will hopefully be the bloodiest yet, if only on account of those poll numbers.
Think about it, Clinton at 41% (or 43 without Gore) is scary. And not just because of the whole Bush family Presidency number coincidence. Especially in an eight-person race. Add in the fact that the primary really starts in the fall, and we're talking FIGHT.
What better time to lay claim to those 55% undecided, and win over the 28% leaning than under the bright lights of the MSNBC cameras? Clinton is great in the debate setting, chock full of knowledge and poise, and always on message. But anyone can be rattled.
Tonight no one is safe.
All the earlier debates have been pretty wimpy, with the exception of Fightin' Joe Biden coming to our rescue at the youtube showdown.
But now its different, now its real. The voters are going to have to start deciding here pretty soon, and the debates are just he forum to kickstart it.
Because, if its not love, then its the bomb that will bring us together.
Now its time to drop trou and hit the pond. See you suckers in the spin room.
On the Primary Tip,