Tonight’s surprise-twist ending in New Hampshire tonight just upped the odds at stake in South Carolina. No more talk about Hillary skipping South Carolina; she’s going to be going for a knockout punch; Obama will be if anything even more determined to win here.
Over on the Republican side, after a split decision between Iowa and N.H., South Carolina is looking more make-or-break for everybody.
I left the office tonight intending to drop by the McCain and Obama results-watching parties, having received e-mail notices of both. On the way, I stopped by the Romney HQ on Gervais when I saw the lights on. My timing wasn’t the greatest. The first place I had stopped leaving work was my daughter’s house, to visit the babies, and I didn’t realize what was happening in N.H. until I got to Romney’s place — just as Mr. Romney was on the tube giving his concession speech (rather gracefully, the part I heard). After asking Will Holley again to try to nail down a time for an endorsement interview ASAP, I bowed out.
The McCain gathering was a real party, the only one I saw tonight. Henry McMaster, and pretty much everybody I talked to, said there was now no question about it — McCain was going to win S.C. Of course, Romney and Huckabee (who was leading polls here last time I looked) will do their best to have something to say about that.
On the way to Obama HQ, I tried getting Zac Wright on the phone to see if there was a Clinton celebration somewhere, but no luck. The mood at Obama’s place was subdued, but not the end of the world. They, too, say they’re going to win here.
In any case, everybody on all sides are going to be busting their buns to do that, even harder that we thought when today began.