Democratic New Hampshire Primary - Prediction Time!archives.cnn.com
Made popular 2296 days ago in Opinion
boston.com — Hampshire primary, candidates are toughening their messages and sharpening their attacks. But as Democrats and Republicans prepare for tonight's televised debates, it is interesting to note what they are not saying.

On the Democratic side, meanwhile, many candidates don't mention what has become the hot-button issue of the campaign, illegal immigration. Many Democrats support the general idea of allowing illegal immigrants to have a pathway to citizenship, a proposal made by President Bush and once backed by McCain. (McCain now says he will come up with a different plan if elected president.)

All of this underscores the significance of tonight's back-to-back debates with Republicans and Democrats. Day in and day out, candidates shape their message with advisers or focus groups. At town meetings, they tend to give canned answers no matter what questions are asked. So a debate can give voters a chance to get beyond the sound bites and 30-second commercials. A wide range of issues can be examined, and candidates must think on their feet.

With that in mind, here are three things to watch for in tonight's debates:

- Will Hillary Clinton make good on her pledge to draw sharp contrasts with her opponents, Iowa victor Barack Obama and John Edwards?

- How will candidates tailor their appeal to New Hampshire's famously independent voters, many of whom are expected to choose between McCain and Obama?

- Will the debates be dominated by discussion of illegal immigration, as has happened often on the campaign trail, or will moderators emulate recent Iowa debates and seek the discussion to other issues?

Posted by HStern
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Who do you predict will win the Democratic New Hampshire Primary?
Hillary Clinton
16%
Barack Obama
68%
John Edwards
16%
This is not a scientific survey, click here to learn more. Results may not total 100% due to rounding and voting descrepencies.
User Comments
Posted 2296 days ago
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Hillary (if she gets credit for her co-dependent, co-presidency): Botched an opportunity to deliver health care, brought us a devastating trade program (China and NAFTA), participated in a (very undignified) psycho-drama administration (read David Georgen's account), co-opted the Republican welfare-to-work program that destroyed a lot of poor families and greatly benefited corporations that enjoyed a burgeoned labor force and reaped tax write-offs in the process. And she voted, not once, but twice, to grant Shrub's invasion permission. And her campaign tactics make her look like Rove in drag.

(To paraphrase Texan Jim Hightower, 'it's not that we don't like her; we just can't stand that skunk she's dragging along beside her.' And fellow Texan, Molly Ivins-who never missed a chance to remind people that she had warned against the election of fellow-Texan George Bush, emphatically advertised that she would NEVER vote for Hillary.)

Obama: Not enough experience? Reformers don't get the chance to build a long resume' because the powers cream them quickly because they threaten their strangle-hold. And he takes the tough stands, doesn't engage in the mud-slinging but doesn't allow mud-balls to be ignored. He's a judicious unifier and includer, giving every argument dignity and honor, but always coming down on the side of justice and right-and brotherhood. He's our only hope.
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