Hillary will portray the loss as entirely media/momentum driven, citing the only five days since Iowa (she has already begun to put out the message that the race really beings in California).
Edwards, who has declared he is in the race through the convention, just needs to stay in the hunt, and he will. If he remains in the race much past New Hampshire it will only serve to emphasize Obama's claim as the more legitimate agent of change versus Clinton. The Democratic nomination is now Obama's to lose.
Still, for the superstitious, consider these facts:
- One -- and only one -- modern-day candidate has lost both Iowa and New Hampshire and gone on to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency: Bill Clinton.
- The last Democrat to win both Iowa and New Hampshire and lose the election: John Kerry.
Iowa victor Huckabee's distant third finish -- possibly in single digits -- reveals his fundamental lack of viability.
Romney will say that he is leading in the medal race, with two silvers (and Wyoming gold), and that the race really begins in Michigan anyway. He must win decisively in the Motor State, where his father governed but the Detroit Free Press prefers McCain, to be considered more than just a poseur trying to buy an election.