New Hampshire, the state that launched Bill Clinton's comeback 16 years ago when he came a dramatic second in the primaries in 1992, again proved to be good territory for the Clinton's last night after Hillary Clinton's dramatic two point win over Barack Obama. The result seems to have confounded the pollsters, but is there any one factor that decided it ?
The press are putting it all down to Hillary Clinton's honest near tearful episode, which they say went down well with undecided voters and with women in particular, but there are other factors in play.
What abut the opinion polls ? Yesterday polls were showing Obama consistently in the lead, with some polls giving him a 10% to 13 %. This, to some extent, in the primary system worked against Obama. I read on the BBC website a comment from an American in New Hampshire (yesterday - which I cannot find today) which said that he was an Independent but he strongly supported Barack Obama, but if Obama looked safe, he would vote in the Republican primary because he would use his vote for McCain as he looked less likely to win his primary election. With the result in New Hampshire being so close, how many Obama supporters did likewise, sure that their man would win ?
And what about the role of the media. Did their "Obama is unstoppable" 24 hour news coverage cause a backlash as well as an overconfidence amongst his voters ? Did his inevitable victory, as the press saw it, lead some people to vote for Hillary just so she was not humiliated ?
Then there is the issue of Republican voters. Who do they fear most in the White House ? Hillary, of course. But who do they fear on the election trail ? Barack Obama. Republicans hate the idea of Hillary in the White House (after all, they don't want her introducing free health care), but the Republicans know that she is likely to put off independents and a push more voters toward the Republican candidate. This could make all the difference in the key swing states. So did some Republicans wanting to create problems for Hillary vote for her ?
Whatever the reason for Clinton's success, it makes the whole campaign much more fun for the outsider, like me, and tells us more that ever that you should never write off the Clinton's.