As Margaret Young pointed out in her recent comment on my post that incorrectly predicted the outcome of the Iowa caucus, Huckabee defeated Romney in the Iowa caucus by a larger margin than anyone predicted.

Score:
Bible-vomiting evangelicals bent on political suicide: 1
Republican establishment: 0

I still believe that it’s likely that Romney will win New Hampshire, though that outcome is substantially less certain.

The biggest loser among the Republicans is Giuliani. Romney is now the establishment candidate. If McCain can capitalize on his recent surge in New Hampshire, Huckabee’s rise will have pulled Giuliani to within striking distance for McCain (who, by virtue of this, is the biggest winner among the Republicans).

The biggest loser overall is Hillary. Third place is very bad for her, and it takes away her aura of mistake-proof unbeatability. She’s too good to count out, though. She is, in my mind, both (a) the most likely to defeat a Republican candidate come November (and I believe that if she’s nominated, then she’ll likely win), and (b) the least likely to adopt disruptive policies that will change the direction of the United States (cf., her husband’s administration, which was consisted primarily of preserving the status quo on the one hand, and riding the changes introduced by the a Republican Congress on the other).

I don’t think that Obama can win a general election for the presidency. Obama’s problem, first and foremost, is that he’s liberal. This plays to anxieties about the political outlook of African-Americans, which are the liberal counterpart of the anxieties folks have about the renegade conservatism of the religious-right. If we elect a preacher to the presidency, it will be a liberal. And if we elect a black to be president, he’ll be a conservative.