The Democratic race has very little issue differential among the three major candidates. All are reliable liberals. The differences go to style — Edwards the angry (really angry) populist, Clinton the establishment candidate with experience, and Obama the candidate calling not just for “change” but for a “new kind of politics.” It will be interesting to learn what he means by that, but for right now, he has the momentum of Iowa and an enormous following among young voters and independents, enough to make “regular Democrats” in New Hampshire grumble that “outsiders” are taking over their party. It’s almost a spiritual attraction for Obama’s supporters and there is little the vaunted Clinton machine can do to stop him.

Clinton's belated claim to be the change advocate that gets things done is ironically an echo of the Bush 2000 slogan as a “Reformer with Results.” Oh, the horror. This has frustrated President Bill who grumbles not so privately that Hillary has been unfairly treated by the media. Bill, the ride doesn’t last forever; just be glad you were on top for so long.

Prediction: Obama to win by a comfortable margin approaching 10 points with a possible clinching victory in South Carolina. If Obama can win two nearly all white states, what can he do in a state where nearly 50% of the primary voters are black?

The Republican race is still fluid. Mitt Romney built his campaign around winning Iowa and New Hampshire and riding the momentum (there’s that word again) to the nomination. He’s already lost Iowa to Mike Huckabee and is trailing John McCain in New Hampshire, though not by as large a margin as Clinton to Obama. The central weakness of the Romney candidacy has always been that he seems prepackaged and assembled to be the “ideal” Republican who is not objectionable to any part of the party. He inspires very few, but he cannot be counted out here because of a seemingly endless amount of money and lots of negative commercials. John McCain is stressing his national security experience, his battles to restrain federal spending and his independent thinking. McCain has a large institutional following in New Hampshire who like maverick candidates, and if at least 30 percent of the Republican electorate are independents (those horrible independents again), he should win. There’s an interesting three-way battle for third place among Huckabee, Giuliani and Ron Paul. Third place is worth something here, especially to Huckabee or Rudy.

Prediction: McCain to win a hard-fought victory with Huckabee third for bragging rights, thus effectively ending Romney’s campaign and setting up a showdown in South Carolina between McCain and Huckabee.