The John Edwards campaign reckons the Iowa Caucus result as a "repudiation of Hillary Clinton". They may well be right, but it's also a repudiation of John Edwards, who put a huge effort into Iowa. There is only one story tonight, the clear victory for Barack Obama. Remember, this is Iowa, a state with less than 5% non white voters. Watch the polls in other States move towards Obama and away from Clinton. New York and Florida are the ones to keep an eye on. If Clinton starts leaking support in her home state of New York she might as well look forward to a happy retirement.
The result on the Republican side is less meaningful. I find it difficult to believe that Huckabee's appeal will stretch far beyond the so-called Bible Belt. Mitt Romney's poor showing tonight will not only hit his campaign's self confidence, but also his ability to raise money. Giuliani is also finding fundraising tricky. Does this mean the real money as well as the smart money will also now switch back to John McCain? As I write this, McCain is level with Fred Thompson in third place on about 13% of the vote. He's done virtually no campaigning in the state so this is a good result for him. If he can win in New Hampshire, it will be John McCain who has what George Bush in 1980 called "the Big Mo". Momentum is everything in Presidential elections. As of now, Obama and McCain have it and the rest do not. It really is that simple.
Prediction: Fred Thompson will exit the campaign within days.
UPDATE 3.45am: Romney and Clinton can take comfort from the fact that in 1992 Bill Clinton only got 3% in Iowa but went on to win the nomination. In 1988 the nominee Michael Dukakis got 22% and was 3rd. For the Republicans in 1988 Bob Dole beat VP (and nominee) George HW Bush by 37% to 19%. Pat Robertson got 25%. Info from Kiwiblog.