I am low on analysis this morning. The truth is that we have very little idea what happened, though it may get pieced together over time. My sense is that this is a very volatile election, and Dems are feeling a little plucky and les timid than they were in '04 when they took a dull, safe candidate. I work in an office with mostly women, and they were buoyant this morning, so perhaps that suggests a trend.
For me, it was like a gut shot. I almost would have preferred that Obama lost Iowa so that my hopes wouldn't have gone so high. While the media is describing this as a horse race now, and many are still predicting an Obama win, I don't buy it. He needed to win in NH, and to definitely close Hillary out, he needed to do it convincingly. I have always been of the mind that she could weather a series of hits. Now Obama will have to justify his campaign, and that will be far harder to do in the minds of casual, uninformed voters than it was for Hillary. Electorally, he'll have to do decently in Nevada (even after Iowa he was trailing by eight) win South Carolina, and then hope against hope for some big upsets on Super Tuesday. Hillary's path is far easier. Going into Super Tuesday, she'll have wins in NH, Nevada, and Florida (not to mention Michigan--which she will mention), and Obama will be sitting on Iowa and South Carolina.
Here are the states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah. You'd imagine that Hillary will win CA, NY, NJ, CN, DE and split some of the rest. Those states alone are worth 932 delegates--almost half on offer for the day. Splitting the rest puts her in a massive lead.
Things are too weird to get overly exercised about it, I guess, but this is a troubling day for the Obama campaign.