The New Hampshire voters have once again muddied the waters in both political parties. Some are even suggesting the races could extend to the convention floors this summer.
Of course, a real convention battle for the nomination hasn't taken place in more than a half century (though Republican incumbent Gerald Ford did have to wrestle a few uncommitted delegates to defeat Ronald Reagan in 1976). The early primary system and the overpowering need for money have decided the nominees in the winters.
The Democrats in New Hampshire, mostly women, have revived Hillary Clinton's campaign. She has at least stalled the Barack Obama mystique for now.
The big unknown is whether John Edwards will eventually drop out and endorse Obama. He certainly won't yield to Clinton in the wake of their angry exchanges in debates and on the stump. Or he may not endorse anyone at all.
Edwards may not admit it, but Clinton and Obama have shoved him aside. Gov. Bill Richardson will never admit it, but he wants second place on the Democratic ticket and just may get it.
The Republicans are in a real quagmire. Exit polls in New Hampshire showed half the GOP voters were dissatisfied with President Bush. So much for party loyalty. With that as a backdrop, John McCain defeated Mitt Romney, a real embarrassment for a former governor of a neighboring state. Romney's fat wallet has earned him only a couple of second-place finishes where he expected to win.
But McCain has to deal with other unknowns. Mike Huckabee scares the true believers, who don't like his record in Arkansas and regard him as a loose cannon.
But the former governor of Arkansas is likable and a Republican with a sense of humor. Imagine that.
Rudy Giuliani is pitching it all on Florida and Super Tuesday, but he is back in the pack for now.
Fred Thompson sees the South Carolina primary as his last stand. So far, he has been a huge dud in the campaign. He is on the verge of humiliating himself.
Ron Paul, the Libertarian, has money but little else. He will always be on the outside looking in.
So it looks like a McCain-Huckabee race for now with Romney appearing to have mountains to climb.
And we continue to have Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York and his fine record in that city looming as a third-party choice. He has a few billions of his own to spend.
It promises to be lively in the weeks and perhaps months ahead. Super Tuesday on February 5 may not decide things as we all thought.