Greenfield: The wild history of presidential campaigns has a lesson: Nobody knows anything.
The very year that Giuliani fell apart, as McCain was going from front-runner to also-ran to GOP nominee, Hillary Clinton held a sizable lead in the Democratic polls. One of the keys to her contest with Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008 was supposed to be her strong position in the battle for African American votes. In November, 2007, POLITICO reported that Clinton was besting Obama among African Americans. As late as December 2007, she and Obama were effectively tied among black voters. But when Obama won the Iowa caucuses, his victory in a virtually all-white state validated him as a credible Democratic nominee. Within days, the African American vote moved decisively to him, and black officials who’d endorsed Clinton began switching almost by the day.