The run-up to the primary race was long and at times boring. The wait might have been worth it, because the race from here will be exciting. The Republican nomination is anyone's game at this point. If Fred Thompson wins South Carolina next week, five candidates become viable.

On the Democratic side, there has been a rush in the media to anoint Barack Obama the winner. Let's keep our heads. If Obama fails to win California and the populous states in the Northeast, he will not win the nomination.

Democrats

Josh Marshall at talkingpointsmemo.com puzzles through Hillary Clinton's frantic spin-doctoring after the Democratic debate. He figures her campaign never prepared for this moment of crisis. Is a shake-up within the campaign coming before the Feb. 5 primaries?

Kevin Drum blogs about the press and its treatment of Clinton. He's sickened by the pack journalism that has led reporters to decide to attack Clinton rather than do their jobs of reporting.

Michael Fauntroy guest blogs at taylormarsh.com. He suggests that the Democrats not miscategorize Obama's win in Iowa as historic for black politicians. He reminds readers that a black candidate has won primaries before: Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988.

Matt Stoller was struck by a particular point in the Democratic debate, wherein, he says, Clinton came across as a fighter and a hard worker. If she can cast herself as a fighter, Stoller contends, this message could resonate with voters.

Molly Ivors makes a point that Democrats will want to remember: The media has yet to figure out how to attack Obama, but an attack is inevitable. Should Obama win the nomination, his supporters will be stunned at the media turnaround. It's coming.

Eriposte provides an update on the state of the race. Obama will likely win New Hampshire tomorrow and possibly even South Carolina. But the big delegate votes will be on Feb. 5. If Clinton wins California and New York, she's back in business.

Republicans

Leon Wolf at redstate.com thought Mitt Romney was at his finest in the GOP debate the other night. Both Romney and Thompson were the only adults in the crowd, with the rest of the field falling short, he writes.

Steve Benen tries to figure out what the heck Mike Huckabee means when he says: "We need to get vertical." If "getting horizontal" means moving left or right politically, does "getting vertical" suggest transcending politics?

Captain Ed assails Romney's contention that taking second place in New Hampshire is OK. Romney needs consistently good results to stay in the race.

Jeffrey Rendell , writing on conservativesbetrayed.com, discusses the modern GOP and how Ron Paul was left out of a Fox forum. He's shocked at how the so-called fair and balanced Fox remains afraid to air the message of small government in a GOP event.