And win big.
What few people outside the middle east consider is that Hamas is a two headed monster. It is a terrorist group that does blow up people and things. But it has another head.
That side of Hamas got stuff done for the people. They provide college scholarships, they run schools, they provide health care, they act as a safety net for families who have lost loved ones in their war against Israel. They are already doing the work that the old government was unable to do.
So while Fatah is seen as corrupt and unable to deliver the services of government, Hamas is seen as already doing what the people want.
But that doesn't explain the landslide in their favor. A friend has proposed a reason why Hamas got 60% and not 40% support.
The population has been further radicalized by a number of factors. The slow pace and one sided nature of the peace plan with Israel, the rise of Islamic extremism, and the ever growing hatred of the west and the US driven by the invasion of Iraq all have added a few percentage points into the Hamas political camp.
In effect, the US policies in the middle east, combined with the corrupt and inept leadership of the Fatah party, have led the people of Palestine to elect a terrorist group to lead them.
It will be very interesting to see what effect this has on the elections in Israel.