January 8th, 2008


New Hampshire Primary

The New Hampshire primary voting is just minutes away from closing as I write this. They're already saying there was overwhelming, record voter turnout (much as there was in Iowa, though I don't think they broke records there).

If you're not American, you might be wondering what's so special about the turnout numbers, which some precincts are reporting at 70%. See, for decades the American elections have been plagued by apathy, with voter turnout usually hovering between 30% and 40%. Not this time. It's as if people can't freaking wait for the current administration to be over!

It's way too early to make any calls about results with only 10% of the votes tallied, but I will say that I'm delighted to see Fred Thompson currently drooping down there with his own flabby jowls at 1%. This arrogant blowhard rode in late on a white horse and proclaimed himself the great conservative savior that was missing from the Republican candidate field. And then he did nothing. Zip. He had no charisma and no ideas. He did nothing but toe the party line. To watch his increasing irrelevance has been a guilty pleasure, and part of me hopes they don't let him back on Law & Order.

New Hampshire Primary Results

On the Democratic side, Clinton barely squeezed by Obama to take a projected first place, followed by Obama in second and Edwards in third. Edwards says he's staying in, but watch for Gravel, who got fewer votes than Biden, who is no longer running, to drop out shortly.

On the Republican side, McCain came in first, followed by Romney in second and Huckabee in third. Watch for Thompson and Hunter to drop out soon. Paul and Giuliani will probably stay the course through the end, because they're nutty that way.

Conventional wisdom was turned on its head with an unexpected upset on the Democratic side. Everyone thought Obama would win New Hampshire the way he won Iowa, but Clinton came out of nowhere for the top spot. It's hard to say if this is a Northeastern anomaly, the beginning of a national sweep, or just the first signs that the demon "electability" has taken hold with the Democrats the way it always does. That would be too bad, because this misguided idea of who is electable and who is not is what cost the Democrats the last presidential election.

McCain's win is less of a surprise. The religious right doesn't have a hold in New Hampshire, but they love anyone who is considered a maverick. Remember, New Hampshire is the "Live Free or Die" state. What's harder to judge is Romney's second place position. Will this translate into national momentum, or is it because of local politics, since Romney is the governor of the state next door?

Things are getting really interesting!