Election 2012 mitt_the_flipper

Published on January 10th, 2012 | by Jeremy Bloom

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Election 2012: Liveblogging the New Hampshire Primary

mitt romneyThis could be a short blog… unlike Iowa, it’s pretty clear going in that Romney will win the New Hampshire Primary. It’s 8 pm there, the polls are closed, and NBC has already projected a Romney victory.

The question tonight is, will it be decisive? And will the Not Mitt opposition unify behind one candidate, or will Mitt continue to divide and conquer? (See our background story here.)

1:00 am EST: It’s still a crash. Dude was polling at 43% just a week ago. Which means that there was ZILCH breakage of undecided voters his way – they all went to Not Mitt (mostly Paul and Huntsman). Which means that when it comes right down to it, Romney is still having a hell of a time selling himself to the GOP. How’s he going to sell himself to the rest of the country?

With 95 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 39.4%
  • Paul 22.8%
  • Huntsman 16.9%
  • Santorum 9.4%
  • Gingrich 9.3%
  • Perry 0.7%

12:45 am EST: The creep goes on… Will he make it to 40%?

With 94 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 39.4%
  • Paul 22.8%
  • Huntsman 16.8%
  • Santorum 9.4%
  • Gingrich 9.3%
  • Perry 0.7%

12:00 am EST: Turnout was suprisingly low. Nate Silver at the Times estimates 225,000 voters, compared to 240,000 for the GOP primary in 2008. And that includes any independents and Democrats who crossed over to vote this time, since there’s no Obama vs Clinton drama on the Democrats side this year.

What does that mean? A huge portion of voters said they were undecided as late as the weekend, and very dissatisfied with their options; it looks like a lot of them opted to vote for “none of the above” and stayed home. We’ll see how that plays out in November…

With 92.4 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 39.3%
  • Paul 22.9%
  • Huntsman 16.9%
  • Santorum 9.4%
  • Gingrich 9.3%
  • Perry 0.7%

11:15 pm EST: Romney does seem to do well in the stretch, doesn’t he? He’s closing in on 40%, which means he’ll pretty much meet expectations.

With 84.1 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 39.2%
  • Paul 22.9%
  • Huntsman 16.8%
  • Santorum 9.5%
  • Gingrich 9.4%
  • Perry 0.7%

10:55 pm EST: Silly me, the Ron Paul folks started posting the “GOP steals election from Paul” stories this morning.

“New Hampshire still uses the same institutionally vulnerable Diebold electronic voting machines as in 2008,” writes Dave Trotter . “So the odds of GOP establishment chicanery are even higher than in Iowa. After all, the establishment that Ron Paul threatens remains firmly in control of the levers and dials of the pollsters and the voting machines.”

With 79.4 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 38.3%
  • Paul 23.3%
  • Huntsman 17.0%
  • Santorum 9.7%
  • Gingrich 9.6%
  • Perry 0.7%

10:40 pm EST: Romney continues his slow creep up. How far can he make it before he runs out of precincts? (And how long till the Ron Paul die-hards start claiming the GOP establishment stole the election from him?)

With 71.4 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 38.3%
  • Paul 23.3%
  • Huntsman 16.7%
  • Santorum 9.7%
  • Gingrich 9.6%
  • Perry 0.7%

10:30 pm EST: Reaction from DailyKos’ Marcos Moulitsas:

Big takeaway? Mittens got barely one-third of the vote in his own backyard, while far fewer Republicans turned out than did in 2008 (for John McCain). This is not the mark of an excited GOP electorate, and certainly not a sign of a strong field.

10:25 pm EST: Not much movement.

With 71.4 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 38.0%
  • Paul 23.6%
  • Huntsman 16.7%
  • Santorum 9.8%
  • Gingrich 9.7%
  • Perry 0.7%

10:10 pm EST: And Romney pulls over 38%. That’s got to feel good. It’s still not 40, but FEELS much closer to 40. And if he keeps creeping up this way…

Meanwhile, Paul is creeping down. This was his big chance to build some momentum – if he can’t do better than 25% in “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire, he’s really not going to have a shot at, say, Florida. (But he has been talking coyly about doing a run as a 3rd-party candidate… that could make things very interesting indeed.)

With 66.4 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 38.1%
  • Paul 23.4%
  • Huntsman 16.7%
  • Santorum 9.8%
  • Gingrich 9.7%
  • Perry 0.7%

9:55 pm EST: And Santorum leaps over Gingrich into 4th, by 130 votes.

With 62.5 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 37.5%
  • Paul 23.7%
  • Huntsman 170%
  • Santorum 9.8%
  • Gingrich 9.7%
  • Perry 0.8%

9:45 pm EST: Now Santorum is just 30 votes behind Gingrich. Crazy.

With 54.8 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 37.3%
  • Paul 23.5%
  • Huntsman 17.1%
  • Gingrich 9.9%
  • Santorum 9.9%
  • Perry 0.8%

9:30 pm EST: We’ve reached the halfway mark.

With 50.2 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 37.3%
  • Paul 23.4%
  • Huntsman 17.3%
  • Gingrich 9.8%
  • Santorum 9.9%
  • Perry 0.8%

9:25 pm EST: The candidates speak:

Ron Paul says he’s happy with his second place finish, saying he now has momentum, and he’s changing the conversation. That’s pretty much true – he’s been hammering on the Federal Reserve for decades, but now everyone seems to be jumping on that bandwagon.

Rick Perry (who didn’t really compete here) says he will stay in the race and fight hard to win South Carolina:

“I have a head start here, and it’s friendly territory for a Texas governor and veteran with solid outsider credentials, the nation’s best record of job creation, and solid fiscal, social and Tea Party conservatism,” he said.

Santorum, ditto.

9:20 pm EST: Could Romney be the comeback kid? Or is the GOP establishment in the tank for him? A 35% showing would have been a disaster… but now he’s climbing back toward 40%.

With 43.2 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 37.3%
  • Paul 23.5%
  • Huntsman 16.9%
  • Gingrich 10.0%
  • Santorum 9.9%
  • Perry 0.7%

9:10 pm EST: Ha. I spoke too soon. We got a bit of a surge for Mitt, pushing him back up to 37%. And Santorum is now just 50 votes behind Gingrich in 4th.

With 38.5 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 37%
  • Paul 23.8%
  • Huntsman 16.9%
  • Gingrich 10.0%
  • Santorum 10.0%
  • Perry 0.7%

9:00 pm EST: These numbers are staying remarkably steady so far, even for New Hampshire. A lot of the outstanding counties are the southeast corner, near Boston, that should be good for Romney – but should also be a trove of Paul-loving independents.

With 31.6 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 36.1%
  • Paul 24.4%
  • Huntsman 16.9%
  • Gingrich 10.1%
  • Santorum 9.9%
  • Perry 0.7%

8:50 pm EST: With 28.2 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 36.2%
  • Paul 24.3%
  • Huntsman 16.7%
  • Gingrich 10.3%
  • Santorum 10.1%
  • Perry 0.8%

8:45 pm EST: Here’s the aggregate polling, via Huffington Post’s Pollster (formerly Pollster.com).

Look at Romney’s numbers. There’s no way he can paint a 36% showing as anything less than a disappointment. And you can bank on the pundits – and his opponents – beating him up on it.

8:40 pm EST: Santorum is creeping up on Gingrich – they’re less than 100 votes apart in the race for 4th place.

And Romney’s numbers continue to slip.

With 22.6 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 35.3%
  • Paul 25%
  • Huntsman 16.8%
  • Gingrich 10.3%
  • Santorum 10.1%
  • Perry 0.7%

8:30 pm EST: This is shaking down about as expected, with a couple of interesting caveats.

Romney was polling higher. This is NOT going to be the decisive win he needed. Paul is pulling a LOT more votes than expected, as is Huntsman. The fact that there are four strong Not Mitts is the only reason Romney isn’t getting thrashed here. We’ll see how these numbers hold up as more results come in…

With 17 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 35%
  • Paul 25%
  • Huntsman 17%
  • Gingrich 11%
  • Santorum 10%
  • Perry 1%

8:15 pm EST: With 11 percent of precincts reporting, we have:

  • Romney 36%
  • Paul 25%
  • Huntsman 17%
  • Gingrich 11%
  • Santorum 10%
  • Perry 1%

8 pm EST: Based on exit polling, NBC and ABC project a win for Mitt Romney.



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About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He just moved to Los Angeles, and continues trying to change the world in positive ways.



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