Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Hampshire Goes According to Form

Unlike last week, it is an early night in New Hampshire.  Mitt Romney appears poised to win decisively, pretty precisely in line with recent polling, with around 35% of the vote.  Ron Paul, as expected, will finish second, with something around 25% of the vote.  Jon Huntsman managed to ride his "mini-surge" to a third place finish, possibly with something just shy of 20% of the vote.  Everyone else finished far behind.

Romney has now won narrowly in the Iowa Caucuses and decisively in the New Hampshire primary.  He is ahead in South Carolina, but not insurmountably so (either Santorum or Gingrich is in second in recent polling.)  Still, he is gathering steam towards inevitability, if not immediacy.

I don't expect any drop outs between now and South Carolina.  Newt Gingrich is betting his race on a win there.  So, presumably is Rick Perry, although he is the one candidate who could conceivably drop out as he really has no conceivable path forward in the race.  Jon Huntsman did probably just well enough to keep him in the race and fighting, although he certainly doesn't appear to be well positioned for South Carolina or Florida, polling in the low single digits in both places.

The biggest disappointment of the night was Rick Santorum, who may well finish in fifth place and certainly no better than fourth.  Santorum, to his credit, ran hard in New Hampshire coming off his near-win in Iowa, rather than discounting it for a friendly pastures down south.  But he failed to get any kind of meaningful bump in New Hampshire from his Iowa showing.  I suspect that a week ago today was the peak of the Santorum campaign.

And then there was Ron Paul.  Paul is not going anywhere, especially after a very solid third and a very solid second place finish.  Frankly, he has no reason to go anywhere, as he will almost certainly continue to raise a ton of money and may grab increasing percentages of primary votes as other candidates drop out.  But Paul, despite a recent assent that has put him in low double digits in South Carolina and Florida, doesn't appear to have a realistic shot at winning either.

So, it still sure looks like Romney at the end of the day.  Conceivably, he could win the nominating contests in all 50 states if the "not Mitt" crowd doesn't consolidate their support.

If you like this site, tell your friends.

No comments: