Like him, love him, hate him, or be indifferent . . . you have to agree that he’s right about our current president. Things are not going well in America, and maybe people who aren’t that excited about Mitt Romney are at least excited about the prospect of having someone in the Oval Office who is not Barack Obama.
[Posted by Karl]
Most polls close at 7 p.m. ET; all close at 8 p.m. ET. Here’s yer Google map. Network execs privately say they expect to be able to call NH for Romney at 8pm sharp. The race for 2nd will take longer. The Fox News exit poll shows Romney edging everyone out among late deciders.
Enjoy. Imbibe. Vent.
[Posted by Karl]
The last polls had Mitt Romney poised to win the New Hampshire primary easily, sitting at 33-35% of the vote. The only danger for Romney is expectations; if he came in below 30%, after polling above 40% less than a week ago, the chatter will be about losing momentum.
Nevertheless, a win is a win. Gallup suggests that since 1976, the leader in their national polling after New Hampshire has ultimately won the nomination. The data almost equally suggests that the national frontrunner before Iowa is a good bet to win the nomination, with the exception of 2008. The unusual fluidity of 2008 is about the best hope for those in the NotRomney camp, in the sense that we could be in a period where grassroots satisfaction with the “next-in-line” nature of the GOP nomination is making it more difficult for an early frontrunner to win. But that’s a relatively slender reed: the current Gallup national trends look roughly similar to those of 2008, with Romney taking the McCain spot.
Indeed, the current poll average in South Carolina also looks roughly similar, although the surging Rick Santorum and falling New Gingrich both look as strong as Huckabee looked against McCain. Romney will try to essentially sew up the nomination there, which underscores the importance of for Romney of not underperforming in New Hampshire. Right now, 60% of registered Republicans and leaners think Romney will be the nominee. But if Romney looks weak on Wednesday, Santorum may continue to rise at Newt’s expense in the 10 days to South Carolina. If Santorum were to win the Palmetto State — or even manage the sort of photo finish we saw in Iowa — we might be in for an unpleasant discussion of whether Romney’s Mormonism is dragging him down against the more openly religious Santorum in more conservative states. At least, you can bet that would be the establishment angle on it.