January 8, 2008

New Hampshire: Hillary Pulls Huge Upset; McCain Does Predictably

Hatched by Dafydd

Well, another state has passed into the rear-view mirror in our breakneck drag race through the abbreviated primary season. New Hampshire is now irrelevant once more.

On the Republican side, the night started out looking like John McCain was going to swamp Mitt Romney, crushing him like a grape beneath an elephant's foot. But in the end, it appears that a later swing to Romney left the race at just about what the pollsters had predicted: McCain won by 5%, slightly more than the 3.8% predicted on today's RCP average, according to CNN with 90%+ of the precincts reporting.

The more-or-less total count (here is CNN's primary page) has McCain up 37% to Romney's 32%.

But there is no question that on the Democratic side, the pollsters were utterly flummoxed: There was no huge wave of young voters for Barack Obama; Hillary Clinton was not buried; and female voters returned to the Red Queen -- who also won among Democrats. Most specifically, although there were more Independents among Democratic voters than Republican -- 40% among Dem, 33% among GOP -- Obama's edge among Indies was obviously not sufficient to overcome his deficit among Democrats.

Hillary was supposed to lose to Obama by 8.3%; instead, she won by about 2%, meaning the pollsters were off by upwards of 10%. That's seriously mistaken, implying a completely incorrect turnout model.

Three first impressions:

  • It appears that a lot more Independent voters chose to vote in the GOP race than were expected; this would explain McCain coming in slightly higher than the polls reported today, but right on the polls of yesterday: If the Independents had been only 28% of the Republican numbers instead of 33% (AP says they accounted for "about a third of Republican ballots"), the race would have ended up almost exactly where the RCP average predicted: McCain ahead by 3.8%.

    But 5% more Independents in the Democratic race wouldn't, by itself, have given Obama the 6- to 10-point victory that virtually all pollsters predicted. Thus, Obama must have gotten a smaller percentage of those Independents -- and possibly a smaller percentage of Democrats -- than were showing up in the polls, as well. (Sachi suggested that Hillary's crying jag must have worked. Say, maybe she'll cry before every primary from now on!)

  • The Democrats still have somewhat of an advantage in terms of total votes cast: 258,600 to 213,400 for the Republicans. I don't know how this translates into the general election, since Independents are gaming the system.
  • Among Republicans, immigration was the metric: Those who favor deporting illegals by and large voted for Romney; those who favor a path to citizenship mostly voted for McCain (I know you're shocked to hear that....)

    Among those voting Republican who named immigration as one of the nation's top issues, Romney was the big winner (which bodes well for the border states); among those who picked the economy or Iraq but not immigration, McCain did very well (which probably bodes well for big eastern states, though McCain will have to fight through Rudy Giuliani on that front).

Bottom line: The pollsters did pretty well on the Republican side but completely missed the boat among Democrats. Make of that what you will.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 8, 2008, at the time of 9:52 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/2699


The following hissed in response by: hunter

What I make of it that the Clinton machine likely did something dirty. Same day registration is an open invitation for abuse.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 9, 2008 4:13 AM

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

I couldn't be more delighted. Barack wins Iowa, Hillary wins New Hampshire, and Edwards has a chance of a win left. Even better for the Republicans: Huckabee wins Iowa, McCain NH, Romney may win in Michigan and Thompson may win in SC. If this pattern continues, we may end up with brokered conventions on both sides, leaving many to ask why we went through two years of endless politicking just to have it all come down to the final day of the convention. MAYBE they will see the light and we can get some respite from the endless campaign!

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 9, 2008 6:42 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

Would anyone be shocked if Hunter were right? Not me.

Regardless of how she pulled off the New Hampshire Shock, Clinton is going to be on the ropes from now right on until she locks up the nomination but she seems to be in the drivers seat (at least for now). Edwards is history, it's down to an invigorating two person race (which will drum up lots of participation), and the Democrats must be delighted at how this race is shaping up- lots of drama, followed by the predictable, inevitable result.

On the GOP side, and maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, as much as I respect the job McCain has done resurrecting his campaign from the dead I don't think he will win. His lack of money and, most especially, a campaign organization will hurt him badly in the Feb 5 states. It's a wide open race on the GOP side.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 9, 2008 6:53 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

One interesting thing is that Obama didn't do what he did in Iowa, and he failed to get the younger voters to come out in force.

Last night Michael Barone, following up on a suggestion from the Obama camp that Hanover and it's ilk would turn out strongly for Obama, spent some time discussing how it was possible the younger vote might help Obama stage a comeback. As he put it, Grafton county (includes Hanover, the home of Dartmouth College) had about 2500 voters, presumably mostly Democrats since that number includes lots of lefty faculty and students. The home of the University of New Hampshire, Strafford county, has about 2300 (these numbers are from my recollection of what he said last night), as does Exeter (the home of Phillips Exeter Academy, a large, college-like, secondary school). So Barone said that Obama's people might possibly be right, and he could pull off a comeback, if he successfully got a big turnout among the youth and faculty of those schools.

Looking at the county results from CNN, that doesn't appear to have happened. Grafton county was the big disappointment, since only about 260 votes were cast on the Dem side there (Hillary won narrowly). More voters turned out in Strafford county (about 940 or so) but, again defying Obama's expectations, Clinton narrowly won there. Rockingham county, the home of Exeter, hasn't yet reported. The college towns don't appear to have turned out for Obama the way he thought they would.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 9, 2008 7:30 AM

The following hissed in response by: David M

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/09/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

The above hissed in response by: David M [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 9, 2008 8:14 AM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

What I understand is that the large turn out was in the south, the areas an easy drive from Boston.
Obama in Iowa likely did the same thing, btw - Iowa also ahs corrupt voter registration laws that allows for same day registration from people who merely claim to be getting ready to livein Iowa. I think Obama trucked in a bunch of Chicago machine memebrs.
The good news in this is that it means neither candidate is actually very strong.
The tell-tale was yesterday when more indie voters went to McCain than to Obama. If Obama was the next great hope he would have gotten those votes.
After listening to an actual interview on NPR with Obama today, I am certain he will melt down just like Hillary before this is over.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 9, 2008 11:52 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)

(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)

Remember me unto the end of days?

© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved