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New Hampshire primary: What to watch for and my predictions

January 9, 2012

  Many political websites like to do a “what to watch for” article before the individual primaries and I thought it would be fun to do the same so here goes.

Mitt Romney’s final vote count and margin of victory

  As I have written in the past, I feel that Mitt Romney has the New Hampshire primary wrapped up, the only questions will be; what percentage of the vote does he win and how close does the second place candidate come to Mitt Romney?

  If Mitt Romney wins by the large margin expected it will solidify his position moving forward and he could be well on his way to the nomination. However, if he slips and the race ends up much closer than expected we could see a long drawn out primary season with a legitimate alternative to Mitt Romney in the making.

  With Mitt Romney’s close victory in Iowa (and when the vote is certified there is a chance that Rick Santorum will actually be declared the winner due to a typo) and a closer than expected vote tally in New Hampshire we could see a vulnerable Mitt Romney headed to South Carolina where his support is much less than in the North East.

The undeclared and independent turnout

  In the New Hampshire primary people who are independent or undeclared on the day of the primary are allowed to take a Republican ballot and vote in the Republican primary. This also means that registered Democrats can go to their respective town halls and undeclare before primary day and then declare themselves Republicans on primary day and vote in the election as Republicans.

  We saw this happen in 2008 and that is one of the biggest reasons why New Hampshire voted for John McCain. Could this happen again? I think it is probable that it will. I have no doubt that registered Republicans will turn out on January 10th and I feel the outcome is dependent on how many undeclared voters and Democrats who undeclare–with no Democrat primary to vote in–will participate in the Republican primary. If this happens we could see some interesting results tomorrow.

Jon Huntsman is the wildcard

  Jon Huntsman has staked his whole campaign on the results of the New Hampshire primary; practically living in the state while trying to appeal to the undeclared voters. How successful he is could go a long way in determining the fates of all the other candidates in the race.

  Now onto my predictions, hopefully I don’t embarrass myself:

  Mitt Romney wins with 35% of the vote.

  All of the polls have shown Mitt Romney’s support firmly between 40-42% of the vote. I am predicting he will do slightly worse based on two reasons–wishful thinking on my part that 40% of New Hampshirites do not really support Mitt Romney, and the fact that the independent, undeclared, and undecided voters are not going to break towards Romney. If most of these voters supported Romney they would already be voicing their support. The fact that they don’t yet support Romney tells me they are never going to support Romney. As votes come in from the undeclared and the undecided Mitt Romney’s number has to come down in accordance.

  Ron Paul takes second place with 22%

  New Hampshire voters have a strong independent, anti-nanny state sentiment and this plays toward Ron Paul’s advantage. This coupled with Ron Paul winning about 15% of the New Hampshire votes in 2008 would normally persuade me to put Ron Paul’s final percentage at 25% or above, but as I stated in “what to watch for” above Jon Huntsman is the wildcard and in the end I think he will syphon votes which would normally go to Ron Paul.

Jon Huntsman in third with 15%

  Jon Huntsman’s persistence in New Hampshire will have a modest return on his investment, giving him an okay showing and vaulting him into third place, but not nearly the surprise that Rick Santorum pulled off in Iowa.

  Newt Gingrich 12%

  Newt Gingrich’s solid debate performances, coupled with his framing of himself as a “bold Reagan conservative” while framing Mitt Romney as a “timid Massachusetts moderate” will propel him ahead of Rick Santorum and give him a fourth place finish. He will then head south where he should enjoy more support.

Rick Santorum 10%

  For most of the campaign Rick Santorum has been mired in the low single digits in New Hampshire, but he will receive a small bounce from his showing in Iowa. Enough to gain him double digits, but his strict social views will not allow him to make anywhere near the showing he made in Iowa, partly due to the libertarian mindset of many New Hampshire voters.

Rick Perry 2%

  After the Iowa caucus Rick Perry decided to forego New Hampshire–with the exception of the debates–and make his stand in South Carolina where he should be poised to do better than in New Hampshire. This may be the proper move in the long run for Rick Perry but it will hurt him in New Hampshire.

  The remaining 4% of the votes will be split up between the other 24 people on the New Hampshire ballot. You read that right, there are 30 people on the ballot including Michelle Bachman, Hermain Cain, Gary Johnson, and many others you have never heard of.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. josiahe permalink
    January 9, 2012 10:24 am

    I find it more than odd that Soros (the man behind the OCCUPY WALL STREET – the man behind Obama) is also the man behind legalization of drugs as well as behind Ron Paul!

    • January 9, 2012 7:52 pm

      George Soros is behind Ron Paul? That is one I honestly hadn’t heard before.

      • lou222 permalink
        January 11, 2012 8:10 am

        Somehow I do not believe that Dr. Paul would want his backing. That sounds like it was planted to do harm to him.

      • January 11, 2012 6:04 pm

        Yeah, this is a new one on me.

  2. The Georgia Yankee permalink
    January 9, 2012 11:28 am

    Listening to Boortz, who’s in New Hampshire today, somewhere, in what he calls “radio row,” a setup where something like 30 radio talk show hosts are in a venue where candidates or their representatives come by and talk to them.

    Highly enjoyable and informative, because Boortz is pragmatic in many ways. For example, when a Santorum rep stopped on by, Boortz said that in his opinion, the independents necessary to win the general election would be turned off by the social conservative elements of Santorum’s platform, and asked why, in light of that, the candidate continued to push it. The rep said that President Santorum would be part of a democratic governing machine, not a dictator, and wouldn’t impose his views on the people.

    BTW, Boortz bases his opinion on the 2010 election, when the T-party types won such a convincing victory. They got a lot of support from the Indies, but kept their mouths pretty much shut about social issues one way or the other – they concentrated on the economy and other legitimate issues. Boortz is afraid that once they got into power and started with the social commentary, they’d scare off the Indies, who either will vote to re-elect Obama or simply stay home.

    BTW, I also support the legalization of drugs, combined with their regulation and taxation. Those who complain about the nanny state shouldn’t support the outlawing of recreational drugs, especially if they enjoy a beer or cocktail or glass of wine. Just goes to show that there are plenty of people whose political views defy simplistic labeling.

    Take good care and may God bless us all!

    TGY

    • January 9, 2012 7:58 pm

      “Radio Row” is in Manchester I believe, there are dozens of local and national radio programs broadcasting from that position and you are right the candidates are making themselves available to all the stations. It’s actually kind of cool (for lack of a better word.)
      I agree with Santorum’s rep, I think he is letting his social views be know and is unafraid to do so, but he won’t neccessarily push them on others. Santorum’s social views are going to push undeclared voters from him but at least he is telling us what he really believes and letting us make the decision on him.
      I also support the legalization of some drugs, though the more dangerous drugs probably should continue to be banned. There is a line there, I just don’t know where that line is.

  3. January 9, 2012 6:24 pm

    It’s good to have someone like you *on the scene* so to speak, keep up the great work and keep the information flowing.

    • January 9, 2012 7:59 pm

      Thanks Fred, I guess we will know shortly how accurate my information was. I hope I don’t embarrass myself with these predictions.

      • lou222 permalink
        January 11, 2012 8:08 am

        Why would you be embarrassed? A prediction is making your best guess with the information you have available. So far you have been spot-on. We know how things can be manipulated, that does not reflect on you.

      • January 11, 2012 6:05 pm

        Luckily I nailed it pretty closely, it would have been a little embarrassing if after trying to cover the primary so closely that I ended up way off the mark.

  4. January 11, 2012 1:40 am

    Well done on the predictions sir!

    • January 11, 2012 6:29 am

      Thank you, I was pretty close but I would have liked to see Romney’s number a little lower.

  5. stinkprogress permalink
    January 11, 2012 6:41 am

    Steve,
    Well done, id say all if you predictions are pretty damm close.
    Now what is the fallout? Is it down to Romney and Paul and more importantly can Romney lure the Paul supporters as this thing moves on.
    I sense a large majority of the Paul people are idealogically allaigned with the OWS crowd which we all no is a product of the left and the Obama machine.

    • January 11, 2012 6:50 am

      Thank you. At this point I think that if Gingrich of Santorum do not do well in South Carolina the only candidate who will even have a chance at defeating Romney will be Paul. This could be a two person race after SC but I do think Gingrich and Santorum should do better down there than they did hear.

  6. toldya permalink
    January 11, 2012 6:53 pm

    Dead people voting in NH primary. Anything to keep the establishment on top and the citizen on bottom.
    http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/11/video-nh-poll-workers-shown-handing-out-ballots-in-dead-peoples-names/

    • January 11, 2012 8:14 pm

      I saw this and it is very disappointing to say the least, we don’t usually hear about this sort of thing happening in New Hampshire.

Trackbacks

  1. Who Will Win the New Hampshire Primary: New Hampshire Predictions
  2. New Hampshire primary wrap up, on to South Carolina « America's Watchtower

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