Friday, January 06, 2012

New Hampshire set to shape the rest of the race

After a somewhat surprising Iowa caucus, where Mitt Romney (above, campaigning in New Hampshire) literally squeaked by with a win over a strong showing from Rick Santorum, the New Hampshire primary will likely impact the rest of the battle for the GOP nomination. I did predict Romney to win in Iowa, but I stated that he would walk away with it.

Seven votes doth not a walk make. It turns out if a minivan full of Santorum voters made it to the caucus that night, Romney would have placed second.

The results are statistically tied, with both candidate expected to receive 7 delegates each out of the 25 that Iowa has once the results are verified. But it's the psychological boost that has helped Santorum emerge as a potential front-runner should he show well in New Hampshire.

Already his fundraising has drastically kicked up a notch, with (his campaign) reporting over $1 million donated in the immediate days following the caucus. Depending of how the vote turns out in New Hampshire, this may be either a brief speed bump in Romney's drive toward the nomination or it can be a sign that the Republican party is indeed too conservative for a relative moderate like Romney.

Keep in mind that although Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts, which boarders New Hampshire, it was four years ago when John McCain beat Romney by a margin of 37% to 31%. And that was well before all the hysterical caterwauling from the conservatives about "Romneycare".

OK, time for my prediction. My best guess is that Romney will win in New Hampshire but by a disappointingly small margin over a strong second-place performance by Santorum; Newt Gingrich will place 4th to a decent 3rd place showing by Ron Paul, and anyone left isn't even relevant.

Should this occur, the lead up to the two big contests in red states South Carolina (Jan. 21st) and Florida (Jan. 31st) will be very interesting.


oldswede said...

If Sanitorum keeps making appearances like the one Charles P. Pierce describes below (from his Esquire blog), little Ricky may not do so well in NH. There are not so many fundie wingers up there as in Iowa.
Rick Santorum Protects the Freedom of Con-Men
In other NH craziness, courtesy again of Charles Pierce (who seems to me to compare well with the late, great Molly Ivins for politically deadly snark),
1. New Hampshire Blows School to Pieces
2. In Which Freshmen Republicans Invoke the Magna Carta

DD Vasseur said...

Jan 8, interest in Ron Paul among New Hampshire Internet users was 150% higher than interest in Mitt. Despite Strong NH Interest In Paul's News! Media Favors Romney New Hampshire Google users displayed more interest in news stories about Ron Paul than the rest of the GOP field, (while Romney received 175 percent more media coverage than the Texas congressman.)A bit of Republican Machine Interference!

According to Google Insights for Search. News searches for Romney increased 78.6 percent in New Hampshire, but when (compared solely against Paul, Romney did not register on the New Hampshire graph.) There was not enough online interest in new stories
about Romney — nor the rest of the GOP candidates, other than Paul — to generate enough search volume to even produce a graph for the last 30 days.

DD Vasseur

Read more: via @addthis