I had a good time live chatting with the guys from GraniteGrok.com. The top three spots were called pretty early making it a really short night. Below is a jpeg of the AP/Google politics heat map. Mitt Romney is yellow, Ron Paul is green, and Jon Huntsman is light blue:
As of 1:39am (EST) 95% of the precincts (or wards as they call them I believe) have reported and the results are (and are not likely to change):
Update 1/12/12: The New Hampshire Secretary of State said that in the final tally Santorum edges out Gingrich for 4th place by 138 votes – 23,312 to 23,174
- Mitt Romney – 39.4% (95,666)
- Ron Paul – 22.8% (55,451)
- Jon Huntsman – 16.8% (40,902)
Newt Gingrich – 9.4% (22,920) Rick Santorum Rick Santorum – 9.3% (22,685)Newt Gingrich
- Rick Perry – 0.7% (1,709)
- Buddy Roemer – 0.4% (918)
- Michele Bachmann – 0.1% (343)
- Herman Cain – 0.1% (152)
Some interesting nuggets from exit polling I’ve looked at:
- The New Hampshire Primary is an open primary which means independents don’t have to register as Republicans to vote in it. Exit polling said that 47% of those who voted today were independents, but 85% of them said they had voted in the Republican primary before.
- Ron Paul won the Independent vote with 32%. Romney had 29%, Huntsman had 23%, Gingrich – 8%, Santorum – 7% and Perry – 0%
- Four percent of primary voters identified themselves as Democrat (What?!?!?). Jon Huntsman won that block with 41%, Paul – 24%, Romney – 14%, Santorum – 6%, Gingrich – 4%, and Perry – 1%
- Among those who identified themselves as Republicans which consisted of 49% of a Republican primary: Romney 49%, Ron Paul – 16%, Santorum – 13%, Gingrich – 12%, Huntsman – 10%, Rick Perry – 1%.
- The youth vote – Ron Paul won with 47%. Romney won all the other age categories.
- 22% of Primary voters identified themselves as evangelicals. Mitt Romney won 30%, Santorum had 23%, Paul 22%, Gingrich 13%, Huntsman 9%, and Perry 1%.
- Non-evangelicals: Romney – 40%, Paul – 24%, Huntsman 20%, Gingrich 8%, Santorum 6%, and Perry 0%
- Romney won among those who said they were very conservative (21%) with 33%, Santorum was 2nd with 26%, and Ron Paul had 17%. With those who identified themselves as somewhat conservative (32%) Romney won 48%, then Ron Paul 20% and then Huntsman 13%. Those who identified themselves as moderate/liberal (47%) Romney won 37%, then Ron Paul 26%, and then Jon Huntsman at 25%.
- Interestingly enough Romney won among those who identified themselves as very conservative on social issues (25%) with 29%, Santorum was 2nd with 24%, and Gingrich was 3rd with 20%.
- 62% of New Hampshire Primary voters consider themselves moderate or liberal on social issues, and 36% of them consider themselves moderate or liberal on fiscal issues.
- Among those who were satisfied with the Obama Administration (12% of the primary voters) Jon Huntsman won with 40% of the vote, and Ron Paul had 31%.
- 17% are somewhat or strongly opposed to the Tea Party movement.
- The top quality in a candidate for voters who were polled was that the candidate could beat Barack Obama (35%). Mitt Romney won with 62%. The economy was the top issue (61%) and Romney won that group with 45%
Some initial thoughts:
- Even without the independent/Democrat vote Romney would have won so whining about the process does no good. The independent voter however did elevate Ron Paul to 2nd place. I don’t see New Hampshire changing their primary system to a closed process so it is what it is.
- Those who voted for Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain threw their votes away.
- Huntsman won Democrats and those who like Obama, does he really think he’s going to go farther than South Carolina? Stephen Colbert is polling ahead of Huntsman in South Carolina.
- Santorum’s finish is likely disappointing to the campaign, but shouldn’t be surprised based on what exit polling shows of the electorate makeup. His base really were social conservatives, evangelicals, and those who were concerned about electing a true conservative. Unfortunately for him there just isn’t enough of them.
- Social conservatives and evangelicals in New Hampshire put their pocket book ahead of principles. That’s the only way I can explain Romney winning both of those groups.
- With 62% saying their moderate/liberal on social issues and 36% saying the same about fiscal issues… how is it that New Hampshire Republicans think they are more mainstream and representative of the Republican Party?
- By the way, Ron Paul had a higher percentage of the vote in New Hampshire – 22.8% compared to 21% in Iowa, just saying. Iowa was dissed when it looked like Paul was going to win. I wonder if people are going to think the same of New Hampshire.
- Newt Gingrich moves on to South Carolina purely on the basis of his massive ego. How two fourth place finishes makes him believe that he’s a viable candidate is beyond me. Update: Now that Gingrich is said to have finished fifth, he should gracefully bow out. He is not, and will now never be, the anti-Romney.
- Rick Perry’s decision not to vote here was certainly reflective of the vote consider candidates no longer in the race had almost as many votes as he did. By the way, he’s only 2 points ahead of Stephen Colbert. He’s in it for his ego as well.
- Ron Paul will stay in the race to the very bitter end, but his prospects in South Carolina don’t look very good.
- Huntsman spent a lot of time in New Hampshire, doing there what Santorum did in Iowa… go figure, actually campaigning in a state helps.
Here’s the Real Clear Politics average for South Carolina:
Neither Huntsman or Perry stand a chance. Romney will have a fight on his hands. Santorum has spent more time in South Carolina, and has a pretty good organization there as well.
Looking ahead to the RCP Florida Primary average:
You can see a definite Santorum surge. South Carolina’s results will make an impact there.
Mitt Romney as of right now is the clear frontrunner, but all roads go through South Carolina and he doesn’t have it wrapped up there.