Welp, there it goes. The first primary is approx. 91% over and now we pretty much just have to sit back and wait for Super Tuesday.
Surprising no one, Romney came in first by a pretty large margin, with more votes than Paul and Huntsman, who came in second and third respectively, combined. Romney upped his numbers from 2008 pretty significantly, pulling in about 40% of the vote this time. Congrats, you campaigned for 5 years and won yourself a couple of percentage points (also probably the GOP nomination).
Paul brought in 23% of the vote. In a state that’s pretty damn proud of their “Live Free or Die” motto, the fact that the self-styled champion of liberty did well is no major change up. Again, Paul isn’t going to win the nomination and I doubt he’ll win a VP bid but he seems to be in the campaign for the long-haul, at least for a few more months. If enough others drop out, he has the potential to detract from Romney pretty heavily if he leans on his crutch as the anti-establishment option. He’ll keep things interesting if nothing else.
Huntsman. I was hoping he could slide into 2nd place, but it was not to be. Although earlier polls showed him being within a few points of Paul, even beating him in some, the primary results speak otherwise. He came in at around 17%, which while respectable is not the sort of results he needed or should have received given that he’s run a campaign largely focused on New Hampshire. He has no real chance at winning in South Carolina in a few days, and I suspect his run is coming to an end.
(I hate that he isn’t winning, and it makes me resent the Republican party even more that they don’t recognize what a great candidate they have right in front of them. I genuinely feel that Huntsman is not only a good candidate for the general election but that he’s a good man. I think he would have given Obama a run for his money and proved to the nation that the GOP is capable of getting behind a non-fringe candidate. He would have pulled in a lot of independents and disenfranchised democrats, making up for some votes he would have inevitably lost from his own party because he worked under O as ambassador. He’s knowledgeable, nice, and I think has the potential to be a very strong, capable leader if given the opportunity. He did great things in Utah and I have no reason to think he couldn’t send the country in the same direction. Unfortunately, his lack of presence in earlier debates and unwillingness to dip into his (hella extensive) personal accounts to fund his campaign are driving the final nails into his coffin. At the same time that I realize it’s a poor choice politically for him to not fund his own campaign extensively or plunge into the partisan, nasty fray, it’s also I like him so much. He believes in democracy, and you can tell he would rather lose honestly than self-promote to win empty votes. He has the potential to unite the country and it’s a damn shame his run for POTUS is coming to an end so soon.)
Gingrich, Santorum, and Perry are fighting it out for 4th. Perry might stick around for the Southern primaries, but if I were him I would drop out now. He has like 1% of the vote at this point, he’s just wasting money. Gingrich’s numbers aren’t stellar, but neither did he expect them to be. He’s polling really well in South Carolina and some other Southern states so I suspect he’ll stick around for a while longer as well. Santorum isn’t doing well outside of the midwest, as I predicted. His momentum took him about as far as the Iowa border and promptly puttered out. He might stick around in hopes of a VP bid since a few candidates have indicated they would choose him but I doubt he’ll be in the race much longer.
back to it!
Real life got in the way of my political fixation last night (except not really because all I talked about in the car with my pal Philip was the primary) so I didn’t watch the debate. I’m remedying that now and you’ll reap the fruit of my labor.
I’m at the half way point in the debate so here is the first half of my NH reactions.