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January 27, 2004
Captain's Log: New Hampshire Primary

All times CST...

6:56 - I've got Fox News on the TV and on the computer, getting set up to flip around and open several browser windows. I'm also hoping that Saint Paul comes around again to satirize me while I'm doing this. It's too self-important to resist. Anyway, on Fox News, I've already found what may wind up being the funniest line of the night:

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich (search), who has been polling at 1 percent in most polls, said Tuesday his campaign has the money to carry beyond New Hampshire and insisted he won't drop out of the race. "We're going to do our best here and go on to the next state and the next state," Kucinich said while in Maine. "I haven't discounted the possibility of a surge in some of these other states."

Stop it, Dennis, you're killing me. What qualifies as a Kucinich "surge"? 2%?

7:01 - Kerry 38%, Dean 24%, Edwards 13%, with 13% of all precincts reporting. No word on absentee ballots. It's the same order as Fox's exit polling, but their exit polls have it 36%-29% Kerry over Dean.

7:08 - Kerry's campaign predicts an "early night," according to Fox, meaning they think it's all wrapped up. CNN has the same numbers as Fox with 14% reporting. Clark is narrowly behind Edwards for third place.

7:27 - Kerry still holding at 39% with 24% of the precincts reporting, and the others are holding at the same levels as before. CNN is calling it for Kerry. Don't know how I feel about that -- it seems rather quick, but so far the numbers aren't changing that much. Fox News is calling it as well. A 15% gap doesn't bode well for Dean, but a second-place finish is probably enough to keep him going.

7:37 - Kerry will be addressing his supporters in about 10 minutes. I am now babysitting the Little Admiral, so blogging will be short and to the point. If these numbers hold up, then Kerry will have a full head of steam rolling into the first Super Tuesday. It's looking like I picked the correct order, and even the correct percentages for everyone except Kerry. It looks like both Clark and Lieberman are done. I doubt Clark will withdraw -- there are few creatures more egotistical than a general, after all -- but Lieberman is much more of a realist.

7:47 - Fox News exit polls shows that military households went 35% Kerry, 25% Dean, and only 15% Clark. So much for the General outranking the Lieutenant.

8:02 - Still waiting for Kerry to speak to his supporters. He's a rock star, I tell ya. Never out on time.

9:01 - Okay, I had to do some serious baby-sitting stuff, like changing toxic-waste diapers, and the like. It felt strangely like politics to me ... I see that Clark has edged out Edwards for third place but still only got 13% of the vote. It looks like Clark may be fading away, like old generals are supposed to do, Dean wound up twelve points behind Kerry, which does not bode too well for Deaniacs. Overall, their candidate made up very little ground since tanking eight days ago. He's still in the race, of course, and has a big organization and lots of money, but he will need to translate that into an actual victory somewhere next week.

9:06 - Dean's taking the podium now. Let's see if he's learned anything in eight days.

9:23. Dean handled losing much better this time than in Iowa, but he's still losing. I couldn't listen to most of it, as my granddaughter insisted that Grampa pay attention to HER. Chris Matthews mentions that the only demographics that Dean won tonight were those voters who describe themselves as very liberal (40% of those) and the youngest . Not too much of a surprise there, although Hardball all said he would go even harder after the far-left segment. I disagree; he will need to get more support from the moderates if he wants to beat Kerry.

One of the fools on the show said that Bush had to be worried about New Hampshire now, given the "energy" of the Democrats after this primary. Hogwash. A large number of voters (35%) only made up their minds in the last three days, hardly an indicator of passion. The number one issue on NH voters' minds today was ... health care/Medicare but only by 28%, hardly a passionate subject. Where this energy can be found is beyond me.

Bottom line: Kerry is in the driver's seat, Dean's tagging along for now, and everyone else is window dressing from this point forward. Edwards and Clark couldn't even crack the 15% threshold.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 27, 2004 6:58 PM

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» New Hampshire from QandO
What to make of the New Hampshire results? Damned if I know. Not a lot that could be called "definitive". It's not suprising, either. Prior to the majority of primaries, we get these two smallish states that have had about... [Read More]

Tracked on January 28, 2004 8:55 AM

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