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January 8, 2008

Live Coverage Of New Hampshire Primaries

I'll be reverse-order posting my thoughts as the results come in from the New Hampshire primaries tonight. My earlier predictions stand, although I think the heavy break in independent voters towards the Democrats hurts John McCain. We'll soon find out ....

9:48 - CNN just called it for Hillary, and within moments, Barack Obama gave his concession speech. It's a gracious speech, congratulating Hillary for her "hard-fought victory". It turned out to be a three- or four-point gap that Obama just couldn't close.

9:21 - John Edwards is giving his concession speech for the primary. Now, if you missed it, you can simply re-read his Iowa concession speech, because it's almost identical. The only thing missing is the "Why? ... Why?" between talking points.

8:59 - The Republican race has narrowed a little. With 56% of precincts reporting, McCain's lead has contracted from a peak of 9 points to six now. McCain will still win, but if Romney can make that gap narrow enough, it may dampen the impact of the win.

8:43 - Interesting split on CNN's exit polling among independents. Barack Obama won the demographic, but not by nearly as much as anyone expected. He only carried independents by 7 points, and lost women by 13. He carried women in Iowa, and that may be the difference here.

8:33 - CNN is now reporting that none of the college towns have reported yet. That may be a big problem for Hillary, whose lead has never gotten more than 3,000 votes ahead of Obama.

8:25 - It's starting to tighten between Hillary and Obama. With 42% of the precincts reporting, it's 39-37% Hillary. CNN reports that Bill Richardson will go back to New Mexico and think things over. I have to say that I'm a little surprised he didn't do better here.

8:21 - Just finished with Jack, who was kind enough to carry me over his coverage of McCain's speech.

8:12 - An ebullient and somewhat defiant John McCain addresses his supporters, who are chanting "Mac is back! Mac is back!"

8:09 - On with Jack now. I have a theory on these numbers. McCain's win is a lot larger than anyone thought earlier today. Did independents break Republican instead of Democrat, assuming that Obama had the race sewn up?

8:02 - Huckabee is giving an effective parting speech to his supporters, and he's showing why people respond so well to him. He's funny, self-deprecating, warm without being treacly -- just a regular guy talking with friends. A third-place finish, even at 12%, doesn't hurt him much at all. He gets a few delegates and goes on to Michigan and South Carolina with his credibility intact.

7:55 - With 26% of precincts in, Clinton still leads Obama by three points, 39-36%. It's getting slightly tighter. We'll see.

7:53 - Coming on at 8:05 instead ...

7:46 - I'll be on Jack Riccardi's show in about four minutes. Be sure to catch me on the stream ...

7:44 - Hillary's still holding onto that lead with 18% of the precincts in. Still, we're only seeing about 50,000 votes in at least 300,000 that were cast for Democrats today, roughly.

7:43 - Abbi Tatton tracks the information on line for CNN. Abbi's great, as anyone who has worked with her can attest.

7:26 - Now Hillary's ahead 40-36%, with 14% of precincts reporting. Hmm. Interesting. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Paul trails Giuliani, and Thompson has barely showed up. I have a feeling a lot of this will change by the time we get to 30% of the precincts coming in.

7:18 - Hillary Clinton has a 40-36% gap over Barack Obama with 12% of the precincts reporting. It's hard to know whether this is a trend, or a geographic anomaly. If she wins here, a lot of her troubles will disappear.

7:11 - CNN calls the election for John McCain on the Republican side. Their exit polling apparently must have shown some significant gap between him and Romney. This is a big hit on Romney. More on this later as we see more of the results.

7:05 - Starting the review of exit polling on issues. McCain's most important issue was Iraq, while Romney's was illegal immigration. For Democrats, the demos were on affiliation. Clinton's votes came primarily from Democrats, and only 37% from independents. Obama's were 46-44 independent; did Obama get 10% of his votes from Republicans?

7:00 - The polls closed, and CNN is projecting John Edwards to .... come in third place. Their exit polling will now get released over the next few minutes.

6:56 - Some of the commentary is pretty inane. I've now heard from three different talking heads about how only a handful of voters will have made a decision by the end of the night -- why, the rest of the country hasn't had their chance yet! Dobbs was outraged by this. Apparently, this is Lou's first election. To the rest of the pundits on CNN, I offer this rebuttal: Duhhhhhh.

6:50 - Is Lou Dobbs the worst, most arrogant "news" anchor this side of Keith Olbermann or what? CNN usually produces the fastest updates, but I can't wait to get past the 7 pm break. What a blowhard! And why do we have Clinton toady Paul Begala on this broadcast?

6:43 pm - With 8% of the precincts reporting, Clinton has a 38-36% advantage over Obama. That's surprising. McCain leads Romney by nine, 37-28%, with Huckabee at 12% and Giuliani at 9%. Those are some intriguing numbers....


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