Get PhotoCrank at PhotoCrank!
January 29, 2008

Florida Live Blog (Update: McCain Wins)

Some of Florida's polls will begin closing in a few minutes, but don't expect any reports until after all the polls have closed at 8 pm ET. Some exit polling has already gotten published, but nothing conclusive; Jim Geraghty has the data, but it won't provide much clarity. One interesting datapoint: Florida officials apparently believe that one-third of the vote will come from absentee ballots.

More coming -- keep checking for updates, which will appear in reverse chronological order...

8:57 and Final - McCain wins an impressive victory. Did Democrats help? No. Despite some speculation that voters would re-register to cast spoiler votes in the Republican primary, Democrats cast 1.4 million votes in their own primary with 76% of precincts reporting. That's about the same as the Republicans.

8:21 - Rudy Giuliani sounds like he's giving a valediction, and he's talking about his honorable opponents. He jokes about Ron Paul winning all the debates. He's also talking about the responsibility of leadership being the continuance of the fight, but not necessarily in an election. Now he's talking about running an "uplifting" campaign -- in the past tense. He's out.

8:19 - It's getting wider now. McCain has a five-point gap with 62% of the precincts reporting.

8:11 - Fox calls it for John McCain, and that sounds right at this point. It should be a significant move for McCain.

8:06 - I'm about to go on air with Jack Riccardi. McCain has a four-point lead. Giuliani is about to go on air, but it's unclear what he'll say.

7:54 - Rudy to endorse McCain? That's what Time's Mark Helperin reports, via Jim Geraghty.

7:51 - McCain now has a 40,000-vote lead with 46% of the vote in the books. This is beginning to look insurmountable. If I were in McCain's bus, I'd be preparing the champagne.

7:45 - On with Rick Moran at the moment. McCain up by three, and Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade still not reporting.

7:35 - Computer problems had me shut down for a little while, but not much changed in the meantime. With 38% in, McCain has 23,000 votes more than Mitt and a 2-point lead.

7:09 - CNN's exit poll didn't ask for conservative-moderate-liberal affiliation, so we won't get that kind of data from it. Romney just caught up to within a point with 28% reporting; looks like something big's coming in for Mitt.

7:05 - Still a three-point McCain lead with 22% of the precincts reporting, but the panhandle could have some surprises. Rudy Giuliani still says he will participate in tomorrow night's debate in California, but it's hard to see him elbowing his way into the race.

7:00 - CNN's exit poll shows 49% of Florida voters being senior citizens. That has to help McCain.

6:59 - Polls closing. McCain still leading, although Fox says that Romney did better among absentee voters.

6:55 - With 15% in, McCain is increasing his lead. He has a 20,000-vote gap and a four-point lead. It's the first figure that should be worrying the Romney camp.

6:49 - With 12% reporting, McCain still up by 3% and 13,000 votes. Could be trouble for Romney ....

6:44- Something just broke big for McCain. He's up 4% and 13,000 votes with 9% reporting.

6:39 - With 7%, the race is still too close to call, with McCain leading by a single point. However, Giuliani clearly will finish out of the running in either third or fourth. He's still only getting 17%, and that's been very constant. He's ahead of Huckabee by four, but the panhandle may change that. Ron Paul is a nonexistent 3%.

6:35 - Putnam County's electronic machines will cause a delay in the reporting. Lovely.

6:33 - And just like that, Romney grabs the lead by 100. Should be lots of fun tonight!

6:31 - With roughly a hundred twenty thousand votes counted, McCain leads -- by 1200. That's good enough for a one-point lead with 3% of the precincts reporting.

6:26 - Romney pops into the lead momentarily, but it's way too early. This will change several times over the course of the evening.

6:24 - Here's a potential problem for McCain -- the exit poll at Fox has him only leading Romney among veterans by a single point, 37-36.

6:21 - More Fox exit polling; Romney scored 40-25 over McCain with self-identified conservatives; McCain cleaning up among seniors and Hispanics.

6:16 - First few precincts coming in, and no big surprises yet. McCain has a four-point lead over Romney, and Giuliani is twelve points back. It's with less than 12,000 votes counted, though.

6:06 - Fox has started sharing their exit-poll results and they have a few interesting results. 43% felt that Charlie Crist's endorsement was important, and the plurality of those went with McCain. However, 500,000 voters cast their ballots before the endorsement. Those making up their minds today broke 38%-37% for Romney. Giuliani voters chose Romney as their second choice, indicating that Romney might get a boost from those abandoning Rudy, but it was only by 3 points over McCain.

In other words, still super tight.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Please note that unverified Disqus users will have comments held in moderation. Please visit Disqus to register and verify your account. Comments from verified users will appear immediately.