Dammit, Granite!

Let’s be honest: We burned our “You Can’t Get There From Here” gag yesterday, we’ve spent hours trying to riff on the state nickname, and all we can come up with is a Rocky Horror reference. But in welcoming you to our New Hampshire Primary Open Thread/Time Warp, we take solace in the fact that Mitt’s a lock anyway, so there’s no point going to much trouble.


Results are trickling in, and everybody’s gonna call it at 8:01, so let’s get a running start…

I predict everyone stays in but Huntsman – the others believe there are enough bigots in SC to keep their hopes alive.

@blogenfreude: Huntsman will stay in as long as Huntsman’s Daddy keeps plowing in Billionaire Lunch Money.

Any joy in Florida for Huntsman? I mean, there’s gotta be DOZENS of moderates in Florida.

If Huntsman is 4th in a state where he’s basically banked on? Best he can hope for is UN Ambassador nod in Romneybot 9000 admin. Drops out, endorses Mittens, the end.

BTW: enjoying live performance of hockey flavor of Sport tonight. Blackhawks v Blue Jackets. No live commenting from me until midnight hour. Sorry, kids.

@chicago bureau: Remember when Ghouliani thought he could cruise to the nomination after a Florida win? Good times …

And at 8:00:05, it’s called.

Now for #2, just to make an evening of it.

There’s a Cafe Press “Palin 2012” tee appearing in the Not-MSNBC space.

Also, John Sununu is off his meds.

Sununu defending the pink-slip line, saying that Mitt once faced the last-hired/first-fired dilemma: “Mitt Romney, after he came out of college, was the last guy hired by the Boston Consulting Group.”

MSNBC calls Ron Paul #2.

On to #3! Huntsman?

@nojo: That’s pretty wacky. Is RuPal headed for 2nd place?

@Dodgerblue: I guess we’re looking at percentages, now that Win & Place have been called. Conventional Wisdom sez Mitt has to be well north of 30%.

@nojo: And Lawrence O’Donnell just raised Mitt’s bar to 40%. But O’Donnell’s a hack.

If MSNBC were the Apollo, Sharpton would be getting the hook.

@blogenfreude: Huntsman campaign sez Huntsman’s not quitting. Right now he’s running distant #3.

@mellbell: I’ve never understood that hire, but his show runs mid-afternoon on the Left Coast, and is safely ignored.

All five Romney Abercrombie models sons are on stage.

Mitt: “Ann and I have made a home here.” And five other states.

Honestly, does the fact that Santorum does not make podium in New Hampshaah doom him?

I mean, what happens if Frothy can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat in South Carolina? Does he even make it to Super Tuesday?

This could be over right now. Maybe.

Any guesses as to how much longer until Mittens breaks out “America the Beautiful”?

@chicago bureau: It was over Saturday night. Mitt’s making his opening speech of the general campaign.

@Dodgerblue: I voted HAL.

But I’ll bet Pawlenty.

@Dodgerblue: The question is how Obama counters that kind of delivery in a debate. Romney’s playing Reagan, and Obama can’t play Carter.

@nojo: He plays Reagan also. After all, he’s closer to Reagan on the issues than Romney is, and he is also far more human.

@Dodgerblue: Brit Hume says Ron Paul has the same chance of getting nominated as RuPaul. He’s stealing your material.

@nojo: Reagan was a better actor and had that chuckle and head-toss thing going. Mitt strikes me as being from the Al Gore stick-up-his-ass school of oratory.

Tuned in too late. al Jizz is reporting on CES Las Vegas.

@Dodgerblue: Mitt’s smug look makes me want to bash my TV.

Ron Paul’s making his pitch for a very entertaining convention.

Paul (what did we decide his nickname was?) needs a tailor.

@mellbell: No, still at work. Is it being webcast?

@Dodgerblue: No idea. But Tamryn Hall is working it tonight.

Oh, AlJizz is live casting Dr Evol (“ePaul”?).

@mellbell: I disagree. He does rumpled much better than Ralph Nader.

Hey, who asked Meathead to stand in the back row?

ADD: “Liberty” is going to figure into his third party name somehow.

@mellbell: Oh, they’ve got RuPaul on live. He’s on a rant/roll.

@Nabisco: He looks like he’s wearing a windbreaker.

@nojo: Hehehehehe. How he does it, I wonder. It’s not the ‘Surfin’, it’s what I do’ smug mug. It’s a smug mug he cracked after spending a half dozen fortunes, 15+ years of his life and after sucking off every fascist psychopath in the GOP and adopting every neomedievalist position of a party that in every way would like to stuff him in a concentration camp with the gays and unwhites and the non-jesufascist, if it weren’t for his money.

Was that Bono music at the Huntsman rally?

Huntsman: “Third place is a ticket to ride!”

And America don’t care.

@nojo: Even more disturbing, “On! The! Hunt!”

@FlyingChainSaw: I see a porn video featuring the Romney Boys and the Huntsman Girls.

Huntsman is very animated for 17 percent.

@Nabisco: The embarrassing part is that I have the Carpenters version in my head.

Huntsman is pitching himself as Obama plus 10 percent.

Huntsman goes steampunk: “That’s an engine of growth that we are going to refire.”

@nojo: +1

“if we don’t get our act together I won’t be the onlyone speaking Chinese in New Hampshire!”

Everybody’s learned the lesson about Reagan Optimism.

I have no idea where this line came from: “Then they assimilate and they digest it all and they render a judgment.”

With 57 percent of precincts reporting, Michele Bachmann has 169 votes.

All this chatter about Ron Paul paving the way for Rand, no chatter about how offputting Rand is. Dr. Evol is a crazy-uncle charmer.

Newt bigfoots Frothy with loser speech.

For the record, the Manchester Union Leader endorsement is worth 10 percent.

@nojo: I see a porn video featuring the Romney boys.

@mellbell: We’re all partial to Matt.

Tonight I am proud to be an American. Wait.

NH turnout down 40 percent from 2008? Doesn’t anybody have a problem with socialism?

@nojo: Right, with a cameo by Talibunny in a dominatrix outfit, a bullwhip and a bullhorn to howl commands for debauched acts and scripture.

@nojo: Okay, I’m not sure where Debbie W-S got that stat. Earlier today, the NH sec of state was predicting 250,000 votes, “slightly more than in 2008”.

@mellbell: And apparently the number came from Nate Silver, who was guessing 185,000 votes earlier tonight, but changed that to 225,000 before he gave up a half-hour ago.

The percentage is a further calculation, based on half this year’s voters being Independents, compared to 37 percent in 2008.

So, I’ll wait for a final total vote, and then redo the math.

Whatever the number (and it is lower), this aspect of Nate’s analysis is undeniable:

The drop-off in turnout looks worse for Republicans since a higher fraction of voters – about half this year, compared to 37 percent in 2008 – are independents.

@mellbell: I think it’s a very important number — my eyebrows hit the ceiling when Debbie W-S mentioned it — which is why I want to be very clear what the number is. It may be the most telling result this evening.

While I’m waiting for NH results to hit the high 90s…

2008 Iowa GOP Caucus turnout: 119,000

2012: 122,255

Unlike NH, Iowa is a “closed” caucus, although as I recall, you could register or switch parties on the spot. And both 2008 and 2012 set record turnouts.

So, whatever the NH number turns out to be, it’s not a trend. But it remains very curious.

Perry got 1%, has Santorum in front of him sucking all of the anti-Mormon air out of the room, and Gingrich campaigning in state that is literally going down on Georgia?

And he’s still running? He already used his phone-a-friend with the prayer trip to Texas after Iowa. The audience lifeline’s been used too, to be honest. And the decision is 50/50, by definition. He’s out of lifelines, then.

@chicago bureau: To be fair, Perry didn’t really contest NH. But he’s all in SC.

Where he’ll still fail miserably. But we have to wait before gloating.

Okay, with 95% in, let’s extrapolate and run the numbers…

1. We’re tracking for the 250,000 votes the NH Secretary of State was predicting. So, contra Nate, early returns are not a predictor of final turnout.

2. Nate says that half this year’s NH voters are Independents. So GOP turnout is 125,000.

3. Nate says that 37% of 240,000 NH GOP 2008 primary voters were Indies, which leaves 2008 GOP turnout at about 151,000.

4. So: 26,000 fewer NH GOP voters this year, or roughly a 17% drop.

Not as fun as 40%, but significant nonetheless. NH Republicans aren’t excited about the field, nor do they seem particularly angry about the Kenyan Usurper.

“Santorum expelled in New Hampshire” ?

Yes, well, someone had to say it.

@nojo: Per Businessweek, “[t]urnout in New Hampshire’s Republican race was lower than in 2008, with about 228,000 participating compared with about 239,000 four years ago.”

@mellbell: TPM shows 247,638 total votes with 99% reporting precincts.

But you can always make an argument that New Hampshire is an exception, that the Northeast isn’t the Bible Belt. South Carolina should be more telling.

@nojo: Huh. I figured Businessweek‘s numbers were good, since they were published this morning, but they’ve since been disappeared. South Carolina will be interesting as a demonstration of how many Santorum, Gingrich, and Perry true believers there are.

@nojo: Have you ever known a person with a liberal bent who considered himself an Independent? I sure haven’t. If they voted in the Republican primary and called themselves an Independent then they are bullshitters. (Unless they were sneaky Dems sticking their fingers up the pie.)

@texrednface: Like, oh, me? I’ve been a registered Indie for a quarter-century.

@nojo: Opps, my bad. Perhaps my observations of so-called “Independents” is a regional one.

@texrednface: I think it’s a broader misunderstanding of what “Independent” amounts to — that it’s somehow the Broad Center.

The country is still 45-10-45 — and there are far more than 10 percent Independents. Indies simply haven’t registered with a major party, for whatever reason. They aren’t a bloc.

@nojo: I’m registered Indie too, but I did it mostly because I don’t want to be on the mailing lists of either side. There was an advantage to it in Washington for a while, but they changed how the elections work, and I think that advantage went away. Still, I’m certainly not going to re-reg as Repub, and don’t honestly feel the Dems particularly have my best interests in mind either.

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