2012 Tuesday: Will New Hampshire even matter?

New Hampshire fought, like usual, to maintain its “first primary in the nation” status this year. But we won’t know until tonight whether it will maintain its status as a primary that matters.

Mitt Romney will win. The questions are: By how much? And who’s closest to him?

Just as Romney’s eight-vote win in Iowa was a win, but a weak one, it will be harder for him to beat the drum of inevitability if he captures less than 40 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, where he’s led for months if not years. That’s the first number to watch in the returns tonight.

The next thing to watch is whose name is second. Ron Paul has been sitting in that position, but recent polls show him slipping a bit relative to Jon Huntsman, who has staked his campaign on the Granite State. If either of them can finish in second above 20 percent, especially above 25 percent, he may have a springboard to the next few states. If second place — and Huntsman’s position in any case — is in the teens, New Hampshire will mostly have been useful as a means of narrowing the field further. I don’t see how Huntsman carries on if he wins less than 20 percent after campaigning virtually nowhere else for months.

Finally, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum may have a truce of sorts between them, but their placement relative to one another will matter going into South Carolina. Santorum in particular would be well-served by a third-place finish after Iowa jump-started his candidacy. Either of them would probably be heartened by finishing in a tight pack of second through fourth places. (Rick Perry can only resuscitate his candidacy with a strong showing in South Carolina; his finish tonight is fairly unimportant.)

– By Kyle Wingfield

131 comments Add your comment

td

January 10th, 2012
11:51 am

NH only matters to who might be eliminated from the race. If Huntsman can not win or come in a strong second then he probably leave the race. Perry, Newt and Santorum will find out which ones will leave the race after the conservatives of SC have spoken.

Karl Marx

January 10th, 2012
11:58 am

I’m just not excited about the Republican offerings. I think in the end it will be Romney. If by some very slim chance it’s Ron Paul I may have to sit that one out I just can’t vote for the man. He would do more harm to the ecomony and our military than Obama has.

clyde

January 10th, 2012
12:08 pm

New Hampshire will show how little people think of Romney.That’s for sure.It will also show how little they care for the other has beens.

This is one of the saddest Primaries that I have ever witnessed and I date back to JFK.It’s akin to sorting through a barrel of rotting fish,trying to find one that’s almost edible.This is a vital election and the Republicans have no one running.The only interesting person in the entire melee was Hermon and he’s out with the garbage.The strait laced Repubs cannot handle behavior such as his.Too bad,he could have wasted Obama in November.

wallbanger

January 10th, 2012
12:22 pm

Clyde, maybe none of the Republican candidates get your blood racing. None of them seems to have the rhetorical skill of the Obozo, but when you listen to Obozo he sounds good and says nothing you can pin down. At least these guys have “backgrounds” in legislation or financial industries, and have done something in the world other than “community organize”. They would probably spend a lot more time “at work” since they know what that means than Obozo does.

Frigmund Scroid

January 10th, 2012
12:23 pm

The primaries and debates only seem to underscore and illuminate the great chasm that divides the Republican Party these days. Is the GOP the friend of the rich and of the corporatists? Or is it a slice-’em, dice-’em Tea Partyesque price slasher that places principle over reason and sustainability?

Let’s return to this issue in 2016 and give them time to sort it out amongst themselves. For now, the tug of war neutralizes both sides and assures an Obama victory in November.

reebok

January 10th, 2012
12:28 pm

It’s just part of the winnowing process that will inevitably lead to Romney. It would help Governor Romney if he could put these clowns away quickly so they don’t keep hammering him in their attack ads and in the debates. All that does is weaken him for the General Election. In any case, barring gas being at $5 a gallon and unemploymnet back above 9%…both of which are economically unlikely…President Obama is very likely to win a second term. Voters just don’t warm up to Romney, and in the end, a Presidential election is a popularity contest.

Somali Republican

January 10th, 2012
12:30 pm

We need to follow Somlia’s example of how to reduce govenment and debt.
Everyone has ample bootstraps to pull on in Somlia and our jobs program is something the US should consider. Free market forces rule the land and answer all questions. Peace.

reebok

January 10th, 2012
12:31 pm

It won’t be Ron Paul, K-Marx. The media gave him a free ride because they saw him as being some kind of eccentric old uncle, good for a laugh. His neanderthal worldview and racist past would sink him in a heartbeat if he became a legitimate contender.

td

January 10th, 2012
12:39 pm

reebok

January 10th, 2012
12:28 pm

I guess ou have not read the Goldman Sachs report a few weeks ago that says unemployment will be back close to 9% by next November. If the Iranians keep up this saber rattling then gas could be well over $4 by November as well.

The general election is way to early to predict right now. If you just go back and look at the polls 4 years ago then you would find that McCain was on his way to becoming President until the banks failed in September.

MarkV

January 10th, 2012
12:46 pm

wallbanger @12:22 pm

These attack on Obama are so childish and pathetic, starting with calling him Obozo. That in itself shows the smallness of mind. Detractors like you always find something in the President’s background to criticize, while they overlook it when it comes to the Republicans. He has no business experience – what business experience Gingrich has? He has no military experience – again, what about Gingrich, Romney, Santorum? Obama has done nothing than “community organize?” Really? That shows how ignorant you are.

clyde

January 10th, 2012
12:50 pm

Wallbanger–I just know too much about the ones who are running.They’re terrible.Romney has RomneyCare and a lot of thrown out of work people hanging over his head to be popular.We got rid of Newt once already,Ron Paul is a fruitcake,and Santorum has loads of baggage hanging off him.One is an 18 point defeat to a nobody.The Texan is just another rough and ready Texan.We just had one of those and we’re not ready for another.Free instate tuition for illegals Texan that is.The Republicans have either dragged the bottom of the lake for their offerings or they’re the best they have.Take your pick.

clyde

January 10th, 2012
12:54 pm

MarkV–Obama has no experience at anything except lip.The last lip I had any respect for was Ali.He put his money where his mouth was.

Jefferson

January 10th, 2012
12:55 pm

Palin would make a good running mate.

Somali Republican

January 10th, 2012
12:58 pm

I have nice Horse named Clyde. Plenty of experience too.

reebok

January 10th, 2012
1:07 pm

td – you could be right on both counts, but I believe GS will be re-thinking their forecasts as the December sales and employment figures are adjusted…you’ll recall that the last jobless report caught everyone by surprise. Certainly a bad economy could sink President Obama, but I feel that Governor Romney has a basic unlikeabilty issue that will make it hard for him to beat an incumbent…I’m thinking Dole vs Clinton….although my Republican friends are thinking more along the lines of Carter vs Reagan!

Enjoying the civil conversation. Have a pleasant afternoon.

jconservative

January 10th, 2012
1:07 pm

Interesting discussion.

I would think that if Romney wins by 8 to 10 points tonight and is able to win South Carolina by as little as one vote, then it is over.

But the interesting thing about New Hampshire is they surprise everyone. It would not be unusual for someone from the Blue Light Special Section to make a huge & impressive showing and take the shine off of a Romney win.

JDW

January 10th, 2012
1:13 pm

It will be interesting to see if Huntsman can make a move. He is the only one of these yahoos I would consider voting for and though he has done some pandering to the Wingnuts in the recent positions that he has taken he does have some good ideas.

Telling Grover to stick it certainly speaks to his ability to think clearly and make good decisions.

redneckbluedog

January 10th, 2012
1:26 pm

As aluminum goes…so goes basic materials (Japan still has to rebuild)…including oil…oil’s gonna be high…but the Keystone pipeline and renewable push will create jobs…..as basic materials go, so goes shipping..so goes the European recovery…

Interestingly, China is the unknown…That would seem to help Huntsman…but a lot folks aren’t thoughtful past 10 second sound bites….

redneckbluedog

January 10th, 2012
1:28 pm

reebok
January 10th, 2012
1:07 pm
—————————
Romney is no Reagan…he’s not even Dole….

redneckbluedog

January 10th, 2012
1:28 pm

Reagan had the Moral Majority…and they are DEFINITELY not excited about Mitt….

Average Republican

January 10th, 2012
1:56 pm

Why do there have to be all these choices? Why can’t we just vote for “Not Romney”?

td

January 10th, 2012
2:01 pm

MarkV

January 10th, 2012
12:46 pm
wallbanger @12:22 pm

“These attack on Obama are so childish and pathetic, starting with calling him Obozo. That in itself shows the smallness of mind. Detractors like you always find something in the President’s background to criticize, while they overlook it when it comes to the Republicans”

And Democrats do not do the same thing when Republicans are in charge? Have you ever watched MSNBC or read the NY times or the Huffington post? The Dems started on GWB on day one and are still trying to blame him for everything Obama has done wrong. Please stop with the holier then thou bull.

Ayn Rant

January 10th, 2012
2:03 pm

Those folks are tearing themselves and their opponents apart ten months before the elections. The spending, lying, slandering, and posturing will probably continue unabated until the convention in Tampa.

Isn’t it obvious that the Republican Party is a unworkable hodge-podge of political factions that can’t coexist? It should be split up!

The greedy fat cats, with their small government, low taxes (for the rich), no regulations, libertarian BS should become the High Republican Party; Romney or Huntsman is their man for November.

The loonies, including control-freaks, science haters, bomb-lovers, and Latter-Day Pharisees (pseudo-Christians) should become the Low Republican Party; Santorum is their man in November, on condition that he promise cabinet positions to Bachman as Secretary of State, Palin as Secretary of Defense, Perry as Secretary of Education, and Gingrich as Treasury Secretary.

Why should we be stuck with only two political parties? After all, there are more than two sides to every issue.

saywhat?

January 10th, 2012
2:04 pm

The NH primary doesn’t matter, nor does the SC primary either. No matter who wins the Republican primaries, they will lose to President Obama come November. The GOP has evolved into an extreme right wing know-nothing party, and the choices they offer this election in the form of candidates reflects this.

And by the way, if experience matters, only one man running for president this November will have any.

Byte Me

January 10th, 2012
2:08 pm

And by the way, if experience matters, only one man running for president this November will have any.

Inexperience only matters when it refers to Obama, dontcha know? Supposedly Caribou Barbie had more “experience” than Obama in their clouded eyes.

td

January 10th, 2012
2:13 pm

Ayn Rant

January 10th, 2012
2:03 pm

You have to either be kidding, spinning or have not followed the primary process before now. This is no better or no worse then 4 years ago and it was no better or no worse then 8 years ago.

td

January 10th, 2012
2:15 pm

saywhat?

January 10th, 2012
2:04 pm

You have to be working for the Obama campaign because you are spouting the message we are going to hear for the next 11 months. This is what you Dems hope happens because you do not want to talk about his record or run on it.

Ross Perot

January 10th, 2012
2:16 pm

He has no business experience – what business experience Gingrich has? He has no military experience – again, what about Gingrich, Romney, Santorum? Obama has done nothing than “community organize?” Really? That shows how ignorant you are.
At least they’ve held a job at one point or another, not a life-long educated, non descript senator from nowhere!

Old timer

January 10th, 2012
2:16 pm

I hope the senate will have a good Republican majority and the house holds on….then the next four years will have to improve. The do nothing Congress of 2008-2010 needed to go. One step is done, now for step two….

Old timer

January 10th, 2012
2:17 pm

Obama called the private sector…”the enemy” in one of his books.

Ross Perot

January 10th, 2012
2:21 pm

Compassionate Conservatism?

January 10th, 2012
2:26 pm

What matters is that people are and should be looking for CIVILITY!

“Civility costs nothing and buys everything.”

“Respecting others’ opinions doesn’t mean being untrue to our own.”

Rafe Hollister

January 10th, 2012
2:27 pm

The election is going to be about Obozo, (called him that to please MarkV) nothing else. He has done little, talked much, traveled greatly, and alienated many. Saw yesterday where latest polls show Americans by 2-1 margin are scared of a possible reelection.

Oblamer has been out of the spotlight somewhat as we all revel in the GOP slugfest. Soon, Newt and Santorum will run out of money and we will be left with Romney and the crazy ole uncle Ron. People will lose interest in the GOP race as the outcome will be established and Oblamer can start getting some critical attention again.

Rafe Hollister

January 10th, 2012
2:32 pm

Crazy uncle Ron reminds me of Quantrell, the confederate general, who continued to fight the war long after it was over.

td

January 10th, 2012
2:32 pm

Rafe Hollister

January 10th, 2012
2:27 pm

“Oblamer” will then unleash that $1 billion and you will see the dirtiest, nastiest campaign this country has seen since Andrew Jackson.

redneckbluedog

January 10th, 2012
2:34 pm

I’m thinking Newt may be run to the LEFT of Romey in South Carolina….It may work…Huntsman is all that’s out there, and he’ll be gone by then…..

Then Newt can double-back to the right in the general….Good strategy….Too bad he’s so unpopular….

redneckbluedog

January 10th, 2012
2:38 pm

Rafe Hollister
January 10th, 2012
2:27 pm
——————————
Careful what you wish for….I’m supporting Gary Johnson right now….I supported Obama in 2008 because 1. Bush REALLY screwed it up, 2. Sarah Palin……

To a centrist small businessman, Obama has not failed…unless you are in the 1%….and Romney looks like an idiot when he critisizes the President on foreign policy….

redneckbluedog

January 10th, 2012
2:40 pm

Glad to see the partisans have arrived after the Rush/Hannity/Boortz shows are over…..Guess it’s time for me to find more intelligent discourse….

Compassionate Conservatism?

January 10th, 2012
2:52 pm

@Ayn Rant January 10th, 2012 2:03 pm – Those folks are tearing themselves and their opponents apart ten months before the elections. The spending, lying, slandering, and posturing will probably continue unabated until the convention in Tampa.
_______________________________________________________________

When once the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope of return to kindness or decency.

Chuck Doberman

January 10th, 2012
3:04 pm

“This is no better or no worse then 4 years ago and it was no better or no worse then 8 years ago”

TD, this is true, however I think Ayn is onto something. Reagan was the last republican to successfully unite the “moral majority” types with the “rich fat cats”. Since then the two factions, both bigger and more powerful than they were back then, have butted heads constantly significantly reducing the amount the GOP can leverage elections. The contrast is clear when thought out – the true religious folk who actually believe and stand by those beliefs would (should) be hesitant to royally screw their neighbor and leave them in ruin. The fat-cats don’t want people (religious types) squawking at them or reminding them that the the neighbors are actually human beings when they do just that. It’s an ugly marriage, destined to continue with the two factions at odds. Knowing my conservative friends fairly well, it’s pretty easy to distinguish which group who would belong to, and as I think about it none would fit into both groups. The split may not be a bad idea

Chuck Doberman

January 10th, 2012
3:08 pm

“When once the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope of return to kindness or decency.”

Sad but true. This is where we live and it’s like this because of what we’ve said and done

carlosgvv

January 10th, 2012
3:21 pm

Will New Hampshire really matter? Go back to 2008 and answer, quickly, very quickly, who won that primary?

Cammie

January 10th, 2012
3:34 pm

Watching the GOP race only reflects how the Republicans & Teaparty have acted in the House of Representatives. Now why would anyone want to vote for more of that?

wallbanger

January 10th, 2012
3:43 pm

Centrist Bluedog says Obama hasn’t failed. Look at all the closed stores/office buildings, abandoned building projects, people out of work, people becoming accustomed to standing on line for hand outs, write downs and bailouts. Obama hasn’t failed to make this country more whining, sniveling and groveling for handouts rather than interested in working for a living. In that he hasn’t failed. But the country has suffered and will continue to suffer under his world view. He would like to have solar energy. Yes, but when the country is in the dumpster isn’t the time to hang the silk curtains. Maybe we have to make do with what we have and open up drilling again in this country. He turns a deaf ear, or maybe he is just ignorant, of what it takes to stimulate an economy. All the increased regulations on business in the last year, and it seems like there is a new one every day, do nothing to stimulate confidence or stability. Obama is a complete disaster if we ever hope to recover.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

January 10th, 2012
3:44 pm

“Isn’t it obvious that the Republican Party is a unworkable hodge-podge of political factions that can’t coexist?”
————

Being a Democrat is soooo much easier (and gutless).

MORE taxes
MORE spending
MORE government
MORE regulation
MORE hassling of business

All of which lead to LESS freedom and LESS economic growth.

Hillbilly D

January 10th, 2012
3:54 pm

Crazy uncle Ron reminds me of Quantrell, the confederate general, who continued to fight the war long after it was over.

Are you speaking of William Quantrell? If so, he was the leader of a band of pro-Confederate partisans and never was a General. Late in the war, he was overthrown as leader of his band by one of his own men. He was killed in June of 1865, in Kentucky, by pro-Union partisans, who’d were basically contracted to the Union Army, for that purpose.

DannyX

January 10th, 2012
3:59 pm

“All of which lead to LESS freedom and LESS economic growth.”

Congrats to Obama! ‘Socialized’ Government Motors (GM) on its deathbed after the Bush disaster will once again claim the global auto sales lead!

Kyle Wingfield

January 10th, 2012
4:01 pm

carlosgvv: Not disputing that NH usually matters. But SC stands to be much more important this time around.

Linda

January 10th, 2012
4:02 pm

wallbanger@3:43, I agree with you except for Obama maybe being ignorant. We can all agree that Obama is intelligent & highly educated. After years of stimulus spending, bailouts, record deficits, a $15+ T debt, a credit-rating downgrade, tons of regulations & red tape, all with outcomes of consistent record unemployment & foreclosures, can’t you see that it’s intentional? That’s what the progressives do.

Jefferson

January 10th, 2012
4:02 pm

Let Ron Paul go independent and its over and ya’ll will still be crying.