For CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, a major primary in New Hampshire is like an NFL playoff game.
But in his mind, it’s more like a wild-card game.
“We have a long way to go,” he said, minutes before starting his “Situation Room” today at 4 p.m. at CNN Center in downtown Atlanta. “We have South Carolina and Florida coming up and a whole bunch of states in February. I’m not ready to call it.”
And he doesn’t expect tonight to be quite like last Tuesday night when Iowa was a nail biter until 3:31 a.m. in the morning. He was in the studio for more than 12 hours in Atlanta. He is scheduled to be on until midnight tonight (with an hour break at 6 p.m.).
This time, Mitt Romney is expected to win New Hampshire. It’s now a question of who will come in second place among Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, and Newt Gingrich, Blitzer said. “The battle for second,” he said, “will be intense.”
Blitzer, 63, loves this stuff. “I don’t mind staying up late,” he said. “I’m a young guy.”
And he’s prepared. “I got a good night’s sleep. I ran five miles on the treadmill. I ate some healthy yogurt and fruit. I’m strong, ready to go. I’m pumped!”
Election coverage tends to boost CNN’s ratings. Last Tuesday’s Iowa caucus coverage averaged about 1.4 million viewers at its peak at 10 p.m., double the usual number of viewers. CNN beat MSNBC for second but lagged behind perennial leader Fox News, which saw its numbers up to 2.6 million viewers throughout the evening. That’s pretty normal for Fox News.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk