Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Granite State Predictions
For today's New Hampshire primary predictions, AP Government decided to take a shot at predicting vote percentages for the candidates. So, in addition to ranking the final showings, we're giving out numbers.
Live by the numbers or die by the numbers, we'll put ourselves out there.
For the Democrats:
Obama: 36 – 37%
Clinton: 28 – 32%
Edwards: 18 – 20%
For the Republicans:
McCain: 33 – 37%
Romney: 24 – 26%
Huckabee: 10 – 12%
Paul: 8 – 10%
Obviously, the 35% of Granite State voters who identify as Independents will be the big story today. Will they go for McCain or Obama? But we also wonder if Hillary's unexpectedly emotional appearance yesterday will help or hurt her prospects going forward. By a narrow margin, we decided it will help.
If we are right about the Democrats, then the big news out of the Granite State is that Obama is looking good to go. Inevitability is no longer the Clinton claim. And Edwards must now deliver the goods in either Nevada or South Carolina if he is to hold on until February 5th.
And on the GOP side of the fence, McCain has clearly benefited from history (he won this state in 2000) and the abundance of editorial endorsements that he received. Romney will be under pressure to deliver in South Carolina, where he can expect Huckabee to show strong. And Giuliani, who was actually organized in New Hampshire, is looking weaker by the day.
Morning After Update: Wea Culpa
Okay, then. Let's start with the obvious: we missed the impending Clinton surge. We take some comfort in the fact that we weren't alone.
Clearly the historical pride that Granite State voters take in being independent-minded is not mis-placed. Suffice it to say that New Hampshire has been good to the Clinton family. Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire was not a big margin, but given that nearly every poll in the state had her down by 10 points going into the vote on Tuesday, it is suitably impressive. And she has spent the last few days of her campaign speaking more informally, taking impromptu questions from both the press and the public. She's good at that and should have been doing it more often; last night it paid off. We expect more of that in the coming weeks.
The final Democratic numbers from New Hampshire:
Our analysis of the GOP vote last night was more accurate. McCain came in at 37%, which was our upper estimate. We figured Romney in the 20s and he came in at 32%; clearly we didn't give him enough credit. At 11%, Huckabee was just where we expected him to be. Giuliani edged out Paul with 9%.......but that won't be enough to keep Rudy's campaign alive.
Democrat John Edwards is in a tricky spot and has a huge uphill battle ahead of him, but he said something last night that resonates this morning: 99% of the nation has yet to vote in a primary contest. A good portion of those folks (more than 50%) will have an opportunity in the coming weeks, especially on February 5th. And it would seem that in both parties we have a real contest on our hands.
It isn't over yet.
Update II: JBro has a nice description of the polling process in the comments section here ..... worth your time. And I share his view of pollster.com as reliable source of polling info; I use it nearly every week in class. Short answer: polling is typically impressively reliable. Except when it's not.