Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lessons from the Shire

With the New Hampshire primary now over, it's time for every pundit to opine on what the results mean, to predict what the results predict. So, I'll pretend to be a pundit and offer my analysis

Mitt Romney won with around 39% of the vote (96% reporting). Paul finished second with 23%, Huntsman third with 17%. Gingrich and Santorum  both failed to crack 10% and Perry--God love  him--didn't even get 1%. But to see what really happened here, we need to look closer. The Google Politics site is a great place to get results, specific by county. And that's where the meat is.

Note that Romney did not lead in every county. In a number of them, Paul led. In a few more, Huntsman led. However, by hovering over the various counties, a simple rule is apparent: the larger the district (in number of primary voters), the more likely Romney was on top. Counties wherein Paul or Huntsman led are smaller, by and large.

Overall, Romney did better in New Hampshire this time around than in the previous Presidential Primary, where he garnered 31%, to McCain's 37%. That's right, Romney did better in New Hampshire this year than McCain did in 2008. And as Sean Trende notes, Romney's 39% is typical for winning candidates since 1972. And that's not all:
He led among almost every demographic group, the exception being younger voters (who supported Paul). Among registered Republicans, Romney won with 48 percent of the vote to Paul’s 15 percent. And perhaps most importantly, he carried very conservative voters and won a near majority of somewhat conservative voters.
What more could Romney possibly ask for?

Santorum's less than impressive showing--which was entirely predictable here--and Perry's fall into obscurity means more defections from supporters of those two. And the majority of them will no doubt turn to Romney. Which means Romney's lead in South Carolina and Florida will--at the very least--creep upward. Meanwhile, Paul will--predictably in these states--fare much worse than in New Hampshire.

The problem for all of the candidates is that they've run out of ammunition. Gingrich's last foolish salvo is having the exact opposite effect from what he had hoped for. Paul has nothing fresh to say (he hasn't since day one, really), and the others have played their hands as well. But Romney doesn't need any more ammunition. He has, for all intents and purposes, taken the hill and planted his flag. It will take a bombshell to move him out.

Cheers, all.


  1. I am constantly amazed at the fervor Ron Paul inspires in some people. The man has a charisma of a door knob. Maybe it's just because of my opinion about his "views". *shrug*

  2. My nephew loves Ron Paul. My nephew also loves pot.

  3. Lol, Leaker! That may be Paul's number one draw...