Last Night's Winners and Losers.

Jan 09 2008 Published by under 2008, Elections, Politics, Presidential

As the dust settles in New Hampshire, people are starting to talk about the winners and losers, and what it all means in the grand scheme of the election. Some are looking for excuses reasons why Obama didn't actually pull off a win when every poll conducted in the known universe last week said he would. Others are discussing the critically important question of whether the whole "tears" thing helped or hurt Clinton, and whether the emotions were real or fake. Then there's the pressing question of whether Fred Thompson's arrival in South Carolina was a calculated political decision, or if it just means that there's more than one thing he can't find with both hands and a map.

Ultimately, there were two very clear winners and one clear loser in New Hampshire - not counting the candidates.

The first winner is the voting public. At least in New Hampshire, it looks like that's a growing group. The total turnout there was about 351,847 in 1992, 396,385 in 2000, and - with 4% of precincts still not reporting - it was at least 507,612 last night. Turnout in Iowa last week also broke records. Let's hope that this trend keeps up for the rest of the year.

The second winner was the Democratic party as a whole. In New Hampshire, independents get to choose which primary to vote in. In both 1992 and 2000, more ballots were cast in the Republican primaries than in the Democratic primaries. This year, more people voted Democrat - 279,081, compared to 228,531 Republican ballots. In fact, so many independents voted in this years Democratic primary that it looks like the number of ballots cast there far exceeds the number of registered Democrats in the state. According to CNN, 26% of the 850,836 voters who were registered before the start of yesterday's election were Democrats. That should work out to about 221,000 people.

Which brings us to the loser - the Republicans. They really didn't manage to get NH voters excited about any of their candidates. Both Clinton and Obama received substantially more votes than McCain did, and Obama's second place finish netted more votes than the second and third place Republicans (Romney and Huckabee) did combined.

4 responses so far

  • Coturnix says:

    Yes, this is great to see how much more excited people are about the Dems than Repubs (even Edwards got more votes than Huckabee and Giuliani added together).

  • QA's mom says:

    While all of this is true -- I think we're going to see a few other states to see whether there is a real trend .
    Keep in mind that there has been a serious demographic shift in New Hampshire over the last few years.
    This has traditionally been a very conservative state with a stable population.
    Over the last few years the population has grown -- with the trend being towards younger folks born out of state, primarily because of the Boston suburbs expansion into southern NH.
    But, damn, I hope you're right.

  • Dave Briggs says:

    Which brings us to the loser - the Republicans. They really didn't manage to get NH voters excited about any of their candidates. Both Clinton and Obama received substantially more votes than McCain did, and Obama's second place finish netted more votes than the second and third place Republicans (Romney and Huckabee) did combined.
    Fortunately we won't have to wait that long to see if you are right. ( actually I think you are)!
    Dave Briggs :~)

  • JS says:

    I'm not sure the Democrats really did win - or rather, the win was clearly not as clear cut as you present it: Clintobama is now clearly ahead of Edwards, which was not the case after Iowa, where Edwards and Obama were pretty much neck-to-neck and both ahead of Clinton.
    And Edwards would certainly win if he got the nomination. The Republican party is in full rout and Reaganomics - of which both Clinton and Obama are more or less faithful adherents - has been going through a slow-motion meltdown since last August. Weak incumbent party, disastrous economy, disaster in Vietraq and the blame for both of the latter clearly and unambiguiously at the feet of the former. The Dems could run anyone to the right of Nader and win. Failure to capitalise on this oppertunity to shift the Overton window is downright criminal (in point of fact, they should elect someone even farther out on the left if they knew what was good for them - both Clinton and Obama are Reagan-lite when it comes to economic policy, and what you guys need is a Roosevelt).
    As an aside, my sympathy among the front-runners is with Edwards for another reason: The corporate media clearly don't like him, which means that their corporate overlords don't like him either, which can only be A Good Thing, considering that said corporate overlords need to have a planet fall on them in the very near future, unless we want a planet to fall on the rest of us.
    - JS