Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The results are in from Dixville Notch

Every election the national media makes a big fuss about it. Their polls open at midnight, all the citizens vote before they go to bed, and there's a national story about this remote mountain hamlet the next morning. I think this started back in the 1950s. Nearby Hart's Location, New Hampshire, with a similar population, also grabs headlines.

These two towns are, as you might well expect, rather conservative, as many small hamlets in the middle of nowhere are. That's why it's a bit surprising that while Obama got 7 votes in Dixville Notch, the Republican candidates got 7 votes *combined*. (2 votes went to John Edwards and one to Bill Richardson.) Conservative Hart's Location saw 16 Republican votes (McCain 6, Huckabee 5, Paul 4, Romney 1) and 13 Democratic votes (Obama 9, Clinton 3, Edwards 1.) Democrats don't normally do so well in these towns. Militant California xenophobe Duncan Hunter put in an appearance in Dixville Notch in the wee small hours, but no one actually voted for him. That's gotta hurt.

Predictions? Well, it looks like Obama's a cinch to win the Democratic nod in New Hampshire. Independents can vote in one primary or another in New Hampshire, and they're flocking to him. Clinton will probably pull a distant second, maybe beating Edwards this time. Richardson might pull double digits, but might not.

The Republicans are trickier to predict this time around. McCain leads the polls right now, but will suffer due to independents breaking for Obama instead of him. Romney will probably narrowly win this over McCain. Ron Paul will pull a surprise third, Huckabee fourth. Giuliani, Thompson, Hunter and Keyes will divide the scraps among themselves, which won't amount to much. A couple of Republicans might drop out at this point, and maybe Richardson, if he doesn't do well.

We'll then see the Republicans fly off to storm Michigan starting Wednesday morning, while the Democrats proceed to divide their time between South Carolina and Nevada.

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