LIVEBLOG: Primary or Primate?

8 January, 2008 at 12:40 pm (dear diary)

10:52pm: with 73% of districts reporting, NPR has called it for Hillary. Over an hour ago, they had called the Republican side for McCain, with something between 50% and 60% reporting (my notes are unclear).

Of course, in 2004, the Associated Press called it for Kerry with only 19% of districts reporting, so I’m slightly more pleased with the press this time out.

I’m off to bed. I’ll listen to the speeches and the pontification about what this all means tomorrow on my way to work. I’ll only say, 1) that the New Hampshire primary is lousy at predicting actual victorious presidents. 2) That said, I did hear an article telling me that in the last twenty or so years — perhaps more, I can’t put my fingers on the article — the person eventually elected president has never finished lower than second in the New Hampshire primary. So, statistically, we’re down to four possible people who could be sworn in on January 20, 2009. Woo.

9:21pm: Dave Barry sums everything up:

The voters of New Hampshire have made their decision, and the big winner is: Change. Here’s the final vote tally:

  • Change — 43 percent
  • Hope — 28 percent
  • Hope For Change — 17 percent
  • Hair — 9 percent
  • Experience — 2 percent
  • Dennis Kucinich — 1 percent:

Now it’s time for the politicians and the press to drop New Hampshire like an ant-covered corn dog and sprint for the airport, leaving the residents of The Granite State to spend the rest of the winter plucking 239 billion candidate signs out of their snowbanks, all the while wondering if there ever really was a candidate named “Mike Gravel,” or if that was just teenagers playing a sign-planting prank.

In actuality, though, the final tally is far from in at this point. National Public Radio has the reporting districts at only 44%, and New Hampshire Public Radio doesn’t yet have the all-important Epping and Newmarket results in their town-by-town results.

Mr. Barry’s other columns on the primary are worth reading, if only for his keen observation on New Hampshire’s state-run liquor stores — “One of them is located — I am not making this up — in a turnpike service plaza, apparently for the benefit of motorists who are, for whatever reason, running low on gin.” — and to familiarize yourself with the name “Dick Harpootlian“.

3:26pm: The recorded voice of Ron Paul’s wife greets me from my answering machine. I don’t know how I get calls from a Republican candidate. If I were registered as an independent, I would have expected barrages of calls from candidates of both parties, but it’s only in the past week that I’ve been getting autocalls from the Paul campaign. Maybe it’s because he’s only pretending to be a Republican, and so he’s either bought both the Democratic and Republican registers. Or maybe he’s cold-calling the whole state.

Or perhaps Anthony and Christine Fay, for whom I still get phone messages, yea these eighteen months after I procured this phone number, gave out their number to the Paul campaign. They give out their number to Realtors, car salesmen… the sort of people who plead for a number and who you’d rather not have actually call you. Instead of giving out a fake number, the Fays have been known to give out their old number… their old number which has been reassigned to me. Oy! Tony! Stop giving out my phone number! Oh, and your grandmother wishes you a happy Christmas.

Nixon Agnew campaign badge3:11pm: My Nixon/Agnew button gets the approval of the guy manning the ballot box, though he informs me that he saw a button fort Adlai Stevenson the previous day at a rally, so I’m not quite wearing the coolest button so far. I could quibble with him that, I’m certainly wearing the coolest button so far on election day, but it doesn’t seem worthwhile. He at least didn’t seem to care that I was far too young to wear a Nixon button, whereas two or three people holding candidate placards outside the City Auditorium were taken back. But even they weren’t as flummoxed as the woman who confirmed my registration. She seemed momentarily at sea due to the fact that I was registered as a Democrat and wearing the badge of a former Republican president.

2:19pm: Rhu, my assistant, brings over the Concord Monitor’s Primary Election Guide for my perusal, specifically because there is a candidate in both the Republican and Democratic columns of whom she’s never heard: on the former side, is the traditional Silly Party candidate Vermin Supreme, but on the other side of the aisle was the putative Democratic candidate O. Savior. In the Monitor’s helpful guide, all the candidates had website addresses to head to in order to find out additional information, except for O. Savior. Perhaps we’ll just have to try the Bible?

10:45am: These are not, I repeat, not the results of the official town polling station located in the gymnasium of Belmont High School. This is an informal poll of voting-age and non-voting-age Belmont and Canterbury students.

Belmont High School Mock Primary:
School Population: 480
Total votes: 305 (63%)
Results compiled by Dane Loomer

Democrat

  • Barack Obama: 145
  • Hillary Clinton: 33
  • John Edwards: 18
  • Bill Richardson: 8
  • Dennis Kucinich: 4

Total votes: 208 (68%)

Republican

  • Mike Huckabee: 34
  • Mitt Romney: 22
  • John McCain: 21
  • Rudy Guliani: 15
  • Ron Paul: 5

Total votes: 97 (31%)

This looks like a standard case of votes equating to a certain media popularity, more than any issues-based alliance on the part of the voters. Of course, if Huckabee and Obama carry their respective nominations, that will be the national story anyway: the new breed of populaism.

Ward 5 Concord, NH Ballot: Democratic Ticket7:03am: The city polls have officially opened, and the race is on. Carl Kasell has just told me that Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location have had their traditional midnight ballot, and successfully polled each of their fewer-than-100 eligible residents. Both towns ended their vote with John McCain and Barack Obama in the majority position.

Despite the midnight cache that each of these towns enjoys, New Hampshire Public Radio informs me that the two towns considered to be bellwethers for the state are Epping and Newmarket.

I’ll be voting in Ward 5, Concord, later today. Belmont High School is hosting polling in the gymnasium right now (the school is doing some self hype/entertainment for people waiting in the lobby by doing a clipshow of BHS News segments, including my promo spot for 24 Hour Comic Day). We did an informal poll of the students yesterday, and for what is generally considered to be a socially conservative town, the results were fairly interesting. More on that when I can sit down with the hard numbers.

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