New Hampshire Primary Open Thread

Polls have now closed everywhere in New Hampshire. Check BigGovernment throughout the night for results and analysis.

Alex Marlow, Managing Editor,

Last week, after Rick Santorum’s impressive finish in Iowa, the media would have had you believe that he was bound to keep up the momentum and roll straight into New Hampshire for a photo finish with Willard Romney. I thought this sounded highly unlikely, so I headed over to RCP to view their latest poll round-up and realized I was wrong: it was downright impossible. Romney was polling over 40% at the time and Santorum was just under five percent. When they weren’t grilling conservatives on the constitutionality of contraception, the media were hoping for, praying for, and ultimately fabricating a horse-race that never existed. This narrative didn’t make it through the weekend, of course, and the key stories heading into today became that Romney was going to cake-walk and Obama admin-alum Hunstman was going to emerge from obscurity… to lose by a mere 20%.

Obviously Iowa and New Hampshire are just the first two stops in what could still potentially be a lengthy nominating process, but all signs point in one direction, and that’s to a Mitt Romney candidacy. Jon “Comeback Dad” Hunstman is polling less that Stephen Colbert in South Carolina and it’s doubtful Rick Perry will even be invited to the CNN debate there (New Hampshire voters were apparently unaware they were allowed to vote for Perry). Newt is all of a sudden campaigning on an “Occupy Mitt” platform, and Santorum will need to regroup after a single-digit finish in N.H. and survive a more thorough vetting process if he’s really going to be a contender on the national level.

On the day of the first presidential primary since the inception of the Tea Party movement, it’s surprising to think we’re on a fast-track to nominate the New England moderate Romney to challenge Barack Obama. Yet, Republican voters have danced with just about everyone else in this (very limited) field looking for their anti-Romney dream date, and more and more of them are deciding that none of the other suitors are looking so hot.