“Live Free or Die”
Posted by Op All Night on January 4, 2012
By Max Spielvogel
New Hampshire Primary
After yesterday’s closest Iowa Caucus in history it’s time to move on to the “Live Free or Die” state, New Hampshire. The motto should give Ron Paul’s supporters a reason to get excited given that freedom is more or less the basis of his whole campaign. However, early polls have suggested that Mitt Romney has a staggering lead over his opponents with nearly 50% of the vote. With less than a week to go, history shows that the margin should be narrowed considerably, as the majority of those polled know Romney’s views being the governor of neighboring Massachusetts.
Michele Bachmann announced today that she is dropping out of the race, no surprise there, but it is a little surprising that Rick Perry decided to stay in after giving a speech last night that suggested otherwise. Both being heavily supported by the tea party, Perry should see a lot of Bachmann’s supporters come his way, but it won’t be enough to win the state.
The important thing to remember about New Hampshire is that it is only worth 12 delegates at the Republican National Convention (RNC). To put that into perspective, Iowa is worth 28, and one candidate needs about 1,245 total, a little over 50%, to be nominated as the republican candidate for president. The only thing a win does in New Hampshire is give momentum to the winner.
New Hampshire: Predictions
The following is only my prediction about the what the primary results will be after looking at what happened in Iowa and how the state of New Hampshire is set up, but a lot could change after the debates this week.
Winner: Mitt Romney (30-25%)
Some people suggested early on that a win in Iowa and New Hampshire would give Mitt Romney the nomination, no one could have expected such a close race last night. A worse than expected finish in New Hampshire after showing no growth in Iowa from 2008 will keep the race going at least through Super Tuesday on March 6. In fact, I’ll argue that anything less that 30% of the New Hampshire vote will cause Mitt Romney to lose momentum going into a South Carolina state that doesn’t like him the following week. The so called “front runner” will still have at least 70% of the GOP against him, leaving the Romney team flustered and a lot of votes still up for grabs by the remaining candidates.
Runner-Up: Ron Paul (25-20%)
The Paul campaign will finish strong in New Hampshire as long as he dazzles, as he usually does, at the debates this week. His message resonates strongly with the people of the state, and his effective campaigning along with dedicated volunteers help him finish in a very close second, which is essentially a win for the Paul supporters. The battle in South Carolina will be tough for him after only receiving a small percentage of the vote last year, but the following state, Nevada, plays right into his hands.
Third and Fourth: Jon Hunstman (18-15%), Newt Gingrich (15-10%)
Jon Huntsman, while everyone else was in Iowa, has been campaigning in New Hampshire for quite sometime now and should expect a strong finish in third place. Next Gingrich, who is only motivated by revenge at this point, will finish fourth, but if he attacks Romney as expected, he will help all the other candidates out a lot in the coming primaries, especially if he makes it to South Carolina, where Gingrich is a favorite. Unfortunately, Romney’s Super PAC will slam Gingrich will negative advertising leaving him feeling as he did after Iowa.
The Bottom Two: Rick Santorum (<10%), Rick Perry (<10%)
While Rick Santorum had an extraordinary showing in Iowa, it won’t quite help him in New Hampshire. Santorum is a strong pro-life candidate, he is against gay marriage, and he is a ridiculous spender of tax payer’s money, all things that don’t go well in New Hampshire. After Rick Perry contemplated conceding the race, he doesn’t get much support either as the voters don’t want to back someone who could drop out of the race at any moment. Santorum heads on to South Carolina, a much more conservative state, but a poor finish there and a lack of funding will force him to drop out of the race. Perry heads to Texas for good this time.
If Gingrich doesn’t finish well in South Carolina, look for him to drop out headed into Nevada. Santorum drops out after that, leaving a three-man race between Romney, Paul, and Huntsman until a winner is declared. I expect the race between those three to go on until April 24, when the campaigns hit states like Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut, but what do I know? It is early and anything can happen.
Don’t forget to vote at your state’s primary! If Iowa taught us anything, it’s that every vote counts.