My Primary Picks For New Hampshire

[ Posted Monday, January 7th, 2008 – 15:17 UTC ]

Welcome to the second of a continuing series of my attempt to emulate a television sports reporter by giving "picks" for the winners in the New Hampshire presidential primary tomorrow night. The first of these attempted to pick the winners in Iowa last week.



Which brings me to the tote board. Let's see how my prognostications held up against reality.

On the Democratic side, I had Edwards out front by at least 4-5 points, and Obama narrowly squeaking out second from Hillary (essentially a tie for second). Well, I got the names wrong but predicted the race dynamics pretty well. That's my story and I'm sticking to it....

Total for Democratic picks so far: 1 for 3 (I correctly put Hillary in third, at least).

On the Republican side, I did a little better. I had Huckabee by five to ten points, followed by Romney and then McCain far back in third. I almost swept this one, but in the end Thompson edged out McCain for the third place spot. I still called the margins of victory pretty accurately, though, so I feel good about that.

Total for Republican picks so far: 2 for 3.

Total overall picks: 3 for 6.

I didn't bother calling the Wyoming Republican caucuses which happened over the weekend, because I'm mostly concerned with the Democratic race. Besides, nobody even bothers to poll Wyoming voters, because there just aren't enough of them to ask!

OK, enough of that... onward to the frozen tundra of New Hampshire.


New Hampshire Democrats

First place -- Barack Obama

Second place -- Hillary Clinton

Third place -- John Edwards


I went out on a limb and predicted a Democratic upset in Iowa, so this time I'm going to go more conventional. Barack is obviously riding a wave and there are lots of young college students in New Hampshire, so I'm going with an Obama win here -- by at least five points, perhaps even ten. Obama's going to pull in lots of independent voters here, which will actually affect the Republican race more than it does the Democrats. More on that in a moment.

Now, I really would like to predict a total upset here and say John Edwards is going to pull off the second spot, but I don't see much evidence of it happening as of this writing. The mainstream media bears a lot of blame for this, since there has been an almost total ban on even mentioning Edwards' name on the news since Iowa. It has been: "Barack is up, Hillary is down" -- all the time -- on the television screen. Edwards places second in Iowa, with a fraction of the money of either of the other two, and it's like that tree falling in the forest -- no sound is made. So I'd really like to see Edwards place second in the Granite State, because then the media would either have to pay attention to him or just flat-out admit that they're corporate whores, and that Edwards' message terrifies them.

But, as I said, I still see Hillary taking the silver here. But not by as much as predicted -- I think she'll only be a couple points ahead of Edwards when the votes are counted.


New Hampshire Republicans

First place -- John McCain

Second place -- Mitt Romney

Third place -- Ron Paul


John McCain wins this one handily. The mainstream media will go into a frenzy when this becomes obvious, and they will run away with the storyline: "Mitt has to drop out now." Romney's strategy was always to win the first two states, gain momentum, rake in the contributions, and make a good showing against Giuliani on Super Duper Tsunami Tuesday. This strategy is going to be in tatters after McCain whomps him tomorrow night. But, like all of these early-returns stories, they may prove later to be wildly exaggerated. We'll see.

But John McCain deserves a win here, for truly being last year's Comeback Kid. McCain stumbled so many times, and so badly, that all the Washington wisdom was that it was over for McCain. Now, the inside-the-Beltway crowd is all but anointing him the nominee. I don't think McCain's New Hampshire win is going to change things as much as the pundits expect, though (remember, Rudy has not yet begun to fight).

But McCain does deserve a little more press attention, and he's going to reap that in droves. He will beat Romney with the help of independent voters, who have helped him before in New Hampshire -- but not by as much as some expect. Many independents will be voting over on the Democratic side of the aisle this time around, so there won't be as many of them in McCain's total as previously. McCain wins by around five points. Romney takes second.

Because I'm playing a little conservatively on the Democratic side, I'd like to predict an upset on the Republican side this week. Third place in New Hampshire goes to... Ron Paul! New Hampshire's got a long tradition of libertarianism, and the young people who don't get out for Obama vote overwhelmingly for Ron Paul. New Hampshire could be Ron Paul's best chance to make it into the top three. He was excluded from last night's debate, which will only serve to help him, as many in New Hampshire saw this move by Fox News as being unfair. And Paul's going to be on Jay Leno tonight, which may (or may not) have done wonders for Huckabee in Iowa. In any case, Paul gets his voters out, and narrowly edges out Huckabee and Giuliani for third place. Unfortunately, he gets the same treatment after his upset as Edwards has been getting from the media -- an almost total blackout.

Those are my picks... what are yours?


[Previous states' picks:]



Cross-posted at The Huffington Post


-- Chris Weigant


3 Comments on “My Primary Picks For New Hampshire”

  1. [1] 
    fstanley wrote:

    I pretty much agree with your call on the demcoratic side and your 1&2 on the republican side. I am not sure about Ron Paul.

    That said I would like Edwards to win to I don't see it happening because he does not seem to be able to get the press to cover him. I just hope that he hangs in thru Feb 5th.


  2. [2] 
    benskull wrote:

    Iowa was awesome! Pretty exciting. Glad to see so many young people getting inspired and involved. About time more saw the light, that we could stop all the cronies from deciding our fate. I must say, that whoever the Dem nominee becomes, I will be satisfied. Obviously after the last seven years, and one more to go, any Dem will be a relief. I will say, that I am not thrilled with Hillary. I think she has way to many big business friends to really be able to deal with the threat of these corporate powers on our democracy. However, I wouldn't be upset if she won. that said, I AM thrilled with the results in Iowa. Obama really has inspired the younger generation to get involved, which is awesome. His speaches are comforting and exciting. I do hope that if he becomes our Leader, he will follow through. I beleive he will. He has that air about him, that he can work with and get along with both parties, yet be very progressive. Not so hostile like Hillary. I am also very pleased with Edwards placing second. I love his stance on big business, because i believe this to be one of the biggest threats. We'll see what NH brings. As far as the repubs go, I am nervous about Ron Paul, because he may take young votes away from Obama. though i doubt he will make it into the actual race. For the rest, I can't say I care too much. As long as Giuliani keeps blowing his lead, I don't beleve Romney or Huckabee could ever win. McCain seems to be the best choice, but it seems most Repubs, aren't in line with that thinking.

  3. [3] 
    benskull wrote:

    Damn. I was hoping to see something close to your picks, or reminiscent of Iowa. Maybe Obama and Edwards should team up. Though I think Obama and Richardson would make a balanced team. Good picks though. Though Ron Paul didn't get third, he sure did make an impressive showing.

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