As with Iowa, I’ll do this as one more-or-less frequently updated post rather than as a series. I’ll send pings occasionally so that updates will show on lists. This all presumes that my site host cooperates; service has been sluggish even though it was restored a couple hours ago.

The polls close in 30 minutes but, unlike Iowa, it doesn’t look like there will be any surprises in the order of finish. That means we’ll get several hours of candidates, handlers, and pundits trying to spin the results, engaging in wild guesses as to what it all mean, who’s dropping out, and so forth. I tend to be fully in the mix.

Fred Barnes made the interesting point on Fox Special Report earlier that this race now reminds him of the 1976 Republican contest between President Gerald Ford and then-California Governor Ronald Reagan. Ford won Iowa, New Hampshire, and some other early primaries but Reagan, the ideological candidate, managed to hang on all the way through the convention. Barnes thinks Dean is, by analogy, Reagan. Interesting–and Kevin Drum said much the same thing minus the 1976 reference–several days ago. We shall see.

1942: I’ll do some occasional cross-posting at Command Post. If I find anything of note over there, I’ll mention it here, too. But the site is a good resource because so many bloggers participate.

1944: Michele has plenty of tracking poll info. Especially noteworthy:

FEELINGS ABOUT BUSH: Half the voters said they were angry at Bush, while another third said they were dissatisfied but not angry.

WAR IN IRAQ: Sentiment was strong against the war in Iraq, with four in 10 saying they strongly disapprove of the war and another two in 10 saying they are somewhat disapproving of the war.

TERRORISM: About three-fourths of voters said they remain worried about the possibility of another major terrorist attack in the United States.

1953: Shepard Smith is mighty annoying.

1958: Steven Taylor is starting the Dean spin:

If Dean can come within single digits of Kerry, especially if it is within 5 points, he will be able to claim victory, of a sort. Plus since delegates are allocated proportionally, a 35ish/32ish Kerry/Dean finish is almost a tie.

2006: Robert Tagorda’s commentary is ongoing. He’s taking in the MSNBC feed. Steven Taylor looks to be doing multiple posts. Just scroll down.


Fox projects:
Kerry – 38
Dean – 24
Edwards – 13
Clark – 13

Clark is apparently holding on to hopes that he’ll edge Edwards for third.

2015: Fox has now officially projected Kerry the winner.

2017: WaPo reports on the high turnout. And this:

The exit poll results, which were based largely on interviews conducted with voters as they left the polls, showed that about half of voters considered themselves Democrats, and nearly that many called themselves independent or “something else.”

Hmm. I’m wondering how they got the exit poll results that weren’t based on people exiting the polls?

2024: Susan Estrich is on Fox. She’s the expert who managed the Dukakis campaign in 1988. She thinks Kerry can legitimately claim a blowout, although the Dean folks will emphasize the comeback.

2028: Fred Barnes notes that no Democrat or Republican who won both Iowa and New Hampshire has ever failed to win the nomination. He says Kerry’s chances are at 90%. Bill Kristol thinks Kerry will now be #1 in the polls in every state–even South Carolina. That strikes me as highly doubtful.

2030: CNN apparently called it for Kerry at 8:20–with the identical 39%

2034: President Bush has scored an impressive victory in the Republican primary, with over 94% of the vote in a 14 candidate race. Fox has projected him the winner.

2039: A Kerry spokesman (Ron Gelman?) just referred to Dean as “the walking wounded.” I think it’s a head wound, personally.

2044: Kevin Aylward:

Is this a mortal blow to Dean? I don’t think so.

Supply your own analysis.

2047: Kerry did well with pretty much every significant constituency in New Hampshire, including those Dean was supposed to win. The rationale for choosing a nutty guy whose only experience is running a tiny state is getting harder to find.

2050: Robert Prather has joined the fray. He says “Clark has been smacked” and “should quit,” along with Lieberman, Kucinich, and Sharpton. But who’ll supply the comic relief in the debates?

2058: WaPo associate editor Robert Kaiser, in answer to a reader question, proclaims, “I do not think [Dennis Kucinich] has a shot at either place on the ticket.” In answer to another question,

I am 60, and I miss a few things from my youth seriously. Among them: 1) my youth 2) the Washington Senators 3) Chuck Berry and Little Richard. But going to bed without knowing the result of a presidential election (and I remember doing that in 1952) is not one of them.

Shoot, I’m only 38 and can remember doing that three years ago. Indeed, I seem to recall having gone to bed several nights in a row not knowing.

If he can do it, I can: Feel free to submit questions in the comments section!

2105: Kaiser says,

My memory says that different states have different rules, but most are winner-take-all. But some expert out there will straighten me out if I’m wrong…

I’m no expert, but you’re wrong.

2111: Morton Kondracke has just explained that voters decide based on their projections of the future rather than on past events. He then listed several things, all of them in the past, that would decide the election.

2219: Kerry and Dean are apparently waiting for one another to make speeches.

Brendan at CP:

“We could end up next week where everybody wins, and the race goes on and on.” –CNN’s Bill Schneider, noting that Clark is the front-runner in OK, Edwards in SC, Kerry in MO, and Dean thinks he can win AZ and Lieberman possibly DE.

Schneider should retire if he thinks that.

2124: The excitement at the moment is the race for third. Clark is now slightly ahead of Edwards, although both round to 12%. As excitement goes, this is rather unexciting.

2131: Donnie links to CNN figures showing Sharpton has a whopping ZERO percent of the vote.

Sharpton got more of the vote than he deserved, IMHO. Should have been in the negatives.

2132: Whoever is currently introducing John Kerry apparently took lessons from Howard Dean. That, in case you’ve not been paying attention the last week, is not a good thing.

2134: The subsequent introducer attests that her 2-year-old granddaughter says, “John Kerry is the real deal.” High praise, indeed.

2136: John Kerry loves New Hampshire, loves Iowa, and hopes to love some more states. It sounds like he’s taking advice from Bill Clinton.

2138: The crowd is chanting what I’m told is “Bring it on!” Which makes more sense than, “Break it off!” which is what it sounds like.

2139: Mark Hasty and Chris Lawrence provide more analysis.

2140: Kerry works his Vietnam experience into the speech, thanking veterans who supported him and saying, “We may be a little grayer, but we know how to fight for our country!” He did not follow this with a Yeeeeeeyaaaaaaaah! — a wise choice.

2143: Fox just cut Kerry off mid-speech, saying he had now gone into “his standard stump speech” and have shifted to John Edwards, who seems quite chipper for a fellow who either finished 3rd or 4th.

2145: Edwards got about 90 seconds coverage before Fox shifted to Wesley Clark. Clark is apparently already into his standard stump speech, spouting nonsense about how he couldn’t stand by and watch various things transpire that, strangely, have been happening for decades and, indeed, are much improved over the course of his long career of standing by and watching precisely those things. Fox tired of this quickly, giving him less time than Edwards. (I’ve already decided, so they don’t need to report any more.)

2150: Howard Dean is now being interviewed. He looks tired. And his shirt collar appears too tight. He noted that we shouldn’t expect real change from inside the Beltway. [A tacit endorsement of this blog? -ed. I hope not!]

2155: They’re now checking in at Lieberman headquarters. Lieberman proclaims that he is “in a three-way split decision for third place!” Dude, you were the vice presidential nominee last go-around: That ain’t good!

His spin is that Vermont and Massachusetts are closer to New Hampshire than his own home state–Connecticut. A practical Southerner!

2159: Susan Estrich–if you’ve forgotten, she managed Dukakis–just proclaimed that the candidates who haven’t won a state will eventually need to win one if they’re going to be the nominee. With keen insights like that, it’s amazing that Dukakis didn’t win.

2200: Fox is calling it a night. Me, too. At least for this post.

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dodd says:

    Re: 2034 – is it just me or does Ed Gillespie look like a ostrich?

  2. I have to admit bias here. I can’t stand Clark.

  3. That Robert Kaiser is a brave prognosticator.

  4. James Joyner says:


    And, yeah, I started off neutral on Clark but haven’t seen much to like. Kerry or Edwards are both plausible presidential candidates; Clark and Dean, not so much.

  5. Joe Carter says:

    Why is that Clark gets 13% and he’s told to wrap it up and go home yet Edwards gets 13% and he’s considered “viable?”

    (I despise Clark as much as anyone but it still strikes me as odd that he is held to a different standard.)

  6. James Joyner says:


    I think the projections are that Edwards will eek out 3rd place. Plus, Edwards came in second in Iowa whereas Clark skipped it to concentrate all his efforts in New Hampshire–and still didn’t do as well as Edwards.

  7. richard says:

    NH had been the SC vote more of a shot on the dark.

  8. richard says:

    It seems I can’t think and type at the same time.

    NH has made the SC vote more of a shot in the dark.

  9. mark says:

    RE Your 2039 post with Howard Dean as a Head Wound. Is there a SNL character in the works called “Massive Headwound Howard?”


  10. James Joyner says:


    I don’t know, but there should be.

  11. Mark Hasty says:

    “Bring it on” is the Newsweek cover blurb this week.

  12. Paul says:


    Also Clark has taken a nose dive in the polls. Losing something like 15 points in a week is never good.

    Edwards was in Iowa then went almost directly to SC. He did not work near as hard in NH as Clark but finished about the same maybe better.

    PLUS never forget the most important thing of all. Edwards is sane, Clark ain’t.