New Hampshire Primary Predictions (Updated)
The fabled village of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire has cast their first-in-the-state vote in the first-in-the-nation primary. Their selections, John McCain and Barack Obama, will likely be the choice of the rest of the state as well, if the polls are right.
For what it’s worth (which, admittedly, probably isn’t much), here’s how I see it ending up:
|John McCain – 33%||Barack Obama – 39%|
|Mitt Romney – 28%||Hillary Clinton – 30%|
|Mike Huckabee – 13%||John Edwards – 18%|
|Ron Paul – 11%||Bill Richardson – 5%|
|Rudy Giuliani – 10%|
|Fred Thompson – 3%|
One and two could flip and three, four, and five are neck-and-neck. Romney is ahead of McCain in a couple of the polls, which are all over the map. Huckabee is third, but within the margin of error of fourth, in all the polls. And Guiliani is ahead of or tied with Paul (but within the margin of error) in all the surveys:
The trend lines, though, are all McCain for first place and Giuliani seems to be plummeting.
For the Democrats, it would be a major upset if the 1-2-3-4 finish went any different than the numbers above, as there are no recent polls in which the order varies. Technically, a few are within the margin of error. Looking at the aggregate, though, even if one assigns the lowest point in the +/-3 range to Obama and the highest to Clinton, he still wins. Ditto Clinton v. Edwards.
The trend lines are stark, as well, with Obama surging, Clinton plummeting, and Edwards rising slightly:
Impact on the Race:
For the Republicans, not much is likely to change. If Thompson were inclined to drop out before the New Hampshire primaries, one would think he’d have done it by now. And, while back-to-back fifth or sixth place finishes would seem to be devastating to Giuliani, he has been intending a large state strategy all along.
I don’t see how Thompson or Romney win the nomination, though, if these results hold. McCain, Huckabee, and Giuliani — probably in that order — all have very plausible scenarios. They’re statistically tied in the national polls and have strong leads in various key early states in the free-for-all that’s about to ensue. Ron Paul will likely continue to run but, eventually, will stop getting invited to the debates and become a non-factor in the campaign.
One would think Richardson would call it quits after this. He’s not even registering in the national polls and there’s no reason to think he’ll win any of the early primary states. It’s a three-way race, though, regardless of what he decides in that regard.
Obama becomes the clear frontrunner; after tonight, it’s his race to lose. He’ll likely go on to win South Carolina, with Edwards finishing second. My guess is that Clinton continues to give him a fight and rebounds to win several states. Unless she implodes and it becomes a two man race, though, I don’t see a plausible scenario whereby Edwards gets the nomination.
- Scott Elliot, Election Projection
- Ed Morrissey, Captain’s Quarters
- Eric Lindholm, Viking Pundit
- Neal Ford, Label Free Zone
- Clarence Claus, Race 4 2008
- John Hawkins, Right Wing News
Update (Dave Schuler)
Pursuant to James’s request I’m going to weigh in with a few predictions about the New Hampshire primaries. On the Republican side I think it will be McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Paul, Thompson, Giuliani. On the Democratic side it will be Obama, Clinton, Edwards. On both sides no more than a couple of delegates will separate the winner from the third place finisher. Whatever the candidates claim there won’t be a decisive victory on anybody’s part.
I expect Bill Richardson to bow out after the New Hampshire primary. With his departure will also go nearly the only substantive differences on policy among the Democratic candidates. From here on out the debates will be about style, image, and feelings. The race will be far from over for Hillary Clinton (or John Edwards for that matter). I suspect she’ll miss those Florida delegates. And don’t forget those superdelegates.
On the Republican side the only candidate that might conceivably bow out is Thompson but I’m not sure why he’d bow out. His what for lack of a better word we’ll call campaign is so low-key that he can keep right on doing whatever it is that he’s doing at least through Feb 5.
Update (Steven Taylor):
James asked for my prediction, so here it is:
|John McCain – 33%||Barack Obama – 40%|
|Mitt Romney – 26%||Hillary Clinton – 33%|
|Mike Huckabee – 15%||John Edwards – 16%|
|Ron Paul – 12%||Bill Richardson – 7%|
|Rudy Giuliani – 8%||Dennis Kucinich – 3%|
|Fred Thompson – 5%||Mike Gravel >1%|
|Ducan Hunter – >1%|