Fox News just called New Hampshire for McCain with only 12 percent of precincts reporting. Those exit polls must be pretty definitive.
It appears the Obama-Clinton race is going to be closer than most predicted this week. Obama has been built up so much that even if Hillary loses, she could still be seen as a “comeback kid” if it is close.
Update 9:00: With 26 percent of precincts reporting Hillary leads Obama 40 – 34 percent. I have to agree with what Ace said:
I think the Old Gal just might win. And that would make it a good night.
Think about it: She might be standing in the way of history, and of hope itself. Not Republicans. But Hillary.
And won’t that be special?Brit Hume said the exit polls showed Hillary a close second finisher and he just asked Michael Barone whether or not, based on the numbers he was seeing, Hillary could still win. Barone said it was possible.
If Hillary does win, my best guess about the discrepancy between the exit polls and actual results would not have anything to do with polling methodology. I think the frenzy that has surrounded Obama in the media the past week would be to blame. Think about it. Would you want to admit to voting for Hillary when you could claim to have voted for the rock star? Then why not go ahead and vote for him in the privacy of the voting booth? I am sure you can imagine lots of reasons for that. Unfortunately, most of us at one time or another have, for one reason or another, voted for someone we would rather not admit to having voted for. This is going to be an interesting night.
Update 9:30: 43 percent of precincts are now reporting and Hillary’s lead has shrunk to two percentage points ahead of Obama.
Mary Katharine is blogging from the McCain event. She was at Romney’s earlier. She said McCain was subdued. I told her he was making the longest primary speech ever. He probably wasn’t, but it seemed that way and when I said that he was not finished yet.
Update (9:40 p.m.):Bill Kristol just said that the late exit polls he just recently saw show a deadheat with Clinton with a slight edge. Hillary is now up three percentage points with 47 percent of precincts reporting. So, now that the late exit polls are showing Hillary winning I guess my theory of people lying to the pollsters is wrong. I think Mary Katharine and Amanda Carpenter might have the answer to the possible Obama loss.
So, what’s up with Clinton leading, huh? This election has been nothing if not humbling for pundits. Sounds like grown-up voters came home to Hillary instead of getting caught up in Obama-mania. Or, as my colleague Amanda posits: “All the young people went to the Obama victory party and were too busy drinking to vote. Kinda like a really awesome tailgate where you forget to go to the game.” Heh, I know that feeling. Odd that the young people would come out in Iowa, where it’s comparatively difficult to vote, and not in New Hampshire.
Update (10:10 p.m.): With 62 percent reporting, Hillary is up by three points.
The guys on Fox News are talking about John Edwards, who evidently is getting ready to speak soon. Juan Williams is talking about how angry he is. Bill Kristol said that based on the exit poll info, it looks like most Edwards voters would go to Obama (that’s kinda obvious, isn’t it?). I wonder how long Edwards will stick it out. He has practically lived in Iowa and New Hampshire the past four years and is finishing a very distant third tonight. I think that even if he stays in, it won’t be long until his voters are going to start moving to one of the candidates that is actually going to win.
Update 10:30: Ha. After being reminded that John Edwards is taking matching funds, Bill Kristol said he should drop out because he is wasting the taxpayers’ money. The pundits then talked about Elizabeth Edwards’ role in deciding how long he stays in, noting that she is very passionate about politics.
Update 10:34: AP and at least one network have called the race for Hillary. Michael Barone said Fox is not calling for her yet because they are waiting for results from the college towns which could possibly still help Obama squeak out a win.
Update 10:50: Obama is conceding now. So, how did Hillary pull it out? Was it the tears? Was it because so many Independents, who can vote in either party’s primary, decided to go with McCain rather than Obama? It would make sense that some thinking Obama had it in the bag, would decide to vote in what appeared to be the closer race. It would also explain the bigger than expected margin for McCain.
Update 11:05: Frank Luntz just said the results he is seeing show that independents that were going to vote for Obama switched late to vote in the Republican primary instead.
Hillary is speaking now. She says she listened to voters and found her own voice.
Here is what I am going to take away from tonight — never think you have it in the bag when the polls look good and never give up when they look bad. This is going to be one heck of a long 10 months ahead of us.
Update 11:30: John Hawkins asks about John McCain — This guy? Really?
Sister Toldjah has a really good election roundup and some pretty interesting, and entertaining, comments of her own.