New Hampshire

Half of New Hampshire Voters Decided Since Debate

Early exit polls in New Hampshire find that nearly half of Republican primary voters say they finally picked their candidate only within the last few days, or after Saturday’s Republican presidential debate, according to ABC News.

Also interesting: Nearly half of Republicans say they’re looking for a candidate from “outside the political establishment.”

As Goes Laconia, So Goes New Hampshire

Boston Globe: “Since 2000, Laconia, located in the Lakes Region, has proven to be a near-perfect reflection of the statewide vote in the presidential primaries for both parties. Not only did Laconia pick the winners in recent New Hampshire primaries, but its results mimic the second and third place finishers for both parties statewide, according to an analysis from pollster David Paleologos. Even more telling: Laconia’s results came within five percentage points of the statewide results in every competitive primary since 2000.”

GOP Campaigns Brace for Roller Coaster Results

“As voters in New Hampshire headed to the polls Tuesday, Republican campaigns were bracing for a roller-coaster night and preparing for the possibility of a long primary campaign,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“New Hampshire has always been an uncertain contest for pollsters and pundits, and an overnight snowstorm added to the uncertainty about turnout. Democrats and undeclared voters are allowed by law to vote in the state’s primary, the nation’s second presidential nominating contest, making the outcome notoriously difficult to predict.”

Putting New Hampshire in Perspective

First Read: “For a moment, forget the race for second (or third or fourth) place in the Republican primary. And stop speculating about whether Hillary Clinton can bring the Democratic contest to single digits. Instead, devote your attention, at least for the time being, to the two men who have consistently led the New Hampshire primary amid all of the other uncertainty — Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Think about it: Trump’s been ahead in 75-straight New Hampshire polls going back to June… while Sanders has led 40-straight Granite State surveys going back to early January. Anything — and we mean ANYTHING — can happen tonight. But Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are likely headed to victory tonight, and that would be no small feat.”

“Six months ago, this dual outcome would have been dismissed as pure fantasy. Today, it may be the biggest signal yet that the country is so fed up with its political leadership that voters in New Hampshire will turn to a democratic socialist and a reality TV star to shake things up.”

New Hampshire Unlikely to Winnow GOP Field

Sam Wang: “I am not sure that any of the above-listed non-Trump candidates will exit the race after today. Cruz is in to stay. Kasich has risen slowly since the new year, and a strong finish today would keep him in the race. In fact, I give Kasich an even-odds chance of ending up in second place. Already that’s four candidates – a threshold I have identified as problematic for the Republican Party.”

“Alternatively, Jeb Bush could pick up a few points, and decide to stick around along with his super-PAC money. Christie’s support is pretty low, but he had a little too much fun in Saturday’s debate to get out now. All in all, it seems likely that after New Hampshire, the field will remain divided for a while longer.”

Keep an Eye on the Late Deciders

From the new Monmouth poll in New Hampshire:

Barely half (49%) of likely Republican primary voters say that they are completely decided on their candidate choice just days before Tuesday’s election. Another 31% have a strong preference but are still open to considering other candidates. One-fifth either have only a slight preference (12%) or are really undecided (9%).