A guide to the 2012 Presidential Election: #FITN

Yesterday, New Hampshire voters took to the polls and decided that Mitt Romney was their choice for the GOP nominee. They did so by a large margin, although the big story wasn’t Romney’s win, but Ron Paul finishing second with a larger than expected percentage of the vote.

There are already a few of ways to interpret the results of the New Hampshire primary:  

  1. Governor Romney has not yet secured a plurality of the vote in any state, therefore he cannot be considered the presumptive nominee….
  2. Governor Romney has not yet distanced himself from the entire field to a level that he can be considered the presumptive nominee…
  3. Governor Romney is the presumptive nominee based on the truth that no other candidate has been as consistent as he has been throughout the primary
  4. Governor Romney is the presumptive nominee based on the notion that no other candidate has been able to consistently fundraise as well as he has, a critical element for an election in which President Obama is expected/estimated to raise nearly $1 billion.

Nothing has been decided yet (not even close), but clearly Gov. Romney has taken an early lead that will require considerable effort to overcome for the other remaining candidates. Between his 8-vote victory in the Iowa Caucus and the NH win, he has taken the early lead in the battle for perception. A quick summary of what happened in New Hampshire:

  • Romney won 39.3% of the vote, and did especially well among
  • Rep. Ron Paul won 22.9% of the vote, a larger percentage of the vote than he received in ANY 2008 primary (other than Idaho, which came very late). His 2008 total for New Hampshire? 8%.
  • Huntsman finished with 16.9%, then celebrated his 3rd place finish explaining how hard he worked. Not exactly the press he needed to create. He spent months campaigning in NH, only to finish a distant 3rd.
  • Gingrich and Santorum finished with 9.4% each, and Gov. Perry finished with 0.7%. Less than 1%. I think we’ll leave that alone for now….

The next primary up is in South Carolina (January 21, 2012 – a Saturday). In the days leading up to this primary, I expect to see Gingrich and Romney spend insane amounts to drive their support levels up, but that may be too little, too late. Their attacks on Romney’s capitalist background have truly upset the GOP base and likely discouraged many undecided voters to look elsewhere for a candidate to support.

Next post: some due diligence on each of the remaining candidates relates to some of the big issues affecting Americans most (economics, taxes, jobs, etc.).

 

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One response to “A guide to the 2012 Presidential Election: #FITN”

  1. Terri Hartline-Belke says :

    Good factual post and insights Wes. Looking forward to your coverage of South Carolina.

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