Clinton and McCain win New Hampshire.
I have the vote totals for 95% of the precinct results of the New Hampshire primaries reported by CNN.com. Here's a list of candidates and an analysis of what their fraction of the vote means for them.
- John McCain 37%: Winning the New Hampshire primary for McCain is the rough equivalent of Gary Kasparov playing 1. d4 to open a chess game. It's a move that won't knock McCain's opponent off the board, but it was still a necessary move to open up the contest for him. The McCain candidacy is now officially alive and running
- Mitt Romney 32%: Romney is doing great, on average.
- Mike Huckabee 11%: It's interesting that Huckabee and McCain have switched positions between Iowa and New Hampshire. I wonder if this is due to the intrinsic voting preferences of Iowa and New Hampshire or whether this is due to an "alignment" of political needs. In other words, is Iowa the anti-New Hampshire, or did Huckabee and McCain agree to swap New Hampshire for Iowa? Good thing I didn't fall for the Huckabee hype coming out of Iowa, though.
- Rudy Giuliani 9%: Giuliani beat his fraction of the vote from Iowa this time around, which is a plus. February 5 is still the make or break day for him, so don't expect anything different than single-digit results until then.
- Ron Paul 8%: You can spin this result two ways. You can argue that Paul underperformed compared to Iowa, or you can argue that Ron Paul almost outperformed Giuliani again. Either way, it's still a decent showing for the third-party fringe.
- Fred Thompson 1%: The biggest result of the night is that Grandpa Simpson's presidential campaign crashed and burned in New Hampshire. It's simply mind-boggling that Fred Thompson thought that he could win the election by running a campaign that was so lackluster as to make Bob Dole's 1996 campaign look young, fit, and vigorous by comparison.
So where does Fred Thompson go from here? A man so lethargic that he goes to bed earlier than President George W. Bush can't count on winning any primaries. Hollywood might not want him back after this. Getting typecast as an idiot when he ran for president might have destroyed his career as a character actor playing powerful government men. What Fred Thompson needs is a job where he isn't expected to do anything meaningful -- where explicitly stating to the world that one doesn't have the mental energy to drink juice out of box is par for the course. That's right! What Fred Thompson needs to do is run for the Senate again!
- Duncan Hunter 0%: Duncan Hunter doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning this election. So what? Duncan Hunter is showing more energy and activity in striving to exceed his tiny share of the vote than Fred Thompson is for exceeding his.
- Hillary Clinton 39%: It's tempting to say that, in parallel to the situation of McCain, that this was a must-win primary for Clinton. That was also be entirely wrong. The Clintonian "will to power" simply will simply not stop, ever, in contending this election. There are no empirical facts that will deter the Clintons from their coronation. Until the House of Representatives certifies that someone other than Hillary Clinton won an absolute majority of the electoral votes cast for the presidency, she is still potentially in this to win this!
- Barack Obama 37%: I think that Obama supporters should look at this as a blessing a disguise. It proves that Obama isn't perfect. He doesn't have to be perfect to win the nomination. It proves that, not matter how far in the lead he is, Hillary Clinton will still contend the election tooth and nail. It's better that Obama learns this lesson now than on a more important date when more electoral votes are on the line. Losing 37% to 39% is nothing to sneeze at. If Obama expects to defeat Hillary Clinton for the nomination, he'd better be prepared to "fight on this line all summer".
- John Edwards 17%: John Edwards might have been expecting a better showing, but he's still in this to win. His 17% is still better than the 13% that Huckabee got with the Republicans. Who knows, maybe Clinton and Obama will come to a dead tie in the delegate count, turning Edwards into the King-maker (or Queen-maker as the case may be) at the national convention.
- Bill Richardson 5%: This at least puts Richardson on the scoreboard after being judged "unviable" in Iowa.
- Dennis Kucinich 1%: If you're the type of person who makes a lifestyle out of running for president, then receiving 1% of the vote is probably good enough to get you started on your 2012 presidential bid.
- Mike Gravel 0%: He can't even beat Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. It's over.