New Hampshire Primary Preview

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State: New Hampshire

Type of election: Primary

How it works: Straight-ahead process where voters go to the polls and vote via traditional secret ballot. The primary is a modified open contest meaning that voters registered independent or 'decline to state' can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primaries. The state will award 12 delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Official election results: New Hampshire Secretary of State

Republican candidates: Michele Bachmann (she suspended her campaign after the ballot was finalized), Herman Cain (he suspended his campaign after the ballot was finalized), Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

Democratic candidates: Barack Obama

Previous performance: In 2008, Romney finished second in the Republican primary to John McCain, receiving 31 percent of the vote. Paul finished fifth with 8 percent. Obama finished second in the Democratic primary with 36 percent, losing to Hillary Clinton by three percent.

Newspapers: Concord Monitor, Nashuah Telegraph, New Hampshire Union Leader, full list

Television stations: Full list

Other websites: 2012 New Hampshire Primary

Progressive blogs: Bank Slate, Blue Hampshire, Democracy for New Hampshire, Miscellany Blue, New Hampshire Labor News, Susan the Bruce

Progressives on Twitter: Dean Barker, Blue Hampshire, New Hampshire Labor News, William Tucker

Media blogs: NH Journal, James Pindell, Shira Schoenberg, Dean Spiliotes

Latest polling: Most recent from each polling organization:

  • Suffolk University/7 News: Romney 33 percent, Paul 20, Huntsman 13, Gingrich 11, Santorum 10, Perry 3, Roemer 3
  • Public Policy Polling: Romney 35, Paul 18, Huntsman 16, Gingrich 12, Santorum 11, Roemer 3, Perry 1
  • University of New Hampshire/WMUR: Romney 41, Paul 17, Huntsman 11, Santorum 11, Gingrich 8, Perry 1, Roemer 1
  • American Research Group: Romney 40, Huntsman 17, Paul 16, Santorum 12, Gingrich 8, Perry 2
  • Rasmussen: Romney 42, Paul 18, Santorum 13, Huntsman 12, Gingrich 8, Perry 1
  • NBC News/Marist College: Romney 44, Paul 22, Santorum 13, Gingrich 9, Huntsman 9, Perry 1

    Nate Silver gives Romney a 98 percent chance of winning, followed by Paul at 2 percent. All other candidates are at 0 percent chance to win according to Silver.

    Wild card: Huntsman. Polling shows him anywhere from second place down to fifth place. With some of the others not participating, this could be his only chance to make headway in the race. If he does, who does he draw from?

    Bottom line: Barring a massive upset, Romney should win easily, so it comes down to who finishes second and third. Huntsman gains the most by finishing in the top three. Perry is almost certainly done for with his atrocious numbers here. Paul will likely grab one of the top three spots, but won't exceed expectations. That means that the real question is how well do Santorum and Gingrich do? If they finish outside of the top three, it doesn't necessarily kill them, but they will be very heavily wounded, particularly Gingrich. Every candidate who has won both Iowa and New Hampshire has won their party's nomination in modern times, so a Romney victory would be a strong sign that he'll be the nominee.

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