Early Returns

The early returns from New Hampshire, as reported on Drudge, are surprising. Hillary Clinton holds a slight edge over Barack Obama. On the Republican side, John McCain has what seems like a commanding lead over Mitt Romney. However, only around 12% of precincts have reported. The Romney camp says they are still confident (or hopeful, anyway) because southern New Hampshire, where most of the Massachusetts transplants live, hasn’t yet reported. Michael Barone, who knows this kind of thing, says it is way too early to call the races.
Earlier tonight, on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, there was a report from the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office to the effect that turnout on the Republican side was almost equal to Democratic turnout. Further, it seemed that the independent component of the Republican vote was smaller than might have been expected–I’m going from memory, but I think it was around 26%. If these data are correct, and if the apparently close race between Obama and Clinton holds, the dominant story line will be in for some revision.

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