NOTE: TONIGHT ABOUT 9:30 EASTERN TIME I'LL BE WRITING ABOUT THE NH RESULTS -- AND GIVING MY PREDICTION ABOUT WHO THE EVENTUAL NOMINEES WILL BE. YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOME.
This is a big week for America -- and for me. Last night I had the honor of interviewing New York Congressman Peter King on Eric Dondero's www.blogtalkradio.com/libertarian. Also, this week I've ended my active participation in the campaign of William Russell (http://www.williamrussellforcongress.com/). I don't believe John Murtha is beatable this year, although I commend Lt. Col. Russell for trying.
I'll continue my day-in, day-out efforts on behalf of Melissa Hart (PA 4th CD), Jean Schmidt (Ohio, 2d CD), and Heather Wilson (NM candidate for U.S. Senate). I'll be writing more about all these fine candidates.http://www.jeanschmidt.com/
New Hampshire: My father was born in Berlin, NH, up in the "North Country." I've been to the state many times, and each visit was a pleasure. I've even been to "Dixville Notch," near the beautiful Balsams Resort.
The state has always been friendly to libertarians and conservatives. The state's motto is: "Live Free or Die."
I remember 15 years ago there was a state sign reading, "Seat Belts Required for Those Under Age 12." In other words, the state was not inclined to tell adults how to conduct their lives. Also, New Hampshire (unlike Vermont, where I lived) sold alcohol on Sundays! How daring! How un-New Englandish!
Politics in the Granite State are unique. The state has some 850,000 registered voters, and it allows people to register up through Election Day (called "same-day-registration").
New Hampshire has about 220,000 Democrats and 256,000 registered Republicans. However, the number of Independents (and "others") is a whopping 375,000. In other words, about 44% of those registered are neither Democrat nor Republican.
Why so many "Indies?" Because it allows voters to pick and choose between Democrats or Republicans. If Obama gets a huge win tonight that will be bad news for Republicans. It will mean he got the lion's share of the Independent vote.
Like Iowa, NH is a swing state, one that could go either way in November. In Iowa, nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans participated in the Caucuses -- an ominous sign for the GOP.
In 2004, John Kerry (from neighboring Massachusetts) beat George W. Bush by a mere 9,000 votes (out of 672,000 cast). In 2000, Bush prevailed over Al Gore by 7,000 votes.
So, check out the vote totals tonight. They probably will give a good indication of how the state will go in November.
My predictions for the primary today: Obama by a wide margin (perhaps 10%) over Hillary Clinton, with John Edwards a distant third. McCain by 6%-7% over Romney, with Giuiliani and Huckabee fighting it out for third place. Fred Thompson will finish well behind Ron Paul. 'Nough said.
Are we now the Party merely of aging, angry white guys?
I wrote the following to one of Yahoo's conservative groups in response to someone who suggests that Barack Obama will not be hard to beat, etc., etc.
I frankly fear you're "wishing upon a star." Obama is obviously a brilliant campaigner, and he looks like a sure thing to win the Democratic nomination. In 1960, Richard Nixon had a ton of foreign policy experience, and his Democratic opponent, JFK (the Obama of his era), had very little. Guess who won?
If Mike Huckabee had been counting votes as a Democrat in Iowa, he would have finished a distant fourth -- well behind not only Obama, but also Clinton and Edwards. That is terrible news for Republicans. We've spent so much time attacking our own candidates, many of them excellent ones, that we've opened things up for a huge Democratic victory in November. If we don't return to our senses soon, it will be a disaster.
A lot of Democrats have gone broke underestimating Obama (who would be a terrible President), and I fear a lot of Republicans are doing the same thing. Tonight, in a swing state, several Democrats are going to out-poll the leading Republican candidate. It will be very hard to put a "good spin" on that.
Someone on the conservativeamericans Yahoo Group was assuring us recently that young people would not show up for Obama. He was dead wrong. Today, the lines of students registering to vote in Hanover, NH (Dartmouth) were blocks long.
We need to stop pretending that people who don't generally vote our way -- young people, Blacks, Hispanics, female professionals -- don't exist. We can't afford to become the Party merely of angry, aging white guys.