7:50pm EST Assuming that CNN has exit polling data from which they can draw conclusions about the NH race, and which they're holding back until the polls close in 10 minutes or so, then I think we might be able to conclude that Kerry is going to win. I say this because they're still showing on CNN subtitles about Kerry polling ahead at the end and Dean "hoping" for a comeback, and, human nature being what it is, if they already knew Dean was going to upset Kerry, they wouldn't be running those titles, because doing so would make them look stupid when they announced their projections.
It's reading tea leaves, but that's my theory.
8:00 CNN reporting Kerry is leading, but it's very close, and no projection can be made. Numbers being shown: Kerry 38 / Dean 24 / Edward 13 / Clark 13 / Lieberman 10
8:03Boston Globe has the same figures, with 10% of precincts in.
8:12 Just saw on Calpundit that an average of the exit polls he saw to that point was: Kerry - 35.7 / Dean - 31.1 / Edwards - 12.6 / Clark - 11.5 / Lieberman - 6.4
8:21 It didn't take long -- CNN just called Kerry the winner. Of course, the really interesting question at this point is by how much? (My sofabed is occupied by a house guest who needs to get up early tomorrow to catch a plane, so I can't flip around to get other media outlet's reports, I'm limited to CNN for my news.)
8:29 With 29% reporting, Kerry's lead over Dean goes up a point and Edwards opens up a lead (1 point) over Clark.
8:45 45% in, Kerry keeps moving ahead 39-24. FWIW, my e-mail discussion group (13 people voting) collectively predicted Kerry 31.5 / Dean 24 / Edwards 19.7 / Clark 17 / Lieberman 7, which really doesn't look all that bad as a prediction by amateurs right now.
8:47 Gotta go back and read those blog entries about a brokered convention.
8:48 CNN now saying that Kerry's spread will be 10%, which I figure is just about the breakpoint for Dean. Anything below 10% and he'd be trumpeting a "comeback", between 10 and 15% he'd be more cautious, above 15% and he'd be in trouble, I think.
9:04 On Daily Kos, both Kos and Tom Schaller are writing Dean off. I'm not so sure. He's got the money to go on, and if I were in his shoes, I'd at least continue one more week to see what happens on Feb 3. If he doesn't pick up at least one win then, then I agree, he's dead in the water.
9:07 Kerry's still 15 points ahead with 49% of the precincts counted, which is not what Dean wants to see right now. I would think that he wants, and needs, to see it closing down some in order to continue to seem credible. Dean's on Larry King, staying on message, continuing to position himself as a Washington outsider with executive experience. He looks rather calm and collected, and surely every media person in the western world is going to watch to see what kind of speech he makes tonight. Dean says he doesn'thave to win next week to stay in the game, but that seems more like spin than reality.
9:15 CNN is still saying Kerry's win will be "at least" 10%, but shouldn't we be seeing things tighten up a bit if it's going to be that close? With 56% in Kerry is still ahead by 14%, and that's very close to dangerous territory for Dean. Edwards and Clark still tight, with Edwards still ahead by a point.
9:21 Come to think of it, the fact that Edwards is still in it at this point is pretty amazing. I was saying many weeks ago (with typical rank amateur hubris) that he didn't have a chance. It's nice to see him acknowledge, on Larry King, that he must win South Carolina to stay in it. Frankly, I'd like to see more of that kind of tactical frankness from Dean, but, then, Dean has more to lose than Edwards does. No one's going to be knocking on Howard Dean's door about the Vice Presidency any time soon. And, in fact, my (please note rank amateur hubris) prediction is that this is Dean's one and only shot at the Big One. I can see him standing for Senator, but he'll never be a viable candidate for President again if he doesn't pull this off.
9:24 I'm considering a new slogan for this site: unfutz: Why get your conventional wisdom from a professional, when you can get it from a rank amateur? I think it's got good possibilities.
9:27 Waiting for Clark and Kerry. Aside: real-time blogging on a dial-up connection is really a pain.
9:32 In a piece of really bad timing, both Clark and Kerry come out on the stage to make their statements at the same time. Don't their people watch TV?
9:34 OK, Clark has now left the stage after shaking hands. Maybe he's waiting to allow Kerry his moment? The same kind of thing happened last week, when the networks had to cut away from Edwards' speech to show what became infamous as Dean's Scream (aka the Rebel Yell). CNN's going with Kerry (of course). As I've said before, I don't have anything particular against Kerry, and I'm heartened by the poll that shows his beating Bush 49 to 46, but I still have concerns about his viability when put up against Bush. There are a lot of negatives attached to him, both tangible and intangible, and he's, well, kinda boring. He's speaking now, and he's not exactly scintillating.
9:40 71% in and it's still 39-25. It starts to look like CNN was being ultra-cautious in citing a 10% spread. Dean's hanging on by his fingernails, by the standards I established so authoritatively about an hour ago.
9:44 I can't stand the tension! 72% in and it's 38-26!! What a race!!!
9:45 I was just going to write to complain that Edwards was speaking at the same time as Kerry, and how stupid that was, that he was wasting his free-TV moment, but CNN then cut away to him, so maybe he timed it exactly right. Kerry was into the laundry list part of his speech, he was hardly being captivating, and the net decided to get some fresh meat. But Edwards is giving his stump speech, pretty much the exact same thing he did in Iowa. He's got the learn the difference between staying on message and boring people. Make all the same points, but do it differently. Is he programmed, or what?
9:50 I switched over to C-SPAN to see some more of Kerry, and I agree with CNN's decision. Edwards is more interesting. But then I switched back to CNN and they had switched to Clark, who did to Edwards what Edwards did to Kerry, starting speaking in the middle and forced the network to switch. Will Dean do it to Clark now?
9:54 No, it's Lieberman, in fifth with 9%. He should drop out, but apparently won't, at least not immediately. He's got money invested in the Feb 3rd primaries,, but surely that's his last hurrah?
9:56 Lieberman's spinning the results as a "three way split decision for third place" which is not only b.s. (third is between Edwards and Clark, Joe has always been behind them both), but it's pretty pitiful b.s. as well -- I'm not first, I'm not second, but I'm almost good enough to be third! Hurray!!
10:00 Dean hasn't spoken yet (although he's appeared on Larry King) -- is he waiting for everyone to go to sleep, to avoid another embarrassment? Probably just waiting for all the others to finish. (Will he give Kucinich and Sharpton a chance as well? Nah.)
10:01 It's official, CNN says Kerry is the FRONT RUNNER! Also, it was a record turnout. I assume that the number of undeclared voters will be high, and that will turn out to be a significant part of Kerry's win. Dean appeals to the grassroots hardcore party faithful, and Kerry to independents and the Democratic establishment.
10:03 Dean's about to speak, will he start off with a joke?
10:12 My computer froze, so I had to reboot it while watching Dean's speech. He's making very good use of the media attention he's getting at this moment, being calm and strangely moving at times. Instead of the Rebel Yell, he started off with "Holy cow" and ""My goodness" and "Wow" at the response of his crowd. He talked about regaining momentum, which is debatable given the result, but I guess he had to say that. He's attacking Bush strongly, and that's good. Bush is divisive, he's lost the respect of the world, he's taken away our country. Dean's is not obviously performing the way Edwards can appear to, and he doesn't induce somnolence as Kerry did tonight. He's not being manic, but he's still human and energized. (One annoying thing he does is when he smiles, he pulls in his chin to make double-chins that aren't normally there.) Now he's thanking volunteers, and CNN is sticking with him, which reminds me that at times the whole Dean thing seems as much a small cultural movement, almost a mini-cult, as it is a political campaign. OK, Kerry's had enough of Dean's speech, so he's talking to CNN, but his timing is bad, he should have done that five minutes ago. (Maybe CNN kept him on hold.)
10:22 Noted: At about 80% reporting, Clark and Edwards flip-flopped, with Clark now (at 84%) at 13% and Edwards at 12%. Kerry-Dean is still 39-26.
10:24 Now Wolfie and what's-her-name on CNN are hitting Kerry with GOP talking points about his voting record, and being a "liberal Massachusetts tax-and-spend Democratic Senator". Kerry: "If being in favor of balancing the budget means that I'm a liberal, then call me a liberal." He almost reclaims the liberal label as a badge of distinction, except that all of his examples are things that are generally not considered to be typical of liberals, so he's subverting it at the same time.
10:26 Just had to mute Joe Lieberman who's repeating his absurd spin about a "virtual split decision for third place" I can take a certain amount of spinning as being necessary to save face, or keep one's momentum from dissipating entirely, but there does come a time when it moves across a line into stupidity and dishonesty. Anyone who believes that Joe is neck-and-neck for third deserves to have him as their President.
10:30 Jeff Greenfield just asked Lieberman why Kerry isn't a "main stream Democrat", and the answer: just look at his record. Thanks, Joe, thanks for doing Rove's job for him, just a little. What a jerk. Tune in and drop out, Joe, you're not wanted. (Someone open up some new video games and use them to lure Joe back to Connecticut, please.)
10:41 Can I point out that the media tends to talk as if only one candidate can come out of an election with "momentum", but if momentum in politics is anything like momentum in physics, it's not a unique state of being, but a description of the quality of a certain kind of change in that state of being. It's quite possible that every candidate can have some amount of "momentum," but that one has more than another -- which is why I can speak of Joe Lieberman spinning like crazy in order not to see what little forward motion he has dissipate away entirely. (And yes, I know that the metaphor was lifted from sports, where it usually is an either/or kind of thing, but it bugs me there as well, especially since the effect of the "momentum" in sports is in the psychology of the participants, as their belief in their own ability to win helps to make it possible for them to win, but the effect of the "momentum" in politics is really in the psychology of the observers and reporters -- and to some extent in the electorate -- and not in that of the candidates.)
10:56 It's worth noting, for what it's worth (amid all the talk of momentum) that only a very tiny percentage of delegates have been committed at this point, and that, right now, with New Hampshire included, Dean has 112 and Kerry 95. From that standpoint alone, it's hard to see why Dean would stop now, or why (pace Kos and Schaller) he can't win. Although it is official Dean campaign spin (as reported by Schaller on DailyKos), the fact that Clinton didn't win the first 10 events he entered does have to be recognized as saying that there's more than one pathway that can lead to the nomination, and that the conventional wisdom (whether spewed by professionals or parroted by amateurs) doesn't have to be right. It's just "conventional" not gospel.
11:15 Kos has a greatstory in the results of the Republican:
That's over 2,500 registered Republicans who wrote in a Democrat in their ballot.
That's got to scare the shit out of Rove.
Really, that's extremely good news. Kos also comments that delegate counts don't mean much at this point, that momentum is more important. I dunno, I think the whole momentum thing is a bit overblown, but Kos's point about Dean's delegate count being heavy with superdelegates, who can change their allegiance at any time is a good one.
11:29 On Kos comments, StopKerry makes a good point about the way the media defines expectations and momentum (which is another good reason to be suspicious of it):
John Edwards finishes 2nd in an Iowa caucus where he campaigned hard, then rides into NH on a huge media high. He manages 12%, behind Clark, lower for Edwards than many actually were predicting by yesterday. He leads in only one single poll--South Carolina (with Clark in 2nd...)(!) and barely shows in others.... Meanwhile he gets a positive spin from THAT?
Then you have Clark. The guy pulled out 13% in a state he had probably never even been to before and in which Kerry/ Dean/ Lieberman lived for 2 years.... He had to skip Iowa because he got in the race late. He has never campaigned in his life. In other words, he's shown incredible raw talent and brilliant resume enough to sway people to him. He is leading in Arizona and Oklahoma, close in South Carolina...BUT this is a disappointment heading South???
Also, why the heck isn't everyone calling for Lieberman to drop it??? The guy got 9% in state near his own and spent more time there than anyone -- literally, he MOVED there.
11:56 97% in, Clark ahead of Edwards by 714. Third place might be determined by absentee ballots!
11:58 Dean on Koppel working hard to re-define himself as the insurgent -- a matter of necessity, given the results in Iowa and New Hampshire, but probably all to the better for his campaign, which seems to work best when it's operating out of the glare of frontrunning.
12:20 CNN's vote ticker got stuck for a while, only showing the second half of their list (Edwards, Lieberman and Kucinich), but just before they broke for commercial I saw Clark at 26,554 and Edwards at 25,849, a difference of 705 votes with 97% of precincts counted. I'm only hanging around to see the final tally of who finished third.
12:25 Kucinich on CNN, as annoying from left of center as Lieberman is from the right. Both should take their lumps and go home. The odd thing is that every time I take one of those "Find Your Presidential Candidate" surveys, that are supposed to match up one's personal views with those of a candidate, my list of match-up has always been headed by Kucinich, and yet I really can't stand the guy. I didn't like his flip-flop on abortion, it seem disingenuous and opportunistic, and the very fact that his views match my own so closely almost automatically make him impossible to elect to the White House in this country. CNN doesn't take him seriously either, he's on after midnight, and after Al Sharpton.
12:35 Mo Rocca says John Edwards is a cross between a populist boy-band singer, and that Wes Clark's only hope is to use his military experience to stage a coup. Lieberman, he says, is like one of those Japanese soldiers who came out of a cave 20 years after the end of World War 2.
1:03 Everything seems to be stuck at 97%, with Clark 705 votes ahead of Edwards, so I'm going to shut it down for the time being. I'd like to thank everyone here at unfutz central command who contributed to the success of tonight's operation, and pledge to use the momentum we've been blessed with tonight to move forward to a new order, where we will be divided no longer, but will come together in peace, love, understanding and a fair tax code. I'd especially like to thank all those who took the time to stop by and post something to the comments section, making the discussion there as lively and informative as anything I've ever seen on the Internet. You guys are great. Good night, and may God bless America.
1:27 Entire post spell-checked and copy-edited to make me appear less ignorant than I actually is... am. The title was also changed. ("Come hear me sing, mama" no longer seemed to fit the content.)
Update (11:40am): AP is finally reporting 100% of the vote, and Clark holds on to 3rd by 839 votes:
John Kerry 84,229 38%
Howard Dean 57,788 26%
Wesley Clark 27,254 12%
John Edwards 26,415 12%
Joe Lieberman 18,829 9%
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.