Today is the day of the nation’s first Primary in New Hampshire. I think everyone, including me, will be surprised if Mitt Romney doesn’t win this thing. It’s definitely Mittens’ primary to lose. That being said, it’s very interesting to see how everyone else will break out. Jon Huntsman, my perpetual humorous whipping boy for being a joke of a candidate, has thrown all his chips into New Hampshire. He hasn’t polled higher than third and even then it’s a far third. Ron Paul is going to get pretty much what he’s going to get everywhere, 15-20% or so. He’s got his supporters and that’s going to be it.
Which brings us to my candidate, Newt Gingrich. Newt is finally going after Mittens, but I don’t think he’s got enough time to make a difference in New Hampshire. South Carolina is a different story. I do think there’s a good chance to topple Mitt there. (Implied in that statement of course is the phrase “I hope.”) Newt needs to rebound hard, if not in New Hampshire than in South Carolina.
Finally, there’s Rick Santorum. Most recent polls show him in either third or fourth place in New Hampshire. I do believe this may be par for the course for Senator Santorum. It took retail politics to do as well as he did in Iowa, and I do not think his Iowa momentum will keep going. I think Gingrich’s finally getting off the bench to respond to Romney’s attacks and to deal with Romney’s shortcomings are going to take back some of Santorum’s “Not Romney” support.
New Hampshire matters because it’s the first Primary, but again let’s again remember that only 12 delegates will be decided tomorrow, and that proportionally distributed. Based on the most recent New Hampshire polls, given proportional distribution, you can expect Romney to gain 4-5 delegates, Ron Paul to gain 2-3 delegates, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum to each gain 1-2 delegates, and Rick Perry to gain one or none. Bottom line, New Hampshire won’t mean that much, no matter who wins.
Today is New Hampshire. We’ll know more tonight. Please remember I’ll wait until Thursday to give full New Hampshire analysis in order to give a well thought out response. In the mean time, remember what the great Yogi Berra said: “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over.”