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New Hampshire vote-counting thread

February 9th, 2016, 7:30pm by Sam Wang

Follow results at the Huffington Post or the Guardian (great coverage there). Open thread.

10:30pm: Christie might be out. Still, if either Kasich or Bush stays in (and they both might do that), the assumptions behind this simulation appear to be met.

10:00pm: My analysis and computer simulation of the delegate process still appears to outline a plausible scenario: with all the loopholes in the Republican party’s “proportional” system, Trump only needs about 30% support in a divided field to have a path to get a majority of delegates. That’s why Kasich’s rise and Rubio’s crash tonight are such a big deal.

9:50pm: With these results Kasich, Bush, and Rubio seem likely to stay in. Governor Christie contributed to that by taking down Rubio. Looks like it’s time for some traffic problems in the establishment lane.

9:40pm: A passionate concession speech from Hillary Clinton. “I know I have some work to do, particularly with young people, but … even if they are not supporting me now, I support them. Because I know, I’ve had a blessed life, but I also known what it’s like to stumble and fall. It’s not whether you get knocked down that matters. It’s whether you get back up.”

9:20pm: For the second time in a row, the talk about Trump supporters not showing up to vote turns out to be hot air. In Iowa, Trump only underperformed polls by about 2 percentage points. Tonight so far in New Hampshire, he is overperforming by 4 percentage points. These differences are normal by primary standards – actually, they’re kind of low. It appears that polls reflect Trump’s support perfectly fine.

For that matter, Rubio is only 4 percentage points below his final polling. Again, not a huge error, but it seems larger for a candidate with support in the 10% range. We’ll see as the evening progresses.

9:00pm, 25% of precincts reporting: I thought Rubio would drop below Kasich, but not necessarily behind both Bush and Cruz. If that holds, it’s a humiliation.

In the arcane rules of the N.H. primary, lower-tier candidate performance affects Trump’s delegate count. 20 delegates get handed out proportionally…but only if a candidate gets at least 10% of the vote. Leftover delegates go to the first-place finisher. For example, if Bush gets above 12.5%, his delegate count rounds up to 3. That leaves one fewer delegate for the Donald.

Tags: 2016 Election

69 Comments so far ↓

  • Froggy

    So far Democrat Vermin Supreme (17 votes) is beating the combined total of Republicans Rick Santorum (5), Mike Huckabee (3), Lindsey Graham (2), and Jim Gilmore (1). Feel the Verm!

  • Olav Grinde

    What really counts, of course, are delegates – not the popular vote. On the Democratic side, only 24 of the state’s 32 delegates are up for grabs, being apportioned according to tonight’s primary results.

    The other 8 are superdelegates, 6 of whom have already endorsed Hillary – and the other two are expected to do so.

    Given that advantage, Hillary is likely to “win” New Hampshire, even if she loses the popular vote to Bernie by a 10–15 % margin.

    • Andy

      The fix is in. That just seems wrong to me.

    • Mark Buckley

      And she will continue to do so for 48 more states . But the media has a vested interest in promoting a close race to ensure ratings

    • Matt McIrvin

      What actually counts in these early races, which involve small numbers of delegates anyway, is media buzz. That’s the only reason why it matters who “won” a proportional contest. The TV and the press are pretty much declaring Clinton’s campaign dead or dying right now, even though this loss was entirely expected. That may drive voters away from her in later states.

      What terrifies me is that they’re getting excited about the possibility of a Mike Bloomberg third-party run, which pretty much means President Trump.

    • Matt McIrvin

      (…I actually think Bloomberg would be a non-starter and probably not run if Clinton is nominated, but if Sanders is nominated, he may run and significantly split the vote. I don’t think Sanders is actually significantly less electable than Clinton in a two-way race, but if Bloomberg decides to jump in, that could be another story.)

  • JayBoy2k

    CNN & FOX immediately called for Sanders and Trump. CNN has a dynamically updating vote %s based on their exit polls — It has shown Trump as ending with 32-38%. Kasich in 2nd place easily.. but the pundits are discussing how well Trump is doing versus expectations.

  • Olav Grinde

    Did you say Vermin, Froggy?
    How do you figure…?

    • Froggy

      Vermin Supreme, from his 2012 campaign:

      Funny you should ask, Olav — generally I figure by counting on my fingers and toes, which is why I won’t be updating the count in my earlier post — the numbers have gotten too large.

    • pechmerle

      Olav, I know you know that we are a crazy country. But I’m not sure you appreciate just How crazy.
      In my city, a perennial candidate — for something, whether it be mayor or city council or whatever — is Starchild. She always gets at least several hundred votes, and sometimes even a few thousand.

    • Olav Grinde

      @Pechmerle: Well, Bernie Sanders’ political proposalse are very much in line with the ideas of the Norwegian Conservative Party. ;)

      Whereas Norwegian psychiatrists could arrange an entire weekend seminar to argue about the mental and emotional affliction of…at least half the candidates fielded by the GOP.

  • bks

    Not sure why, but the Guardian seems to be ahead of the others in reporting results; plus bonus British snark.

    • Josh

      More importantly: when are you buying me that shot of Jameson?

    • Olav Grinde

      I would like a pint of Ægir Natt Imperial Porter, please.

      The Guardian is a nice find. The results seem as up-to-date as the New York Times – only that the Guardian has the “percentage reporting” down to two decimal places. Impressive! Here is the NYT:

      The Guardian’s snark reminds my of my favourite political joke, which of course is British, very brief, and belongs to a different era:

      “Margaret Thatcher is now doing to the country…what she hasn’t done…to her husband…in years.”

  • Mark F.

    Exit polling shows men going heavily for the Bern, women just narrowly. Also, another huge age gap. But remember these are almost all white people. Clinton is still in a very good position for SC , Nevada, Super Tuesday and the SEC primaries. I’ll give Bernie Vermont.

  • bks

    The polling looks pretty good. We can dispel with the idea that Rubio was not knocked down by his debate debacle. The PredictIt market flipped back to Trump a day or so before the primary. Betfair and predictwise only after the primary was called. Oh, please let Rubio fall below 10%.

  • Mark Buckley

    Ya bks would be nice to see Rubios delegates go to Trump – much thanks to Mr Christie for taking him down.

  • Olav Grinde

    The New York Times has a category under the GOP candidates called “other”. Given that it’s received 1.9 % of the total vote (almost as many as Ben Carson), I would like to see a breakdown of those lesser candidates.

    Are we talking Darth Vader, the Grand Dragon of the KKK, or die-hard libertarians sticking to their principles and voting for Ayn Rand Paul? Or are these write-in votes for Jon Huntsman Jr?

  • 538 Refugee

    I have a wall I’d like to sell you……….

    • 538 Refugee

      This reference was probably too oblique? Trump promised in his victory speech to build the wall between the US/Mexico. It reminded me of two other politicians.

      The first was James Trafficant? Remember Mr. Populace Incarnate? His reoccuring campaign promise was to have a canal built from Cleveland/Lake Erie to Pittsburgh/Ohio River to bring back the steel industry.

      Second? Ronald Regan, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Oh the irony.

  • Amitabh Lath

    Yes, this is indeed a vindication of the polls and LV filters. Due to the weirdness of the Trump phenomenon many writers have written that Trump’s numbers were inflated by people who would never vote in a primary, or perhaps Democratic responders pulling a fast one.

    So now if we have to start taking the primary polling seriously, what is the new Trump fail scenario?

    • bks

      ARG which is based in NH and which had a tracking poll seems to have done very, very well despite having a 538 rating of C-.

    • Matt McIrvin

      Polls severely underestimated Bernie Sanders’ blowout, though. He was always favored to win, but not by that much.

    • Sam Wang

      He overperformed by 5 percentage points. That doesn’t seem so severe to me – it’s New Hampshire, Jake. New Hampshire is an open primary. This year, one might expect a fairly strong sorting of independents into which primary they felt more strongly about.

    • bks

      Huffpost model had it at 18, actual 21.

  • 538 Refugee

    NPR reporting that Christie probably suspending his campaign.

  • MAT

    >> Sam: My analysis and computer simulation of the delegate process still appears to outline a plausible scenario….

    New Hampshire is empirical evidence of this. According to The Green Papers, at the current vote percentages (as of 10:35pm) NH delegates will be awarded 11 Trump, 3 Kaisich & 2 each Bush, Cruz & Rubio. If Rubio slips below the 10% line, Trump could potentially pick up 1 or 2 more. Trump is likely to win an outright majority of delegates in NH.

    • MAT

      Yikes. I see you posted the same delegate projection information RIGHT UP TOP. Read before commenting next time :-(

  • Violet

    Sam, there’s not any recent polling in NV and SC. Is there any chance Bernie has a surge, from courting minorities, some African-American endorsements and because of BS media narrative about HRC’s troubles?

    I’m hoping not as a Clinton supporter [and donor, full disclosure], but because I don’t think there’s much polling since December, what are your thoughts on the race tightening in states everyone projects Hillary to win by large margins?

    • Phoenix

      Not Sam, but I doubt it very much. :-)

    • Phoenix

      As Sam notes below, New Hampshire is an open primary with a history of high indie involvement (and party-hopping by said indies). Of the next 52 contests (48 states plus Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and Marianas), only 20 are open contests.

    • Violet

      Whew, I hope you’re right. I’ll breathe easier if we see good polls from Nevada soon.

  • Steven

    Bernie won the working class vote in Iowa and New Hampshire, while Hillary won the educated voters in Iowa and nearly tied in New Hampshire. This is surprising.

    I have been thinking that Hillary was basically a shoe in because of the diversity problem Sanders has and thinking that Iowa and NH are not the norm in the Democratic primary. However, with Bernie winning this population, is there a more clear path to him making this a real race or even winning the nomination?

    • Violet

      I was thinking that, too (in my case, not happily). Bernie seems to be gaining some key minority endorsements, and is actively courting the African-American vote.

    • Phoenix

      New Hampshire is even whiter than Iowa. Aside from Vermont, every other one of the 52 upcoming primaries and caucuses is far more diverse.

  • David D.

    Any thoughts about Sanders’ improved performance among non-whites? According to the CNN entrance/exit polls, Sanders got 36% of the non-white vote in Iowa and 49% in New Hampshire. Different demographics? Genuinely improved standing? I suppose it’s relevant because many of the pundits are making a big deal of Clinton’s supposed firewall in African-American majority primaries.

  • Olav Grinde

    Hillary wins New Hampshire?

    As of right now, the New York Times’ returns shows Bernie capturing 13, and Hillary with 9, of the 24 delegates being awarded after the primary. Two are still to be decided.

    However, at least 6 of 8 superdelegates from New Hampshire have endorsed Hillary. (The other two are, as far as I know, unclear.)

    This gives the following New Hamphire score:

    Hillary Clinton: 15 delegates (9 + 6)
    Bernie Sanders: 13 delegates (13 + 0)

    Still to be decided: 4 delegates (2 ordinary, 2 superdelegates)

    • RDT

      My understanding is that most super delegates are actual party elected officials, and in probably isn’t surprising that they break for Clinton when most of Sanders margin in the voting came from voters not registered as Democrats.

    • Mark F.

      While many superdelegates are technically pledged to Mrs. Clinton, it is very unlikely they would hand the nomination to her if Sanders wins the most regular delegates. They would face an open party revolt.

    • Michael B B

      Found this while looking for results. If you down the page, you’ll see the number of pledged candidates for Bernie is 15, and 8 (if I remember right) for Hillary. Have to wait and see how it plays out in the end, I guess.

  • Kevin

    Am I crazy to think that there’s more suspense about the ultimate nomination outcome on the Democratic side than the Republican one at this point?

    • Josh


      The media will have a harder time spinning the Dem side into a story after Super Tuesday, when Hillary will likely clean up.

    • Mark F.

      You aren’t crazy, but Clinton is still more heavily favored than Trump I think.

    • Kevin

      I think that if you were to look at all the polling data on the Republican side in correlation with the IA and NH results with the names removed, the ultimate outcome would appear obvious. I expect it will look obvious in retrospect, when Trump is accepting his party’s nomination.

      On the Democratic side, at least the proposition that HRC will be able to dominate in primaries held later in the calendar, however well founded, isn’t one that has been road-tested yet.

  • A New Jersey Farmer

    Good morning. I would think that Christie is likely out of the race and that Kasich didn’t do well enough to carry the establishment banner. Bush will go very negative in SC, as that’s a family tradition.

    I was surprised at the level of support for bernie. Didn’t think he would break 60%, but as you say, it’s the delegates that matter.

    • Mark Buckley

      Everyone will be negative in South Carolina as that’s a statewide tradition providing much entertainment for political junkies

  • Olav Grinde

    What’s up with the vote count stopping at 89 %. That’s where it was when I went to bed six hours ago. Don’t they count votes at night in New Hampshire?

  • James Hotze

    Sam – are you re-evaluating the Iowa bump hypothesis now?

    • Sam Wang

      What I said before was correct. As I wrote, the bump for Hillary Clinton was small and ambiguous, maybe four percentage points; and that this bump was not enough to alter the outcome in New Hampshire. Anyway, bumps, even when they do happen, are often temporary. It is true that Sanders seems to have outperformed his pre-election polls by four percentage points (compare his N.H. outcome with the very last three surveys, taken in the final days). An open-primary state is tough to poll, and New Hampshire has a history of gaps between polls and outcomes.

      Sanders’s strong performance is notable – but he still has some tough sledding ahead in closed-primary states, as mentioned by Phoenix.

  • whatever next

    Must admit I’m feeling quite smug about my predictions ahead of the vote, sorry for my arrogance! See comments on threads 6th and 9th February.

    To keep me humble, Kasich was much further behind Trump than I expected. Or should I say, Trump was much further ahead of the rest of the pack than I expected.

  • 538 Refugee

    If Sanders doesn’t have the name recognition that Clinton has why is he doing better head to head against Trump? When polling resumes in South Carolina should we be prepared to be surprised? Clinton’s concession speech reeked of retooling but will it be enough to ‘stem the tide’? I would think that the Sander’s message is much closer to what the minority vote wants to hear than what Clinton has to say. We are in another period of strong unrest in a civil rights sense. You think “Black Lives Matter” want to hear the status quo message from Clinton? The strongest thing she has going for her is that my favorites are usually out of contention by the time Ohio votes. ;)

    • Mark F.

      General election polling this far out is next to useless. Wait until Republicans run campaign ads against him saying “socialist” 5 times with pictures of Stalin.

      I look forward to seeing new SC polling, however. But I think Clinton will sweep almost all of the states coming up soon, putting Sanders badly behind.

  • bks

    I think the RNC must be praying for a brokered convention this morning. That probably seems like their only chance to stop Trump.

    • Olav Grinde

      I guarantee you this: If Donald Trump has the most delegates, and believes the RNC is stealing his nomination, then he will run as an independent candidate.

      If that happens, the Republican Party risks once again find itself parked on the curb outside the White House gate.

      The GOP’s only possible salvation would be the entry of a second spoiler: Bloomberg.

    • Kevin

      You can’t decide at the last minute to run as an independent candidate, because most states require you to have registered and do whatever else is necessary to qualify for the ballot (pay money, collect signatures) either already or quite soon, or forever hold your peace.

  • Amitabh Lath

    The lack of any coordinated action by the Republican “establishment” remains a mystery. The actions of the establishment candidates appear to be those of individuals (free particles), with no sign of any correlation that would hint at the existence of an entity like the establishment (entanglement).

    Ezra Klein ascribes this to the Tragedy of Commons.
    “Republicans by their nature have difficulty grasping collective-action problems…”. If instead Republicans prefer the “Might is Right” philosophy then eventually the establishment will come not only to accept Trump, but celebrate him. How can he be the wrong choice if he keeps on winning?

    • Mark F.

      He won’t be the wrong choice if he becomes President next January. I wouldn’t be so sure it isn’t possible.

    • JayBoy2k

      I believe we are seeing the difference between what the GOP Establishment is doing versus what are the Establishment Candidates. The Establishment is attacking Trump from lots of quarters: money, ads, pundits, media, etc, etc
      The Establishment Candidates are trying to enhance their individual chances to win this thing. So, Rubio, Kasich, Bush, (Christie is withdrawing) have to take on each other before they become the sole establishment candidate to face off against Trump — pure self interest by every player. Fiorina also dropped out today.

    • Olav Grinde

      It really is rather stunning that none of the candidates have the balls to truly attack Donald Trump. Instead they prefer to aim their guns at anyone else.

    • 538 Refugee

      What could they do publicly that wouldn’t alienate the Trump voter block which seems to be sizable? If they do something too early then he goes independent. In a game of delegate count I doubt they are panicked yet. They are probably telling everyone from Christie on down to get out now because they only fracture the party at this point. If Trump is the nominee, think of all the money freed up ‘down ticket’.

      Also, they could be waiting to see who starts emerging from the back. It may be telling to see how this picture changes after polling resumes in SC.

      I would hope/expect Cruz to tumble with his core evangelical group after his less than angelic antics in Iowa. Kasich probably too moderate to get much of a bump in the south. Bush supposedly has some high ranking backing but I’d expect Rubio to benefit from any Cruz drop. It gets interesting.

    • P G Vaidya

      I really like the “entanglement” metaphor.

      I think that the Nash equilibrium metaphor may also be appropriate.

      Once again from a game theoretic point, if you work for a super pack, would you think that you can help your candidate by betting for your candidate on, say Predictit? The betting after the polls closed in NH looks very counter-intuitive, otherwise. Or is this a “buy on rumor, sell on news” strategy?

  • whatever next

    “He won’t be the wrong choice if he becomes President next January. I wouldn’t be so sure it isn’t possible.”

    It’s obviously possible. But unless you are someone who regards winning the election as an end in itself (not a good reason either to stand or to support a campaign, in my book, though quite likely not far from the truth in Trump’s case), then the ‘wrong’ candidate will always be the ‘wrong’ choice regardless of whether they get elected.

    Personally I’d rather see a Republican in the White House next. My caveat to that is that I’d prefer to see Clinton as President if the GOP candidate is Trump.

    Bloomberg might be a compromise candidate I could accept if Trump was the GOP nominee, I’m not sure yet.

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