It will be a ballot vote on Tuesday, similar to an election ballot. There has been some way of voting if you wouldn't be there on that day (I think
absentee ballot, but it could be pre-voting).
I just checked several polls. McCain has a lead of 3.2%, averaging some polls together, over Romney. Hillary has a lead of less than 2% over Obama. Some of the polling data began before the results from Iowa were in.
About half the voters in New Hampshire are registered Independent, which allows them to chose which ballot they want. Many of them voted for McCain when he ran 8 years ago. Obama attracted many Independent voters in Iowa; if he attracts many in New Hampshire (which now seems more likely, since he did well in Iowa), it would be good news for Romney.
In the "Republican base," some don't like that McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts (which brought in more revenue to the federal government), and supported an easier path to citizenship for people who have entered the US illegally. Romney is a smaller-government, less-taxes Republican, and says he is more strongly against illegal immigration.
Romney is the one Republican who has implimented a medical-insurance-for-everyone plan in his state, which may be a key issue in the final election, but has not gotten as much treatment in the competition to be the Republican candidate. All the Democrats have health care plans (among which, I think Hillary's is best).
Mitt Romney has dominated the Wyoming caucuses. As I write this, eight of the twelve delegates at stake have been decided. Six have gone to Romney,
and 1 each to Thompson and Hunter. So Romney has at least half of the votes, and could have more.
Wyoming's relatively small population have meant it has not gotten as much attention, in the news or by the candidates. But Romney did campaign there personally, and some of his sons campaigned there on his behalf.
They looked like a really big, energetic group. However, when you realize that a large number of the group were "ordered" to be there, and a number of those were brought in by bus, they suddenly don't seem to mean as much as when you thought they were spontaneous and local.
CNN is keeping count of the delegates each candidate has won:
Romney 26 (44%)
Huckabee 20 (34%)
Thompson 6 (10%)
McCain 3 (5%)
Paul 2 (3%)
Guiliani 1 (2%)
Hunter 1 (2%)
(Obviously, the percentages are rounded off.)
I haven't heard anyone in the news mention that, with Romney's win in Wyoming, he is now the frontrunner by about 10%. (I got the figures from a blog who got them from CNN.)
I am pleased to see that you are so interested in your home country's politics, scholar. I would that more people followed those who would lead us more closely. We have an obligation to ensure that our vote counts!
Usually, only a relatively small number of people participate in the primaries, in which people vote or caucus for the candidate they wish to
The thing is, the people who do not vote until election day, when the candidates have already been chosen, commonly express a desire for a better choice than those listed.
Most of the time, an incumbant has an advantage, and sometimes one potential candidate starts out with advantages (more money, an established network of supporters) that make a successful contest agaisnt him unlikely (and some thought Hillary was in this situation). This year, there is more activity, more money being spent, and more interest because there is no incumbant on either side, and there are at least two or three likely choices in each party.
Such intense contests can be trouble, because the whole public is listening to criticisms the Republicans are making against each other, and to criticisms the Democrats make against each other (with some in each party staying more positive than others). Quotes and recordings from these accusations may be used later in attack ads from the other party.
The state level government official in charge of elections is the Secretary of State. The SofS of New Hampshire is running additional ballots to
towns that have shortages of Democrat primary ballots, according to the Drudge Report. I can't tell from the brief treatment whether any towns
actually ran out (so that people intending to vote might leave without voting, e.g. if they were on their lunch hour from work), or whether they were
using so many ballots so quickly that they could predict they would run out and asked for more. The voting turnout seems to be remarkable.
1. That is bad news for Hillary and Edwards, because they were more established with regular Democrats, and Obama has been drawing more first-time voters and independents.
2. That is probably bad news for Republican McCain, who hoped to again do well in the state by getting a lot of support from Independents, as he did when he came in first eight years ago. If the Independents are asking for a Democrat ballot, polling has shown that Romney does better (at this point in the race) among Republicans than Independents. If McCain wins, he will not win by as wide a margin as he would have hoped.
The polls close in less than 5 hours. The TV news networks don't release their exit-poll conclusions until after the voting is over, by agreement. The Drudge Report is a maverick in this respect, posting anything it gets as soon as possible, but I don't know if it has independent sources in primaries.
I wonder if Clinton will give up at this stage if she comes in third again or if she is in it for the long haul?
She has said, over and over again, that she is in it for the long haul. She can expect to win in her own large state, and perhaps in states that are
close to hers (who would think of her as one of their own). There are many people who owe her favors. She has a lot of money yet to spend, and--if
she needs a win to get back on track--she could "shoot all her guns at once" and blow a huge amount of money early (expecting to replace it later).
She has been known to use "dirty tricks" (such as spreading falsehoods about her opponents).
If she burns through her money quickly without ANY wins in the next month, her legal contributions will dry up, and she may be forced out. Even in that case, I could imagine her becoming inactive but holding on to her delegates up to the convention.
Right now, the Democrat returns, with 42.85% of the precints counted: CLINTON 39; OBAMA 37; EDWARDS 17; RICHARDSON 5.
The networks have not predicted a winner. Both Clinton's and Obama's internal polls expected Obama to win, fairly easily, and everyone is surprised with Clinton's lead. Hillary's place for tonight is not very large, and not many people were there (which means they were not expecting to celebrate a victory).
The ABC news people have cautioned that the precincts that have been counted do not include several college towns; if Obama got a lot more votes than Hillary in the uncounted towns, Obama might yet win. If he does, it will not be by much--and Hillary will be able to claim a comeback (Bill Clinton started calling himself the "Comeback Kid" when he came in second in New Hampshire, after doing worse in Iowa.)
"62% IN: CLINTON 39; OBAMA 36; EDWARDS 17; RICHARDSON 5"
[EDIT: "66% IN: *CLINTON 39; OBAMA 36; EDWARDS 17; RICHARDSON 5" Clinton is predicted to be the winner by NBC and AP. It's about 9:43 p.m. mytime.]
There are people who have said that the win in New Hampshire makes McCain the definite front-runner among the Republicans.
But, he did badly in Iowa and Wyoming. In New Hampshire, he got 60% 8 years ago; he's around 37% this time.
Romney came in second in Iowa, first in Wyoming, and second in New Hampshire. He has more delegates than anyone else, and more people voted for him in the several states than voted for anyone else. One might think with three different people having each gotten a first-place finish, and Romney having gotten 2 "silver medals," he would be considered in first place.
" Romney confidently asserted to me that he has all the resources and organization he needs to go as long as it takes, and if you look at the fact
that his base in new Hampshire did not crumble after Iowa, you see that he has a bedrock vote that won't be leaving him anytime soon. Call it the
Club for Growth vote plus the win-in-November plus the illegal immigration activist vote. "
"Michael Medved . . . thinks --rightly I suspect-- that many independents who were going to vote for Obama yesterday got to the polls today and, thinking it was in the bag for their guy, decided to vote strategically for McCain."--Hugh Hewitt
Well done Clinton.
People who have done exit-polling say that the group who was the key to Hillary Clinton's victory was older women. They greatly favored her, and turned out in sufficient numbers to make the difference.