New Hampshire Primary: A 60,000-Vote Differential

Written by  //  January 11, 2008  //  Afghanistan  //  1 Comment

Jan 9, 2008
This analysis and the numerous thoughtful comments (unlike most of what we read these days) is worth reading now and coming back to in November.
Campaign Stops
Strong Opinions on the 2008 Election
By Ron Klain
… The four Democratic candidates last night drew about 270,000 votes among them, while the larger G.O.P. field drew about 210,000, or about 60,000 more votes for the Democrats than the Republicans. Maybe this sounds like a small difference to some, but given that fewer than 700,000 New Hampshirites voted in the last general election for president, a 60,000-vote differential in that small state is quite significant.
… In the three decades since 1980, there have been four primary years when both the G.O.P. and the Democratic nominations were contested – 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008. In all three of the previous elections, there were more votes cast in the Republican primaries than in the Democratic primaries. The G.O.P. margin was almost 40,000 votes in 1988 and almost 80,000 votes in 2000. So to see more votes cast in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary last night than in the state’s Republican one — not to mention 60,000 more votes — is almost as historic as seeing a one-two finish by a woman and an African-American.
… Though historically New Hampshire had been a very Republican state (George Bush beat Mike Dukakis there in 1988 by almost 30 percent), in recent years, it has become something of a battleground. It’s one of only four states in the country (New Mexico, Wisconsin and Iowa are the others) where an outcome was determined by less than 2 percent of the vote in both 2000 and 2004. John Kerry won the state by just 9,000 votes in 2004; and President Bush won it by only 7,000 votes in 2000. Given these sorts of numbers, having 60,000 more voters participate in the Democratic primaries than in the G.O.P. primaries is a very strong sign for the Democrats.
And history matters here in one other respect. Thinking back to the 2000 election, most folks remember the deadlock in Florida and Al Gore’s failure to carry Tennessee, when recalling how President Bush won the presidency. But most of us who worked on Mr. Gore’s campaign have been equally haunted by the narrow, narrow loss of New Hampshire in the general election; in retrospect, we wish we had sent Vice President Gore to New Hampshire in the final week of the campaign, given that we lost it by so few votes. Tiny New Hampshire’s electoral votes could have given Al Gore the presidency in 2000 even without Florida. Full article and comments

One Comment on "New Hampshire Primary: A 60,000-Vote Differential"

  1. Diana Thébaud Nicholson January 11, 2008 at 9:54 am · Reply

    Our comment: it’s not encouraging to think that the next president might be elected without the support of younger, better educated, less partisan voters.

    The Road Ahead
    By Ronald Brownstein, National Journal
    In Iowa, Barack Obama showed strength across virtually all segments of his party. But the New Hampshire results re-established the mirror-image portrait that had characterized polling on the race through 2007. In New Hampshire, Obama led among younger, well-educated, and less partisan voters, especially men. Clinton won among older voters, partisan Democrats, and those without college education, especially women. John Edwards drew about evenly from both of those camps, but not at a level that could threaten either Clinton or Obama.

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