Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

New Hampshire Republicans in disarray, defecting? 

Yesterday in New Hampshire, eight percent, about 1 out of 12 Republicans wrote in a Democratic candidate's name as their nomination - for the Republican candidate. Compare this to the 103 Democrats - about 0.05%, or one out of 2,000 - who voted for Bush in their primary, and the Republicans have a problem in New Hampshire. (Thanks to Froz Gobo for pointing this out).

In New Hampshire, one can register to vote the day of voting, but noone withy a party affiliation can change it for the primary after October 23rd, 2003. A portion of the 8% of Republicans who wrote in a Democrat may have been confused first-time voters who haven't figured out the futility of voting for a Democrat in the Republican primary (if you're unregistered or a registered independent, you may change your registration on the day of the primary). However, comparing the 8% figure the 0.05% who wrote in Bush as their preferred nomination the Democratic primary, one can surmise that careless first-time voters were 160 times as likely to register Republican as Democrat. Or that Republicans in NH are 160 times as likely to be dissatisfied with the candidates on their party's ticket than are NH Democrats. That the reality is almost surely a combination of both is no condolence to what Republican party bosses surely see as a disaster.

Also interesting are the exit poll data. Compare Howard Dean and John Kerry on the "More Important to Your Vote" question: an equal percentage (29%) of people who thought issues were more important than being able to beat Bush voted for Kerry or Dean. But 4 times as many who's primary concern was finding someone to beat Bush voted for Kerry (56%) than Dean (14%). The only one that comes a bit closer to Kerry on the question is Clark. It's clear that Kerry was the preferred candidate for those in NH who primarily want Bush out.

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