Clinton Wins NH Stunner; McCain Takes GOP Vote

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Update: I haven't seen an exit poll in its entirety yet, but it appears that Obama got close to the 36-39% he was polling, and it's Edwards who lost some support to Hillary. Obama appears to have gotten a similar percentage of the women's vote as he did in Iowa, while Edwards lost ground in that demographic. Edwards' attacks -- and especially his crack about a president needing to be strong after Clinton had an emotional moment on the campaign trail -- appear to have backfired.

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Update: With 66 percent of precincts reporting, NBC is calling it for Hillary Clinton, 39-36. Polls released in recent days had Obama up, some by double-digits.

Exit polls suggest a huge gender gap was at play, with huge numbers of women turning out for Clinton and Obama winning among men -- a reversal of the results from Iowa.

There are many take-aways from this; one is that none of us know what we're talking about. We read the polling data, pay attention to the dribs and drabs of information coming out of the campaigns, analyze the messaging, demographics, the way past votes went, the dollars spent, etc., but at the end of the day it's just so much crystal ball gazing.

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Update: at 5:16 PST, NBC is calling the race for McCain, who leads 37 to 28 with 12% of precincts reporting. Dems too close to call.

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UPDATE: Early exit poll data via MSNBC

Obama 39%, Clinton 29% ...
Exit polls Tuesday showed independents constituting a slightly larger proportion of voters on the Democratic side — they made up 43 percent of those voting Democratic, as opposed to 38 percent on the Republican side. In New Hampshire, independents can opt to vote in either party’s primary, making attracting them a key to victory.
For Republicans voting early in the primary, the exit polls also showed some dissatisfaction with the Bush administration, with a third saying there were dissatisfied and almost 1 in 5 angry with the administration.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York promised a daylong blitz to get her supporters out, even as those closest to her acknowledged the difficulty of trying to counter Obama's momentum so soon after the Iowa caucuses.
Obama spoke at Dartmouth College, while his relatives in Kenya gathered outside by radio, waiting to hear New Hampshire returns.
"Today you can make your voice heard — you can insist that change will come," Obama told the crowd. "The American people have decided for the first time in a very long time to cast aside cynicism, to cast aside fear, to cast aside doubts."
Looking back at his Iowa victory, the man who would be the first black president said: "The state was not, according to the experts, designed for me. There were not a lot of people who look like me in Iowa."
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