|Today is election day, and none of the candidates had any event listings on the Union Leader Web site (doubtless they'll be covering as much ground as they can, though). We decided to head back home to Binghamton in order to watch the returns. Since we weren't committed to any candidate, we felt a bit uncomfortable about "crashing" a victory party. [We learned later that all of the victory parties had smaller crowds than expected; they probably would have been glad to have us boost their numbers. Something to remember for 2012!)
In the end, we felt as flummoxed as the pundits and pollsters did about the actual outcome of the race. We had completely bought into the conventional wisdom, which was that the Obama "surge" was unstoppable and that Hillary Clinton's campaign was about to suffer a humiliating loss ("She's So Yesterday"). Yet the final results: Clinton, 39%; Obama, 36%; Edwards, 17%. On the Republican side, the victory of John McCain developed as forecast (though McCain tarnished the victory somewhat by delivering the flattest, most boring victory speech ever aired on national TV). Mitt Romney finished a distant second, despite "buzz" over the last couple of days that he was getting a post-debate "bounce." Huckabee finished third.
In summary, it was a marvelous trip; we only wish we could go on to South Carolina now for the next round!
Make no mistake about it: this is an unusual year. Nothing we've seen in the last two election cycles approached the level of interest and excitement that we saw on this trip.
Still, in any year, a visit to NH during the primaries is great free entertainment. There's drama, tragedy, comedy, suspense -- all for the price of a tank of gas and a motel room. And it's something every American should experience!