Romney wins Wyoming (!), and Obama gets varying bounces in NH (Updated with new polls)

In quasi-total indifference, Mitt Romney got an early-state win! Only, it's neither Iowa nor New Hampshire... but Wyoming. With 4 delegates still to be attributed in different parts of the state, Romney has six delegates already out of twelve, Duncan Hunter has one and Fred Thompson has another, which means that neither can catch up to Romney (Update: Romney has won 8 of the delegates, Fred Thompson 3, and Duncan Hunter 1). Since these are the first actual delegates to the convention to be attributed (the Iowa distribution will not happen until some time in Iowa), Romney now has a lead in delegates to the convention!

It seems that the media is choosing to talk about this more than I expected. The caucuses are meriting stories in most media groups, for example here with the Washington Post.And count on the Romney campaign to try to spread the word and save face after their stunning crash in Iowa on Thursday. From Romney's statement: "The people of Wyoming took the first step towards bringing true conservative change to Washington. I am honored to have won many of the first delegates awarded this primary season. As the Republican nominee, I promise to fight to seat all of Wyoming's delegates at the national convention."

Meanwhile in New Hampshire the polls are coming in fast. Rasmussen's poll early this afternoon was the first conducted entirely post-Iowa and it had Obama up 10%. Since then, we have got more surveys, and the news is even more dire for Clinton. Let's start with ARG:

  • In two days, Clinton has dropped 9% and Obama has risen 7%. A 35-31 lead for Clinton has become a 38% to 26% lead for Obama, with Edwards rising 5 at 20%.
  • Among Republicans, it's becoming ugly for Romney, who is down 39% to 25%, with Huckabee up 2 at 14%. Giuliani only gets 7% -- and Paul is at 6%, much less than the 14% he got in Rasmussen.
The CNN/WMUR/UNH poll, considered by many to be the best poll of New Hampshire, does not have a significant bounce for Obama, despite also being taken on January 4th and 5th. So there is still some hope for Clinton?

  • Clinton and Obama are tied at 33%, with Edwards at 20%. The last CNN poll had Clinton up 4%, so while it has tightened it is nowhere near ARG's poll. As is expected, Obama leads among independents but Clinton is ahead among Democrats.
  • Among Republicans, McCain is ahead by 6%, 33% to 27%. Giuliani gets 14%, Huckabee 11% and Ron Paul 9%. Giuliani's total higher than we have seen in the other polls over the past few days. A week ago, there was a tie at 29%.
Keep in mind that the WMUR poll is much more reputed than either ARG or Rasmussen, so most of the storyline is likely to be dictated by this poll rather than those showing a big Obama bounce. That could be a life-savior for Clinton who does not want to face days and days of coverage of her doom.

And third, we get the Concord Monitor/Research 2000 survey, which is very very close to the CNN/WMUR poll:

  • Among Democrats, Obama only rises by 1%, now ahead of Clinton 34% to 33%. Edwards gets 23%.
  • Among Republicans, it's once again McCain by 6%, 35% to 29%, with Huckabee at 13% and Giuliani at 8%.
The bottom line in all these polls: Mitt Romney is in a bigger hole than Hillary Clinton, but both races are still very much competitive. While McCain and Obama are now clearly favored to win on Tuesday, tonight's debates could be decisive and bounces don't last forever.

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