The Republicans are holding their primary in South Carolina today. The Democrats will hold theirs next Saturday. The polls have been closed for almost an hour now and the first returns are trickling in…
7:56 pm ET — 5% reporting — McCain, 36%; Huckabee, 28%; Romney, 16%; Thompson, 13%; Paul, 4%, Giuliani, 3%. We probably won’t be talking much about Paul and Giuliani for the rest of the evening.
I read somewhere today, I believe on a right wing blog, that Fred Thompson (a.k.a. “Grandpa Fred”) said he is withdrawing if he does not finish at least third in South Carolina. I hope he keeps his promise (if indeed he did promise, and what reason could I possibly have to not believe something I read on a right wing blog?).
8:08 pm ET — 14% reporting — McCain, 35%; Huckabee, 30%; Thompson, 15%; Romney, 15%.
Things are tightening up a bit. Perhaps Grandpa Fred can stick around a little longer after all. Romney sure didn’t get much of a bounce from winning Nevada earlier today.
8:18 pm ET — 22% reporting — McCain, 36%; Huckabee, 28%; Thompson, 15%; Romney, 15%.
They’ll be calling it for McCain soon.
Whatever happened to the much anticipated youth vote? Exit polls are showing that only 10% of Republicans voting today were in the 18-29 age group.
8:32 pm ET — 36% reporting — McCain, 35%; Huckabee, 30%; Thompson and Romney still battling for third with 15% each.
Why don’t they call it for McCain so the old geezer can make his speech and go to bed?
8:42 pm ET — 48% reporting — Ladies and gentlemen, we have a race! (Though it is for third place.) McCain, 34%; Huckabee, 29%; Thompson, 16%; Romney, 15%. Giuliani is way back at 2%, behind Ron Paul (who is hanging on at 4%).
Don’t count Pastor Mike out yet. He may yet produce a miracle tonight. He did pander quite a bit, remember? What with all that fried squirrel and telling them where people who don’t like their racist confederate flag can stick the flagpole and equating homosexuality with bestiality, etc., etc.
I am, however, predicting a McCain win and posting his picture at the top of this entry. (I’m thinking the South Carolinians kind of feel like they owe him after what they did to him in 2000.)
9:00 pm ET — 67% reporting — McCain, 34%; Huckabee, 29%; Thompson, 16%; Romney, 15%.
It’s going to be funny watching all the Thompsonites tomorrow as they spin this into some kind of victory.
Oh… Duncan Hunter has dropped out, in case anybody cares. He blames the media.
Hey, guys… McCain has won. Call it!
9:10 pm ET — 75% reporting — John McCain, 34%; Mike Huckabee, 29%; Fred Thompson, 16%; Mitt Romney, 15%.
How much longer are we going to drag this on, you ask? Dang good question.
9:23 pm ET — There appears to have been some problems with some of the voting machines and we are waiting for paper ballots to be sorted and counted. While we wait…
Thus far tonight there have been 364,865 ballots cast in tonight’s primary election. That works out to 14.6% of the registered voters in the state of South Carolina. (There is no registration by party.) It will be interesting to see how that compares to next week’s Democratic primary.
9:29 pm ET — We now have 88% of the precincts reporting. McCain, 33%; Huckabee, 30%; Thompson, 16%; Romney, 15%.
The networks are projecting that John McCain has won the South Carolina Republican primary.
The hugger has won! (Sure sucked the air out of Romney’s balloon, didn’t he?)
The end. (That was fun. Perhaps we’ll try it again next week for the Democrats.)