MANCHESTER, N.H. -- The path to Ward 5's polling place was lined with Ron Paul supporters, and no one else's. They'd been given an APB to come here and wave signs, warned that they were needed; they weren't. Construction workers, nurses, and other blue collar voters trickled in, many of them giving the thumbs' up. Eliot Halom, who'd voted for McCain four years earlier, dourly held his sign up. Actually, he wasn't dour. He was tired.
"I voted at 7 a.m. then I got here," he said. "Last time, I didn't think Paul could win. You know, I'm more optimistic now."
I stayed as the votes were counted.
Blank ballots - 5
Michele Bachmann - 1
Hugh Cort - 1
Randy Crow - 1
Newt Gingrich - 67
Jon Huntsman - 72
Ron Paul - 233
As soon as this was announced, the small group of Paul fans bent forward with anticipation.
Rick Perry - 7
Mitt Romney - 192
The Paul fans cheered. They'd just won the ward.
Rick Santorum - 93
Write-in - 3
Ah, details. Carter Harris, Paul's ward captain, wiped his brow and announced his plans to go to Paul's victory party.
"It's time to get drunk," he said.