In N.H. Dem Primary, "Write-In Hillary" Loses to Paul, Romney, Huntsman

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 12 2012 12:52 PM

In N.H. Dem Primary, "Write-In Hillary" Loses to Paul, Romney, Huntsman

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UNITY, NH - JUNE 27: Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and former rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) wave to the crowd June 27, 2008 in Unity, New Hampshire. Obama and Clinton appeared together in a show of unity for Obama's presidential campaign. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

The "Write-In Hillary" campaign for president got more than enough hype. In December, the dyspeptic column-writing tag team of Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen called for New Hampshire voters to "organize a write-in campaign for Clinton." For some reason, their column inspired TV bookers to talk to people who planned to write in Clinton. On election night, New Hampshire Democrats cast 5,908 write-in votes, around 11 percent of all votes cast. The early assumption: Hey, the Hillary vote came out!

I'm so sorry. It didn't. New Hampshire's Secretary of State has released the full results from the primary, breaking down most of the write-in votes. Ron Paul won 2273, more than a third, of all Democratic write-in votes. Mitt Romney won 1808. Jon Huntsman won 1228. There were only 759 write-in votes cast for "miscellaneous" candidates; according to the state, that includes Clinton, Biden, Screaming Lord Sutch, and every other name. So at best, if she won every single miscellanous write-in vote -- and she didn't -- Clinton could have won 1.2 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. Paul won 3.7 percent.

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We have hard, electoral proof that no one listens to the street corner ramblings of two embittered pollsters. I look forward to their next highly-placed columns.

UPDATE: Mark Memoli, one of the best number-watchers out there, is also on top of this. He breaks down the Tebow vote.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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