New Hampshire is all about expectations. I have my own (not that anyone asked or particularly cares). But I have them. I think they are valid.
I measure them on my Expecto-Meter. I use three sets of data. 1). Polling since the Iowa caucuses 2). How candidates finished in Iowa this year compared to polls taken before the caucuses 3). How candidates who ran in 2008 and are running now performed in Iowa and New Hampshire relative to polling data before that caucus and primary.
Yes, every race is different, but polling data in 2008 and 2012 reflected the final results with more than a modest degree of precision. These sets of data, I believe, ought to tell us something about tonight - before the spin cycles begin.
Mitt Romney: Total vote percentage = 41.2 percent
Spread over 2nd place = 19.7 percentage points
Jon Huntsman: Total vote percentage = 23.8 percent
Ron Paul: Total vote percentage = 18.6 percent
Rick Santorum: Total vote percentage = 9.5 percent
Newt Gingrich: Total vote percentage = 8.8 percent
Rick Perry: Total vote percentage = 1 percent