Early vote counts are expected at 8 p.m. ET, fuller results by 9. High drama on two fronts, needless to say, both in the Romney/Maverick showdown and the last rites coming for Rudy at Giuliani HQ. As usual, CNN and Politico are posting running tallies. Drudge says it’s Romney, not McCain, by a point and a half right now but that’s down a few tenths of a percent from five minutes ago.
Stand by for updates.
Update: The AP tally on Politico has McCain up three with 9% reporting. Drudge has it dead even.
Update: There’ll be a million Rudy autopsies tomorrow but Carl Cameron’s out of the gate with this misleading tidbit: “Some campaign aides privately gripe about what might have been. There are those who believed Rudy could have competed and won New Hampshire.” He did compete in New Hampshire, though — aggressively, in the last few months of last year. He got nowhere.
According to Campaign Media Analysis Group, Mr. Giuliani spent $1.7 million in New Hampshire between November 10 and December 9. During the same period, Mr. Romney spent $1.3 million and Mr. McCain $1.2 million.
Despite being the biggest spender on television in New Hampshire during that period, Mr. Giuliani saw his support fall away…
Put another way, between the beginning of July and early November, Mr. Giuliani polled an average of 21% in New Hampshire. In the following four weeks, when he was advertising heavily, support dropped to an average of 18%.
Update: Here’s the Florida SoS page, updating constantly.
Update: No surprise, Hillary wins.
Update: Fox is running exit polls now. Romney wins among Republicans, McCain wins among independents as Republicans. Too close to call.
Update: Actually, never mind the SoS page. It’s slower than CNN and the Fox News TV totals. Stick to those.
McCain leads by 8,000 votes with 29% in.
Update: CNN has the full exit poll data. McCain won both men and women, which I guess means…
Update: Everything’s coming up Maverick!
ABC’s Karen Travers offers these results, with 85 percent reporting in Pasco County, a bellwether: McCain 36.7, Romney 29.3, Rudy 16.8
Update: Halperin says the Reaper is at Rudy’s door and that an endorsement for Maverick, possibly in LA tomorrow before the debate, is coming.
Update: With 44% in, McCain leads by 35,000 votes. The over/under on a call is 9:20 p.m.
Update: Now 50,000 votes with 51% in.
Update: If you took the under, you win! At 9:11, Fox News and AP call it for Maverick. SECOND LOOK AT STAYING HOME!
Update: So here’s your exit question. Closed primary, and Maverick still wins. How does Romney win competitive states, especially with Rudy ready to throw his support to Mac?
Update: The exit polls were wrong about the absentee ballots. Mitt didn’t win; he split them with McCain.
Update: Is it wrong that I’m already excited to see how Hewitt’s going to spin this for Mitt?
Update: John McCain, conservative icon:
“It shows one thing. I’m the conservative leader who can unite the party,” the Arizona senator said in a brief interview with The Associated Press.
Update: Steyn plays anti-Hewitt: “This is a tough night for the Romney campaign. Fred’s withdrawal should have benefited them more than McCain. If Huck stays in, there’s no prospect of southern victories for Mitt on Super Tuesday. And, if Huck and/or Rudy pull out, their votes on balance are likely to break for McCain.”
Update: NBC says it’s confirmed the Giuliani/McCain endorsement deal.
Update: “The beast is dead.”