After finally ending my Gonzo period at 12 noon with 3 hours of sleep (during which fingers Mallow said I only snored for 15 minutes) I grabbed Stacy McCann back in Hollis and we are now at the Derryfield Restaurant where the Rick Santorum “party” etc is going on.

I’ve parked myself in the filing area along with Stacy where I’ve talked to the Owner, he says the guests are polarized either far left or right. I asked if anyone has been talking about Huntsman, and you would think I was talking about Emmanuel Kant at a football game.

In my Under the fedora piece I’ve already predicted the line 1. Romney, Paul, Huntsman, Santorum but things I’ve seen since convince me that Santorum might move up a spot, in fact I’ve actually made a bet with Michael Graham on 96.9 that will involve me winning a dinner if Santorum manages to finish 3rd or better.

Expect updates after I eat some of this first-rate food!

Update: Captain Ed is next to me along with two charming young reporters from CBS and the Washington Post the mood in the place is cautiously upbeat. In the TV reporter area all are awaiting more solid news and chowing on the buffet laid out, a mistake since the primary menu is just so damn tasty.

Only $2.99 Mon - Sat from 4-7!

With 7% in the order is Romney, Paul Huntsman Gingrich and Santorum thus far per USA today. Would love to see where those numbers are coming from.

Update 2: Romney wins, to nobody’s surprise but consider this. the media market for NH is Boston. Only Massachusetts residents know Mitt better than New Hampshire voters and with that knowledge less than 2 in 5 GOP voters were willing to support him if these numbers hold up.

Update 3: Exit polls show Romney winning all demographics except for Democrats (Huntsman 41%) Independents (Paul 31%) and 17-29 (Paul 46%) One important point. A significant point that will make a huge difference in Republican Primaries that involve….Republicans. Santorum and Paul tie for second actual republicans.

Update 4: Further coverage on twitter by Ed Morrissey and Stacy McCain

Update 5: Santorum just spoke repeating this themes of manufacturing and faith. As the numbers continue to come as I watch Rick and Newt continue to trade 4th & 5th place I can’t help but think that his position on SOPA was the difference between a solid 4th and a long night waiting for the count to finish.

Update 6: Roxeanne comments on her site:

Having learned absolutely nothing about nominating electable moderates to represent the conservatives of America in the general election, the people of New Hampshire have happily handed a second primary win to Mitt Romney.

Of all the people I spoke to who supported Mitt Romney in the state only two did not give the “best chance to beat Obama” reason for their vote.

One of the joys of this experience have been the assorted people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. Yesterday at the first Santorum event I spotted a lady who had a doll in her hand. I was confused as to the reason for this until I spoke to her. Apparently she is a doll maker and her story is fascinating.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone else at the Santorum event or did I have time to do so at the Paul one as Stacy wanted to beat the traffic that the crowd would produce on the narrow road, so I didn’t really have much of an encounter to talk about until we hit the Santorum HQ in Manchester.

Stacy being Stacy took a great interest in everything there

but circumstances and rules prevented an interview so it was off to the Radison for an appearance on Michael Graham’s show on Radio row:

After the show Stacy went off to find a bar and access to college football which has no interest to me. I found myself sitting with an occupy leader who consented to an interview:

Even though he was aware of my opinions concerning the occupy movement we got along fine in the 3 hours we worked next to each other. I later went downstairs to stretch my legs when I ran into Michael Steele. He had a hard time moving as every few feet people wanted to talk to him, but he consented to an interview for me anyway:

As I went back upstairs I ran into Brenda a democrat who also consented to an interview:

From there I went to the bar, I was given a table in the far back where next to me sat a bunch of occupy people who for reasons I haven’t quite figured out seemed to take a liking to me. It turned out one of them had an encounter with Mitt Romney that she described to me:

It is not gallant to talk about a woman’s age but I must compliment this lady who’s looks belie her age and congratulate her husband.

We talked for a while as did several of the occupy people with me when I gave a Buddy Roemer supporter the chance to make his case that the debate people didn’t give to his candidate:

I was sitting next to a table when one of the people volunteered that a gentleman had been featured in the Union leader as a collector of buttons so I interviewed him:

From that point a collection of people made a pilgrimage to the table as everyone from reporters from the Boston Phoenix to radio hosts found me interesting, but I managed only one interview

I spent the rest of the day in that same chair uploading as Stacy celebrated his Tide victory until at 2 a.m. the crew setting up for morning Joe arrived and my day at the bar ended.

One of the themes we have seen pushed by the MSM in general and Morning Joe in particular has been the candidacy of Jon Huntsman. All day on Morning Joe they highlighted polls that suggested a surge for Jon Huntsman.

As I have discovered from first hand experience, if the election was based on one’s offspring, Gov Huntsman would be right up there as his daughters that I met are a credit to him as women of character and poise.

And there are reasons why Jon Huntsman should do better, Huntsman has made it a point to do a lot of media with the MSM (he didn’t neglect talk radio row here either) and Governor Chris Christie made it a point to hit him (with a shot I thought was uncalled for) suggesting that Mitt Romeny’s team felt the need to throw an elbow his way.

Polls are a source of data but independent of them there is a simple measure to see how a candidate is doing, the media.

As all the various polls are available to all the media, naturally all the media would be aware of the situation and act accordingly. So lets look at the two events:

When Governor Huntsman arrived at the Pub he greeted various voters.

He was popular with the crowd and many of the democrats there expressed an interest in his candidacy. I was sitting near a family of 4 who declared themselves Huntsmen fans.

When the interview was done he worked the room, and seemed well received by the Morning Joe squad.

In the final 45 minutes of the show Rick Santorum arrived.

A panel was prepared to meet him

This was may initial take

And I managed to score a question as he left.

Looking at the two interviews both were substantive with Senator Santorum’s perhaps slightly more difficult but looking at the appearances as a whole there were two critical differences that stood out.

One favored Huntsman, the crowd was clearly more favorable to him, both by their reaction and by my speaking with them. There is no question that in a two man race consisting of this room, Huntsman had it won. Considering their partisan mix of the room that was no surprise

There is an even more pronounced partisan split in the media, but even with said split there was quite a difference in coverage. While Rick Santorum arrival’s was preceded by a bunch of additional press and pressed by that same media when he left Jon Huntsman’s comings and goings were unimpeded by flocks of extra media.

Now maybe it’s just me but if Jon Huntsman was surging to the point where he might possibility pass Ron Paul, let alone Rick Santorum, wouldn’t you expect at least one media outlet to dispatch a crew to be there to cover him? Wouldn’t they want to be the guys with the shows that everyone else missed?

I would think they would, but they didn’t.

Polls are a useful tool, but when you want to judge the reality of a proposition, always watch behavior first.

Although I had picked Huntsman to finish 3rd and Santorum 4th I’ve made a bet with Michael Graham last night. If Santorum finishes 3rd, he owes me a dinner at the Border. If he doesn’t I how him dinner at Ken’s steak house.

One never knows for sure but I’m feeling pretty good about that bet after seeing the press difference today.

Update: Here is exactly what I’m talking about from PJ media:

THIRD HUNTSMAN SUPPORTER: He can’t…appeal to the evangelicals and that’s like a significant voter bloc. Because he’s not like a Bible-thumping Christian, you know.

SECOND HUNTSMAN SUPPORTER: I get some Democrats who ask me, you know, why isn’t Huntsman a Democrat?

THIRD HUNTSMAN SUPPORTER: Yeah, like he practically is, almost.

The prosecution rests.

It’s 7:28 a.m. and I’m officially gone CPAC gonzo today skipping sleep to show up for the Morning Joe show after leaving here at 2:30 a.m. to take Stacy McCain back to Hollis.

Before I took off I shot the setup crew getting started.

The Radison is the home base from ll the media types etc. If you go into the parking lot you don’t see all that many NH plates

When I got back at 4 a.m the radio room was empty as the morning drive people had not arrived.

My laptop was nearly out of power and there was no plug near the door so I have to re-locate, by the time I had a charged PC a line had formed.

Once Way too early began just about every seat was full, when the show ended people dashed for a quick meal so they could be sitting for Morning Joe.

One of the gimmicks of the show is a fast camera move, that is accomplished by a pair of guys one of who is harnessed to a camera in an uncomfortable way.

The unsung hero of Morning Joe

Because of the seven second delay it made it a tad odd to watch the show on the bar TV’s with the sound off when you already have heard what people said.

I took advantage of the breaks to talk to voters around me including Robert

As at the Town Hall the crowd was not a GOP crowd and quite a few Huntsman fans were there, the question is, were they fans before or did they pick him up from Morning Joe?

It is in every sense work but it is that staff that has to deal with the real bulk of it. They do it well.

In the this is a team and it does a good job, and when the show is done, Joe and Mika as before remained to take pictures and rub elbows wit the fans that make their success possible.

Mike mixes a bit

Which is just as it should be.

BTW I know although all the video from the town hall is up on YouTube I haven’t blogged it all. As I’m flat out I’ll likely do it later this week

I’m way behind in my posting but as election day is today I wanted to get one last post up with speeches by candidates so you can hear them in their own words before you make a decision:

First Santorum’s speech at Rivier college in Nashua

And he talked about regulation:

the first question was on drugs and came with a complement:

He took a question on the Just war theory

He took an economic question:

And one on manufacturing, I actually think this was his weakest answer of the day:

And a final one on NDAA

I got a question in during the press scrum:

Part of me so wants to put a string behind these guys

Meanwhile I got to the Ron Paul event a tad late

the Ron Paul event was well attended:

Ron Paul spoke about Bankruptcy:

and he took a very interesting question on the environment and private property:

Stacy McCain has a lot more on Paul as he got to the event ahead of me and had a better spot to shot from, also if you want great NH coverage you MUST read Granite Grok.

They have interviews at a Ron Paul event Lots of questions for everyone and more.

So eat this info up and as I said recently to Meagan McCain. You must choose, but choose wisely.