Jim Geraghty says things look something like this...
So presume the polls are accurate, and Mitt Romney comes in second to John McCain this evening.
CNN estimates the delegate breakdown in Iowa as Huckabee 17, Romney 12, Thompson 3, McCain 3, Paul 2. (Why an estimate? Because Iowa's delegates "are chosen in a painfully complicated four-step process lasting months after the January caucus," as David Freddoso reported, as he's the one of the few who actually looked at how this process works. Look, just keep Freddoso's story on how the delegate fight could hash out bookmarked, because we'll need it many times before this thing is through.)
In Wyoming, the delegates break down Romney 8, Thompson 3, Duncan Hunter 1.
So right now, it's Romney 20, Huckabee 17, Thompson 6, McCain 3, Paul 2, Hunter 1.
At stake tonight... New Hampshire will have 12 delegates, their total having been reduced as a penalty for holding the primary earlier than allowed by the Republican National -Committee. They're awarded proportionally. So it wouldn't be shocking to see McCain get 5 delegates and Romney get 4, or maybe 6 to 3. Either way, Romney's still well ahead of McCain, and should keep the lead at the end of the night.
Now, don't get me wrong - Romney's spent a small fortune, and losing both Iowa and New Hampshire wasn't part of the plan. His momentum will be awful, McCain will probably get a poll surge in Michigan, and people will ask, rightly, where Romney can win if he can't win in two states where he's flooded the airwaves with ads and committed tremendous resources.
Next week is Michigan, and it's supposed to have 60; the RNC is punishing them by stripping half their delegates. The state thinks they'll get their delegates reinstated in time for the convention. Either way, that 30 or 60 are awarded proportionally as well.
Interesting. I'm wondering how things will look after South Carolina. That is the do-or-die state for my man, Fred Thompson.
Meanwhile, despite the cries of success that the Democrats are facing ballot shortages in New Hampshire due to record turnout...it seems that the GOP is ALSO facing ballot shortages.
A great night for Democracy, in my humble opinion.