Though most media attention two weeks ago focused on the Republican Party’s New Hampshire primary, the Democratic Party held a primary in the state as well.
As expected, President Barack Obama came in first place, far ahead of several lesser-known candidates. He finished with 49,080 votes or 81%, which was three percentage points shy of incumbent President Bill Clinton’s 1996 showing, and one point higher than President George W. Bush’s 2004 result.
However, turnout was low and Obama received about 4,000 fewer votes than Bush in 2004, and nearly 30,000 fewer than Clinton in 1996.
Despite this, at least one of the lesser-known candidates exceeded expectations. Discounting the write-in votes, which Republican congressman Ron Paul won with 2,289 or 3.77%, Ed Cowan of Vermont came in second with 945 votes or 1.56%. In contrast, the second place finisher in the 2004 Republican race, Richard Bosa finished with 1.2%; comedian Pat Paulsen, the runner-up in the 1996 Democratic contest, won only 1.1%.
Cowan is taking the result as a kind of victory and now hints at an Independent run. He posted the following statement after the race:
I sincerely thank the voters of New Hampshire for their very positive response to my campaign for president. Most of the people I met, shook hands with, looked in the eye, and asked to read my introduction and stump speech obviously read it, and passed it or my Web site on to others. More people voted for me than I actually met, and I will be grateful to New Hampshire voters for the rest of my days.
I passed out about 500 copies of my stump speech, 550 at the most. Officially (based on my receipts) I spent $580, but it might have been as much as $650 tops. That resulted in 1.5 votes per dollar spent, which was an eye-opener to politicians around the country. Romney, if he spent $2 million in New Hampshire, paid about a $1,000 for just 23 votes.
I believe that I received such solid support from the people I met because of my ideas. I’m the idea candidate with a can-do spirit, and the people of your great state liked the idea of getting organized in the USA and solving our most vexing problem with determination, intelligence, and a spirit of cooperation.
Please remember that money is the life blood of politics. Right now, I’m running on empty, and your contribution of $20-50 would be greatly appreciated.
And remember that I don’t have the answers; we do! Also, I don’t have a national organization–yet. We don’t need one right now, for I’m the candidate of the people. For those who have heard about the excellent response of New Hampshire voters to my ideas, if you like what you read and see on my website, organize your own clubs, groups, and local activities in each state. I will be adding short position papers on important issues in the weeks and months ahead. My candidacy is alive and well coming out of our first primary, and I will enter as many contests in the coming months as possible. The only vote that matters in the long run is the one on 11/7/12, and I hope to be on most if not all ballots.
According to Cowan’s campaign manager, he will run as long as donations continue.
IPR’s Darcy Richardson was also listed on the New Hampshire primary ballot, and finished in ninth place with 264 votes or 0.44%.
The full results can be viewed here.