It’s Primary Day, and the voting is under way in New Hampshire! Hardball is live from Manchester at 5pm ET and then Chris is back from 6pm to midnight with Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Lawrence O’Donnell and the Rev. Al Sharpton for full coverage and analysis as we watch the votes come in.
The big question tonight isn’t whether Mitt Romney will win, but by how much. New Hampshire is more about beating expectations than outright victory, so if Romney fails to win big – as recent polls have suggested – and someone like Jon Huntsman comes in a strong second, Romney will have some explaining to do. msnbc Senior Political Analyst Mark Halperin says Romney’s magic number is 38. If he reaches 38%, he’ll get his full bounce. But if he’s stuck in the upper 20’s, it’s a “nightmare” for Romney. The latest polls have been showing some momentum towards Huntsman, and his stellar performance at Sunday’s “Meet the Press” debate is one reason why. Polls close at 8pm ET tonight but again, it’s the margin of victory we’ll be watching tonight.
The New York Times looks at billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s $5 million gift to Newt Gingrich.
Politico has more on that 27-minute video Newt is planning to use to tear down Romney.
Nate Silver says Huntsman has the momentum, but might not have the time.
Romney is brushing off the intense new attacks from his Republican rivals over his time at Bain Capital.
And check out the smart move by the Obama campaign to buy up advertising on the New Hampshire Union Leader’s web site.