…And things didn’t so much change for the rest of the night.

Note, this was the first graphic CNN put up for the New Hampshire primary. With 19 people reporting in.

Yep. 19 people. 0.00143% of the New Hampshire population. Which, near as I can figure, means CNN took a straw poll of the people they had working in their press trailer and put those numbers up.

Anyway, like I said, the standings didn’t change for the rest of the night. New Hampshire’s was Romney’s to lose, and he didn’t. He ended the night with just under 40% of the votes, which because of wacky New Hampshire primary rules aren’t just Republicans – but anyone who wants to brave the freezing cold grayness to vote.

I had kind of hoped that Huntsman would’ve done better than a weak to middling third, since he’s probably the least frightening one of the bunch, but he’s pretty much finished now. Question is if he’ll be an also-ran or share the ticket with Romney as the VP nom. Gingrich and Perry are all but done at this point unless they get the South Carolina religious conservative miracle they are hoping for.

Romney was pretty bullet proof in the last few days of this primary. His opponents ignored him in the first debate, then ganged up on him to little effect in the second. The only story that got any traction was how he presided over the liquidation of several companies while working at Bain Capital. The basic narrative goes that Romney killed businesses and fired people to line his own pockets. Which, while totally and completely true, is sort of like blaming a snake for its venom. Bain has investments in the tens of billions, and they are in the business of increasing that number by any means necessary.

To me, the real story here isn’t about how Romney did his job and people lost theirs, but how fucked up the system we live under is. Whole companies get blasted into nothingness by a single swipe of red ink all so the bottom line looks a bit tighter. There’s no compassion, no morality, just profit. Which is exactly the sort of thing that Romney would bring to the Oval Office. Well, that and a whole lot of hypocritical reversals of opinion.

Just an aside…but, Bain Capital? Really? That’s like naming your company THE DEVIL WORKS HERE, LLC. Also, it is a Batman villain. Way to go, guys.

The interesting thing shaping up on the horizon is how the bottomless money pits of the SuperPACs are being used. Gingrich is being kept on life support by the billionaire gambling magnate backing his SuperPAC, and Romney is using his to rip into his opponents in a way that he couldn’t directly. Frankly, I’d have expected the money to be having a bigger impact on the race, but it really isn’t. I’m shocked to say this, but it looks like you can’t buy an election with SuperPAC money. At least not a primary. We’ll see if this holds true in South Carolina or not. Gingrich is spending 5 million there. His last hurrah, basically.

Next up is South Carolina on the 21st, then Florida ten days later. Question right now is if Romney can clear the field before Super Tuesday, or if some one else will be stupid enough to waste their money running against him. I’ll be shocked if this makes it to Illinois or Texas. I’ll laugh my ass off if it makes it California.

I’m working up bad puns for next week’s election post, since I think I’ll be talking a lot more about the SuperPACs then.