So let's remember what Rachel said. The New Hampshire Secretary of State predicted Record turnout for the GOP Primary, and pretty much nailed the number. You can't stick a landing any better than that. What was not clear what how much of that record turnout was powered by Independents (or even mischievous Democrats), since New Hampshire has an Open Primary. And we won't know the damage until the SOS comes out with the full tableaux of figures later on.
Well, the uber Conservative Washington Examiner has got itself a projection...and its a damn good reason to panic, if you're a Republican:
Though overall turnout in the primary is projected to set a record, eclipsing the 2008 tally, turnout among Republican voters is on track to be down by roughly 16 percent.
The reason for the discrepancy is that because there was no competitive Democratic primary this time around (as well as several GOP candidates aggressively chasing their votes), there was a huge spike in the number of independents and Democrats who were voting in the Republican race, something Granite Staters can do in the open primary system.
When you eliminate independents and Democrats from the 2008 equation, actual registered Republicans made up 61 percent of the roughly 239,000 votes cast in the GOP primary, putting the turnout among Republicans at around 145,790. But last night, actual Republicans only comprised 49 percent of the electorate, according to exits. Even if we round up the final 2012 turnout number to 250,000, which would be slightly higher than current projections, that would only leave actual Republican turnout at 122,500, which would represent a 16 percent drop.
Remember, the Examiner's figures are projections based on Exit Polls, but the math is pretty compelling, and accurate, when verified by Professor Dad.