I'm not going to touch the democratic side except to say that this is the result everyone was predicting before Iowa; it's only in the last week that people were assigning victory to Obama, and Hillary has done everything she can (which is a lot) to refocus New Hampshire democrats on her. It worked... barely.
Now, on to the Republicans...
McCains finishing position was a foregone conclusion. They love him in New Hampshire. Much like Huckabee in Iowa, it can't be taken as indicative of what will happen in other primaries.
Also, because NH offers a semi-open primary, you have to take certain results with a big grain of salt. New Hampshire is one of those states that have a long tradition of spoiler voters. People who will vote in one partys primary, though they don't intend to vote for that party in the general election. McCain is the candidate of the spoilers.
Hell, he himself has been a spoiler for the party since he got screwed in South Carolina in 2000 by the RNC machine, who had already decided to support Bush. They laid a dirty tricks campaign on him that likely cost him the presidency; and he's been getting his revenge ever since.
The big surprises for me are Mitt staying so strong (they really don't like him there); and Huckabee.
Mitts position I suppose can be attributed to outspending everyone else combined (again).
Huckabee though... I had honestly figured Thompson in that spot.
If you look at polling from a few weeks ago, it seems like the real conservative block in NH that was trending strongly towards Thompson, switched to Huckabee after the Iowa results.
I don't think McCain is going to perform anywhere else.
I'm looking for Huckabee to drop like a stone in terms of total numbers as well; with his only remaining base of support in the deep south.
I expect both Romney and Giuliani to show strong in the midwest and northeast; weak in the south and west, excepting a strong showing for Romney in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona (the Mormon vote) ; and a strong showing for Rudy in Florida, and maybe Arizona (there are a lot of displaced Northeasterners here).
I expect a very solid showing for Fred in the south and west; less so for the midwest, where they don't really know who he is. The northeast is pretty well sewn up by Romney and Giuliani so there's little room there; and the west coast is completely unpredictable at this point.
If Huckabee drops like I'm sure he will, and the actual republican supporters of ROn Paul decide they are going to support an actual Republican, those votes go to Fred. The question is, do they go to Fred fast enough?
No real conservative or libertarian in this country wants to see a President McCain, Romney, or Giuliani... Except the Mormons, who somehow think that Mitt, who is the biggest opportunistic weathervane in this election (more so than even Hillary) will find his way back to his religion, and start actually having principals, and acting like a conservative for the first time in his life ever.
Seriously, if this guy weren't a Mormon, these people would see how much of a phony Mitt is.
His dad was one of the most liberal republicans ever, and so is he. He's been running for president for 15 years; and this has all been part of his plan.
Mitt doesn't care about anything except being elected president. His total elected experience is 4 years, as the governor of the second most liberal state in America; but he's repeatedly tried, and failed, to be elected to office.
He forum shopped for states where he could get elected senator, and chose Massachusetts. He lost. I know, I was there. I voted for him, because he was the Republican and anybody would be better then Kennedy. He also considered Michigan, and Utah (where he also had homes), but thought his best chance was in Mass.
After he failed to gain a senate seat, he moved to Utah for the Olympics thing; and when that was done, forum shopped again for a state where he thought he could be elected either senator or governor. He picked Massachusetts again, and won.
That's it. That's the sum total of his "career" in government.
The man will say whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear; and support whatever position is likely to get him the most votes at the time. If we elect him, the only reason he will be better than a democrat is all the executive branch appointments.
Here's hoping I'm right about Fred.