Now for some perspective. New Hampshire accounts for a tiny portion of the delegates Republicans are competing for – just five percent. Bigger states later on in the election season will award many more delegates. But voters in the Granite State feel their votes serve as an important vetting process, a springboard for candidates, and NPR's Andrea Seabrook spent election day talking to those voters.
An event like tonight's New Hampshire primary provides a nearly perfect opportunity to capture the dance of the seven veils.
That is, at 7 p.m. ET, on TV, there was a veil ever so slightly sheathing the results in New Hampshire.
The political press felt confident — dead certain, actually — that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would win the primary in the neighboring state by a comfortable margin. Most polls closed state-wide by 7 p.m. — but as a scattering would not close until 8 p.m, no one reported the final verdicts, despite having a strong sense from exit polls.