By Brian C. Mooney, Globe Staff
New Hampshire Secretary of State William M. Gardner did a much better job than any of the pollsters when it came to making predictions about voting in Tuesday's presidential primary.
The day after the Iowa caucuses, Gardner forecast a turnout of 500,000 voters -- more than 100,000 higher than the previous record set in 2000. As of this morning, with all but one of the state's 301 precincts reporting, the unofficial total was 526,671.
Gardner predicted 260,000 voters would take Democratic ballots -- the latest tally shows 287,821 did. He nearly hit the Republican turnout on the button. Gardner estimated 240,000 voters would take GOP ballots -- latest figures show 238,850 did.
Pollsters are scrambling today to explain how tracking surveys as late as Monday predicted a big win for Democrat Barack Obama, when Hillary Clinton narrowly beat him Tuesday.