The Lead Shrinks [Update: And Widens Again!]

NASHUA – “Hillary Clinton’s lead has shrunk to four points now,” says Keith Olbermann’s voice, booming from the jumbotron at the Nashua South High School where Obama is holding his election night rally. Cheers go up, seeing as last time we checked, she was five points ahead.

The gym here is packed to capacity. Beyond capacity. Fire hazard is an understatement. To get in, I had to wait till the door guard had her back turned. Everyone’s watching the results come in on the big screen. It’s like a basketball game, but the action is in a thousand places instead of one.

UPDATE 9:16 p.m.: Three percent! Every time the MSNBC stats graphic flashes, there’s a burst of glee. You can hear McCain fans chanting “USA! USA!” during his acceptance speech over the TV. The crowd here greets the challenge with a round of “Fired up! Ready to go!”

UPDATE 9:29 p.m.: Two percent. Damn. “Younger people vote later,” a guy here tells me. They have jobs; Hillary-loving retirees don’t. That could explain the late-in-the-game gap shrinkage.

UPDATE 10:02 p.m.: So much for that. More than 50 percent of the vote is in and Clinton’s still ahead. I’ve been biting my nails. And I don’t bite my nails.