UPDATE: Fox News has reset its New Hampshire results page after we reported on them posting the ‘final’ results.
Fox News is reporting the final results of tonight’s Republican and Democratic primaries in advance, with a mock-up page showing establishment favorite Marco Rubio finishing in second place.
The page – which can be viewed here – displays the final tally of the Republican primary with 100% of votes counted. Donald Trump is in first place with 28%, with Rubio thirteen points behind with 15% and Ted Cruz just behind him in third.
The result of the Democratic primary shows Bernie Sanders beating Hillary Clinton by a margin of just 10%. A cross section of current polls shows Sanders is on average 14% ahead of Hillary.
The Fox News page also shows a detailed breakdown of votes by town, despite the fact that no results will be announced until later tonight.
Although the page is by no means a shadowy conspiracy cooked up by Fox News, and is almost certainly some kind of web scripting test, it could be argued that presenting such information ahead of time may sway voters.
The mock-up results page is noteworthy because it shows establishment favorite Marco Rubio in second place, despite his poor debate performance on Saturday night.
Pundits think that Rubio needs to beat fellow establishment candidates Bush and Kasich to emerge as the main challenger to Trump and Ted Cruz, but the Florida Senator’s penchant for repeating the same lines over and over again during debates and speeches has attracted ridicule.
Rubio’s surprise third place finish in Iowa prompted some Trump supporters to allege that a Microsoft vote counting app had helped Rubio, although no concrete evidence was ever presented to suggest the caucus was rigged.
Meanwhile, Scott Adams, the creator of the popular Dilbert carton series, predicts that the GOP will rig tonight’s primary to favor Rubio.
“Look for Rubio to have a surprisingly strong second-place showing in New Hampshire. And look for the most common explanations for that surprise to be his momentum from Iowa,” writes Adams.
“I assume that most of you think this is conspiracy talk and not to be taken seriously. Some of you will feel sorry for me as I squander the remaining crumbs of my credibility on this foolishness. But keep in mind that you said the same thing in September when I was predicting Trump’s rise.”
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