Wednesday, February 10, 2016

That Nagging Thought in the Back of My Mind

After the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary the pundits are going crazy. Hillary narrowly squeaked past Bernie Sanders in Iowa only to get flushed straight down the storm sewer in New Hampshire where Bernie took 60% of the vote.

Cruz took heavily evangelical Iowa only to get hammered by Trump in New Hampshire.

The pundits are starting to talk about America heading into a very weird election where conventional thinking may not hold true.  The New Republic opines that Trump's win in New Hampshire is a crippling blow to the GOP.

Trump’s victory, and the magnitude of his victory, is a political cataclysm for the Republican Party. When it became clear that Trump would win, the GOP establishment’s parting hope was that Trump’s margin would thin, and he’d once again face a storyline about his inability to meet expectations; that he’d lose by winning. Instead he more than doubled the support of the second-place finisher, John Kasich. This gives Trump an early delegate lead going into nominating contests in South Carolina and Nevada, where he also enjoys commanding advantages in public polls.

Trump’s path to the nomination just expanded back to its pre-Iowa thickness. And the biggest contributing factor to Trump’s resurgence—the second biggest story out of New Hampshire—is the Republican Party leadership’s near-total loss of control over its candidate pool. Had Senator Marco Rubio, rather than Kasich, finished second in New Hampshire—had he managed to capitalize on his third-place showing in Iowa—the story tonight would be dramatically different.

As for Hillary, The New York Times reports that her team was expecting as much as a 15 point defeat in New Hampshire, confident that even with a small win, Bernie would be "brought back down to Earth." 

Meanwhile, Chris Matthews has shredded the Clinton campaign:

"This campaign is badly run... it hasn't even been thought through," Chris Matthews of MSNBC charged. "When you ask her why you're running, you don't get a clear answer and there's no joy. There's no Clinton fun. It's totally missing a soul. And if you've got a campaign without a soul, you've got a real problem, no matter where you're running."

Some say Clinton has relied too much on "feminism" and the appeal of potentially being the first woman president, rather than policies such as free tuition that are appealing to young voters, including women. Only 35% of Democratic women voters younger than 45 supported Clinton, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist College poll. No showing how many female votes she's gained due to Madeleine Albright's threatening words at a Clinton rally she attended with the candidate. I'd venture to say zero.

"There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other," Albright warned, to which female Sanders supporters shrugged off brilliantly: "I'll Bern," they said. 

All this uncertainty leaves me with that nagging thought. Will these presidential nominations and the outcome of the November election be decided by the Slave States voters?

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