Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Sifting Through the Rubble from the Granite State Primary

Pundits expected the Democrat New Hampshire primary to be an easy win for Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT). After all, Sanders had name recognition being a Senator from a neighboring state as well as his resounding victory in the 2016 Presidential primaries.  

Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) after New Hampshire primary
So Sanders triumph in the 2020 New Hampshire primary was not a great surprise. What was remarkable, however, was the narrow margin of victory and muted percentage of support. When Sanders ran essentially against First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY), he racked up 60% support and beat her by 22%. While there was a more crowded field in Election 2020, Sanders only won 25.9% compared to ex Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend) 25.4%.  This flips the placement in the closely contested (and thoroughly botched) 2020 Iowa Caucuses.  

What seems significant is the degradation of support for Sanders in New Hampshire, despite his inherent advantages.  For the moment, Buttigeig is the principle competition for Sanders.  But the campaign is shifting to the Nevada Caucus on February 22, which “Mayor Pete” may not have the organization to capitalize. For the South Carolina Primary on February 29, Buttigieg seems to have difficulty attracting support from African American voters, which comprise two thirds of Palmetto State Democrat voters.

Sanders is an avowed Socialist, which is anathematic to admit for Establishment Democrats who want to win in November. Considering the malarkey (sic) in the Iowa Caucus tabulation as well as manipulating the debate rules, there seems to be a behind the scenes effort to mute “The Bern”’s momentum to allow for an alternative who the Establishment deems more electable.  

Ordinarily, the second place finisher would be the designated competition, but Mayor Pete seems weak in other early primaries. In this cycle, billionaire ex Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R-I-D-NYC) opted to skip the February primaries to vigorously compete in the twelve primaries on Super Tuesday March 3. Thus, “Mitey Mike” (sic) might play the white knight and steal an easy nomination from Bernie Sanders.

Another interesting nugget from the Granite State Primary was the third place finish by Senator Amy Klobachar (D-MN) with 19.8%.  Klobachar garnered more than double Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) support, which was surprising as Warren was a neighboring state pol and she expended considerable resources in New Hampshire.   Warren is on the far left of the Democrat political spectrum, but it does not appear that Warren voters did not gravitate to her ideological comrade Sanders.

Klobachar seems to have been aided by a stand out debate performance in the New Hampshire debate.  Moreover Klobachar won some attention the prior week when she was the first to declare victory (despite placing 5th) in the Iowa Caucuses.  Perhaps Klobachar won some support from voters concluding that she is the viable female candidate. It is a safe assumption that Klobachar prospered with the collapse of the Warren and ex Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) campaigns. 

Andrew Yang dropped out after earning 3.3% support in New Hampshire, as well as Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) with 0.3% of the vote. Ex Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) is expected to drop out after a 0.4% performance.

Joe Biden left New Hampshire early to kick off his South Carolina campaign, as he sensed the impending doom. In the end, former frontrunner Joe Biden placed fifth in New Hampshire with 8.4%.  Paired with his fourth place finish in Iowa, it is almost certain that Biden is the walking dead in the primary process, as it will be difficult to raise more funds with such pathetic early showings. It is dubious if Quid Pro Quo Joe could beat Mickey Mouse.

News coverage of the primary process loves to focus on who won the horse race and not the delegate count. Granted, the delegate stakes are paltry in Iowa and New Hampshire, but the process matters.  As long as there is a competitive three person race, the more likely it is for there to be a brokered Democrat convention, as no candidate has a clear majority. If it seems as if Sanders is cheated out of the nomination (again), James O’Keefe's exposes with Project Veritas exposed the violent sentiments of Bernie bros working on the campaign, it could be a hot time in Milwaukee in July.

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