Gaming New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a funny primary. They let anyone vote, including people from out of state. They have been trying to fix that problem, but I don’t know how successful that effort has been. Still, the state has a great many Massholes who moved over the border to avoid taxes. They still dream of voting for a Kennedy, just not paying for the privilege. There are plenty of Calvin Coolidge conservatives too, but the state is slowly turning into Vermont.

The party men have figured this to be the firewall for their boys. Back in the fall when Trump started getting attention, they were predicting that he would follow the Howard Dean path. That is, a collapse in Iowa and a final flame out in New Hampshire. Rubio, Bush, Kasich or Christie would be the guy to emerge from the Granite State as their champion. Up until Saturday night, they were banking on Rubio.

The people in charge have already decided to ignore Trump and look at second place as that is the new first place, unless their boy finishes third. Looking at 538, the predicted order is Rubio, Cruz, Kasich and Bush, but the separation is tiny so it is a dead heat for second place. No one is approaching 20% from that group so it will be tough to sell second as a victory. Then again, Clinton sold himself as the comeback kid after finishing third.

At the other end, this is the last hope for Christie, Carson and Farina. Christie needs to finish at least third and probably second. Farina is done, barring a miracle. She and Carson have been mostly decorations for the last few months and their utility has come to an end. Both will drop out this week and most likely endorse the party man. Farina just wants a cabinet job so she’ll do what’s she is told, but who knows with Carson.

From the party perspective, the best case tomorrow night is Trump finishes in the high 20’s and their boy finishes in the 20’s. Trump at 27% and Rubio at 20% can be spun as a great victory for Rubio. If Cruz were to drop to fourth or fifth, that would help to. The narrative out of New Hampshire would be that Trump and the crazies are losing steam, while the good thinkers are consolidating around their man. My bet is that story is written and ready to go.

What will happen is the party will call in their big donors to let Bush, Kasich and the rest know that it is time, for the good of the party, to rally around Rubio. This could also work if Kasich finishes second. He’s a loyal soldier of the party and he hails from a valuable state. He’s a bit erratic, but a strong second is hard to ignore, given what has gone on in the primary thus far. Kasich could plausibly reintroduce himself as the stable, experienced hand in the race.

The more likely scenario is Trump finishes in the high 20’s and the pack is in the mid teens. A four-way tie between Cruz, Kasich, Rubio and Bush is a disaster. Everyone then has a reason to stay in the race and they have a reason to attack one another. It would be even uglier if Trump cracks 30% and the pack is in the low teens. The story out of New Hampshire will be all about Trump and his numbers will jump everywhere. People like a winner.

The world is coming to an end scenario is a Trump – Cruz finish, with the former in the 30’s and the latter in the 20’s. The boys at National Review will be slitting their wrists if that happens. In that scenario, there’s no reason for the party men to stick around as they will have been rejected with prejudice. The race will be about who gets to lead the revolt the rest of the way. If you are a Cruz supporter, this is your ideal outcome on Tuesday.

The other race is actually more interesting for the simple reason Hillary Clinton may start to hear calls to drop out in favor of someone like Joe Biden. The spin will be that Bernie Sanders is the local favorite, but Vermont is not New Hampshire. He’s viewed mostly as a joke everywhere outside of Burlington. If he wins big it is because Democrats would rather lose than see Hillary Clinton in the White House. Go Bernie!

The only way to avoid this, I think, is for Clinton to have a shockingly close finish with Sanders. I mean something like 52-48 where she can then claim a surge of support. Right now, the polling has her under 40% so getting into the mid-40’s is the only way to avoid the inevitable questions about her plausibility as a candidate. With so much attention on the GOP side, this is not far fetched, but I would not bet on it. Again. Go Bernie!

17 thoughts on “Gaming New Hampshire

  1. The more likely scenario is Trump finishes in the high 20’s and the pack is in the mid teens. A four-way tie between Cruz, Kasich, Rubio and Bush is a disaster. Everyone then has a reason to stay in the race and they have a reason to attack one another. It would be even uglier if Trump cracks 30% and the pack is in the low teens. The story out of New Hampshire will be all about Trump and his numbers will jump everywhere. People like a winner.

    With 13% reporting, this glorious disaster scenario (the even uglier version!) appears to be playing out. If not for the obvious problem of pairing two socially moderate Northeasterners on a presidential ticket, Christie should get a VP spot for knocking Rubio down three notches (but not all the way out!) at the perfect time.

    • This is shaping up to be a very bad night for the barnacles of Conservative Inc. Kasich is the one guy they have been ignoring for the last few months. A couple of weeks ago I was reading pieces by these people saying Kasich should quit the race so Rubio could get his votes.

      How about that idiot Santorum? He shows up on stage with Trump in Iowa, then endorses Rubio when that false dawn broke. No way he gets a gig in the Trump administration now.

  2. “The world is coming to an end scenario is a Trump – Cruz finish, with the former in the 30’s and the latter in the 20’s. The boys at National Review will be slitting their wrists if that happens. In that scenario, there’s no reason for the party men to stick around as they will have been rejected with prejudice. The race will be about who gets to lead the revolt the rest of the way. If you are a Cruz supporter, this is your ideal outcome on Tuesday.”

    Huh? National Review, for all their faults, has a lot of big Cruz fans. To consider them “party men” is just silly.

  3. “there’s no reason for the party men to stick around as they will have been rejected with prejudice”
    BS. Just wait.
    “What I MEANT to say was…..” , as well as “I did NOT have intimate relations with that campaign!”

  4. Bernie is big, very big on the West Coast. There are folks far worse than him in charge of Seattle

  5. The Republican turnout in Iowa was 100 times greater than the Dems. Assuming the Democrat voters in NH are not particularly committed to the Dem candidates either, and NH being an open primary and not a caucus, one wonders if that vote could massively distort the result. Cruz would gain nothing. Kaisich and Jeb might have a false moment.

    • Actually, Iowa was evenly split. The Dems count precincts while the Republicans count votes. That’s why it looked so weird when they showed the totals.

      In NH, you can’t switch parties, but you can jump from undeclared to one party or the other when you vote. If you take a GOP ballot, then you become a registered Republicans. You have to file paperwork to unregister. Only about 15% of voters fall into this bucket. My guess is they are going to vote in the GOP primary because that’s where the action is this time. This probably helps Trump, but I suspect Bush gets a bump too. If you think Clinton is a lost cause then Jeb’s your man.

      • “In NH, you can’t switch parties….”
        Well, not AT the polls, ON votin’ day!
        ASSUMING one was registered to vote here in the FIRST place!
        One can CERTAINLY “write in” whoever they want on the REAL election day.

    • In Bartlett NH, if you miraculously have NO “valid” ID, and somehow forgot to register, you can fill out a contingency form.

  6. Not true about New Hampshire, we are required to show photo ID. Our neighbors to the south in Marxichusetts do not require photo ID. You are correct, however, that NH is slowing turning into Vermont. I’ve lived here for 11 years and I am astounded at the number of leftists that populate the state now. Sad.

    • I knew NH was working on photo ID, but I thought the courts blocked it. When I lived in NH, mass voters would be bused over the line. Glad to hear that’s stopped.

  7. What’s your take on rigged votes? Kooky conspiracy theories, or logical inevitably when so much power is at stake and plausible deniability is there?

    • Everything worth faking has been faked. That’s the rule in the collectible rackets. I know guys into classic cars and they have run into fakes that were so elaborate, even experts were fooled. Art is mostly fakes, according to experts.

      I worked for a Congressman many moons ago. In his home there was an old time ballot box. It had glass sides. The reason for that was so it would be easier to fish out the bad votes so they would not be counted.

      Rigging elections is hard these days. Too many cameras. Iowa obviously had some skulduggery, but that’s a system designed to be corrupted. Even so, the old rule still applies. It’s not who votes that counts. It’s who counts the votes.

      • I’d disagree; rigging an election is easy assuming (a) you can keep it close, and (b) your party apparatus has got a few critical voting precincts completely wired. I remember digging into the voting results after Malloy was re-elected as Connecticut’s governor. The election was close; once it became clear that it was going to be a near thing, pretenses were used to keep the polls open late in a couple of convenient precincts in Bridgeport and New Haven (for those who aren’t familiar with CT, those are two of the state’s leading bombed-out, democrat-run, hopelessly corrupt shitholes.) IIRC, those precincts wound up reporting 100% for Malloy; not 99%, not 99.9%… 100%. Enough to put him over the top. I’m sure they used the extra time to “discover” enough sacks of “votes” with the correct markings on them to get the job done.

      • Yeah, I wonder what tomorrow’s results will look like. I get the feeling that there will be skullduggery against Trump. Just in the last hour, over on the main Drudge headline they have Jeb! ‘surging’ into a healthy 2nd place. Similar to your Party Best Case Scenario, but with Jeb instead of Rubio.

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