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New Hampshire ‘Independents’ Ready To Make Their Mark

February 10, 2020


When reading on Sunday a New York Times book review for Why We’re Polarized by Erza Klein I came across this line which connects with the top story we will be following in this nation for the remainder of the year.  It also underscores something I firmly believe.

Just as stunning, another researcher, the political scientist Corwin Smidt, found that today’s self-proclaimed independents “vote more predictably for one party over another than yesteryear’s partisans.”

I have long contended that the number of actual independent voters is quite small.  Voters know what they plan to do on any election day while playing coy with pollsters and some reporters.  They do this for reasons ranging from not wanting to reveal their true feelings while others just like the attention.  But they know if they swing to the Democrats or Republicans, or liberal or conservative philosophy.  They are as party-oriented as the rest of us.   They just wish not to look like they are in the partisan muck.

This brings us to the New Hampshire primary Tuesday and what these ‘independent’ voters plan to do.  An NBC News/Marist poll from late last week shows how Bernie Sanders may be scoring fewer of these Democratic voters—who call themselves independent—-by a stunning degree when compared with the last presidential primary election.  In 2016, Bernie Sanders won a whopping 73% of these voters.

Sanders received just 22% of them in the poll compared with Buttigieg at 25% and Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren at 10% apiece.

Factor in the Republican voters who will play on the Democratic ballot playground and we have a most interesting evening awaiting us in New Hampshire.  While Sanders will prevail in the state the margin by which he wins will not be as pronounced as four years ago.  Buttigieg has been smart and tone savvy on the campaign trail.  Amy Klobuchar was very good in the debate–I would argue it was her best performance.  She will make further gains Tuesday and will demonstrate why she is one of the two best choices for the vice-presidential nomination.

That is not an insult to the Minnesota Senator, but one of praise.   A woman needs to be on the ticket in November and she has the intellect and campaign abilities that will be required for the election.  Senator Harris is also, in my estimation, equally suited for the ticket.  I much respect them both.

Now we just need to wait for the moderates taking off in three directions in New Hampshire and see how it all shakes out.  After Tuesday there will be a need for the party to come to better terms with planning on how to stop Sanders.

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