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New Hampshire Primary an Indication That Sailer Strategy Is Working?
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New Hampshire’s primary is not closed. People who are not registered with either major party are able to vote in either side’s primary, but they are only allowed to vote in one or the other, not both.

In 2008, 54.6% of all New Hampshire primary votes were cast on the Democrat side, to 45.4% for the GOP. It flipped in 2016, with 46.8% of votes being cast on the Democrat side and 53.2% for the GOP.

The primaries are held on the same day so there aren’t confounding issues like weather or competing events to muck up the apples-to-apples comparison, and New Hampshire is, electorally, almost exclusively white (see the Sailer Strategy).

Could this be indicative of an impending stronger showing among whites in 2016 for Republicans than in 2008 (and 2012)? Will this potential advantage accrue to any potential Republican nominee, or will it only materialize if Trump gets the nod?

Relatedly, maybe it’s a reflection of which side appears to offer the greatest candidate variation. Republicans clobbered Democrats in votes received in 2000, 61.3%-38.7%, but ended up getting just 54% of non-Hispanic white support and narrowly losing the popular vote. McCain won big in New Hampshire that year but Bush ultimately won the Republican nomination.

Was the Republican nomination in 2000 seen as more of a struggle for the heart and soul of the party than the Gore-Bradley contest was? It doesn’t seem difficult to make that narrative fit 2008 with Obama and Hillary, when the Democrats got more votes. In this reading, nominating someone other than Trump won’t hold much promise for the GOP’s chances in November.

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Bush won New Hampshire in 2000.

  2. mike, you're a fucking retard.

  3. McCain beat Bush in the New Hampshire primary by 18% Bush went on to win new Hampshire from Gore in the general election.

  4. New Hampshire has a habit of voting for Republican upstarts but never voting GOP in November.

  5. Gore did beat Bush though in term of votes in each's respective NH Primary. Gore received 76,897 to Bush's 72,330. Gore also received more write-ins from Republicans that Bush did from Democrats. In 2016, Trump beat Hillary in that regard 100,406 to 95,226. Trump also received more write-ins from Democrats (1795), that Hillary did from Republicans (540). In fact, Trump was the third largest vote getter in the NH Democratic Primary.

    The good thing for Trump/GOP in New Hampshire is that Sanders supporters are less likely to show up and vote in November if Clinton is the nominee.

    As a side note, the 2000 Democratic primaries were over before they even started. Bradley had no chance of beating Gore with Clinton's approval ratings in the high 50's.

  6. Mike,

    Yes, worth mentioning, thanks.

    Alex,

    The last point is what I should've articulated better, with New Hampshire going where the action is. Giving the putative "maverick" an early win against the established scion Dubya, then making history blah blah blah by getting Obama close in '08, and then rallying for the insurgent Trump. Bernie is exciting too, but the TrumpTrain is the biggest political story by far in '16.

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