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Reblogged:Dem Voters Have New Hampshire Dilemma

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Over at Jewish World Review, Carl Leubsdorf handicaps the early Republican primaries, and concludes that Nikki Haley is in a strong position to emerge as the main alternative to Donald Trump after Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

I mostly agree with his analysis, but I think New Hampshire might be more interesting for Democrat voters and political junkies than Leubsdorf realizes. His take on New Hampshire:
Image by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons, license.
A second-place finish for Haley in Iowa would likely create momentum for a two-person Trump-Haley race in New Hampshire and South Carolina, less than would a DeSantis second-place finish. That's because Haley already has the stronger campaign in New Hampshire, a state that loves outsiders, and in South Carolina. Her New Hampshire success may hinge on whether most of the large number of unaffiliated voters flock to the Republican primary, since the Democrats won't recognize the winner of their Biden-less contest. [bold added]
Important here is why the Democrats won't recognize that winner, and the name of that why is Dean Phillips, the Minnesota congressman who is challenging Biden in large part because of the President's age. Phillips is in that "Biden-less contest" and stands to get headlines as the winner, regardless of what his party does.

Absent Phillips, what Democrats ought to do in New Hampshire is a no-brainer: Vote for Trump in the Republican primary since running against Trump again is Biden's best shot at getting reelected.

But with Phillips? Any Democrat who shares Phillips's concern about Biden's age and wants to send a message to the DNC should seriously consider voting for Phillips, even if only to show other younger possible candidates -- like Gavin Newsom -- that Biden is vulnerable.

Yes, this might narrow or outright derail a Trump victory, but that might not be a bad thing: After all, running against Biden is Trump's best shot at getting back into office, so maybe sticking with Slow Joe isn't a great idea...

On top of that, and especially if Haley (or DeSantis) actually wins or does well in Iowa, Trump will have been shown to be vulnerable, and the Democrats will be looking at Biden running against a younger and less-disliked candidate than Trump.

In that case, telling the DNC to dump Biden while there's still a chance to do so might be a compelling reason to vote for Phillips, who has other strong points, as I wrote earlier at the link above.

And the fun doesn't stop there. With RFK, Jr. in the general, there is high protest vote potential that can go any number of ways. If Biden is in the general, RFK, Jr. is leftist-enough to attract dissatisfied Democrats. (I hear that he's a hit with younger voters.) If Haley (or, less likely, DeSantis) is in the general, RFK, Jr. -- as an anti-vax conspiracy nut -- is kooky enough to draw support from a significant number of disgruntled hard-core Trump supporters.

Either prospect could motivate Democrats in New Hampshire to vote for Phillips in their own (unofficial) primary or for the best non-Trump alternative in the Republican primary.

-- CAV

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