Lazy Saturday Reads: New Hampshire Primary Weekend

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Good Afternoon!!

So now it’s New Hampshire’s turn–a state that is even whiter than Iowa. Iowa is 92% white and New Hampshire is 94% white. Some interesting facts about New Hampshire from The Connecticut Post:

New Hampshire is even whiter than Iowa. Its largest “city” has 110,000 people in it.

Its population is slightly more educated and well off than the rest of the country.

Together, Iowa and New Hampshire tell us something about the voting behavior of white people who don’t live in or near large cities.

Blacks, Asians and Hispanics are basically excluded from the first two elections in the presidential nomination process.

This distorts results for both parties, but it especially affects Democrats because minorities vote in Republican primaries far less.

Hillary Clinton, for example, does far better than Bernie Sanders with minority voters in all the polling so far, so Sanders is lucky that Iowa and New Hampshire come first.

The big contest after the first two is South Carolina, which has a large minority population.

If Clinton wins big there, the Democratic race will suddenly look very different than it does today.

The U.S. is growing more diverse very quickly. For example, in 2012 there were 23.3 million Hispanic eligible voters; there are 27.3 million this year, making Hispanics the largest block of minority voters.

In 2014, there were four states where minorities make up the majority; by 2044, the U.S. will be majority-minority.

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Some primary envy from The Detroit News:

The campaigns spent $40 million to sway Iowa caucusers; at the end, the spending hit a $6 million-a-week pace. Over the the past year, Iowa and New Hampshire residents had to be in hiding to avoid bumping into a candidate.

It would be one thing if these two states were microcosms of the nation. But neither represents the industrial or demographic diversity of America.

Fewer people live in Iowa than in Metro Detroit. Ninety-two percent of the population is white; fewer than 1 percent of businesses are owned by African-Americans. New Hampshire is even smaller and, at 94 percent, whiter.

Appealing to Iowa and New Hampshire voters requires different messages than would resonate nationwide. But if candidates fail to move the homogenous voters of these states, they’re at risk of seeing their funding dry up and their ambitions busted.

Presidential hopefuls should have to prove their appeal to a broader audience early on. The primary season should be revamped to force them to spend those early months demonstrating the resources to mount a national campaign.

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The lack of diversity in the two earliest states has handed a big advantage to Bernie Sanders. We’ll have to wait for Nevada and South Carolina to see how much impact his “enthusiastic” support in Iowa and New Hampshire has had on voters in states that are more representative of the U.S. population.

And let’s not let voters forget that Sanders clearly stated in a debate that he considers white people to be the “general population” and African Americans and Latinos to be somehow outside the “general population.”

From Time:

Sanders was asked about this exact problem at the debate Sunday night in Charleston. His answer:

“When the African American community becomes familiar with my Congressional record and with our agenda, and with our views on the economy, and criminal justice — just as the general population has become more supportive, so will the African American community, so will the Latino community. We have the momentum, we’re on a path to a victory.”

A little bit condescending, no? So we can only wait and see what happens on Tuesday and go from there. I don’t think it’s time for the Clinton campaign to panic just yet.

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For a little deep background on the New Hampshire primary, here’s a great article from 1988 by the Washington Post’s Henry Allen: New Hampshire is a fraud.

New Hampshire is a fraud.

Which is to say that behind that idyll of white-steepled, sleigh-belled, town-meeting, republican-with-a-small-R America lurks a much realer and hidden New Hampshire — the souvenir hustlers, backwoods cranks, motorcycle racing fans who sometimes face trouble after a motorcycle crash so they can find legal help from accident lawyers in Dallas, out-of-state writers, dour French Canadians and tax-dodging Massachusetts suburbanites who have conspired as New Hampshire has conspired for two centuries to create an illusion of noble, upright, granite-charactered sentinels of liberty out of little more than a self-conscious collection of bad (if beautiful) land, summer people, second-growth woods full of junked cars and decaying aristocracy, lakes howling with speedboats, state liquor stores that are open on Sundays and the most vicious state newspaper in America — the Manchester Union Leader, which recently greeted the birthday of Martin Luther King by describing him as a Communist dupe.

They sell the rest of the country maple syrup, lottery tickets and Yankee sagacity the way Indians on reservations sell moccasins, bingo and environmental wisdom. They never shut up about how closemouthed they are. They beat you rich and they beat you poor. They do this by taking a Calvinist pride in the riches from the high-tech boom in the southern part of the state, and then asssuming the smugness of Thoreau in defending the poverty of the swamp Yankees and shack people living back in the woods with yards full of mean dogs and broken snowmobiles. They exhibit the ethics of Switzerland and the shrugging shabbiness of New Jersey.

Or as Emerson wrote: “The God who made New Hampshire taunted the lofty land with little men.”

The question is not who they think they are, to be holding us hostage every four years with their presidential primary. Instead, who do we think they are, to let them get away with it, this white, tight and right smidgen of a place, this myth-mongering bastion of no-tax/no-spend conservatives with no minorities to speak of and a total of .43 percent of the American people? As Thomas Jefferson said, after New Hampshire town meetings had attacked his Embargo Act, “The organization of this little selfish minority enabled it to overrule the union.”

Read more at the link. It’s a long read, but a fun one.

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The media is finally beginning to vet Bernie Sanders with some serious research. Some examples:

Michael Grunwald at Politico: Bernie’s Radical Dilemma: If we need a revolution, how does he explain that things are already getting better?

Now that Bernie Sanders is looking less like a quixotic left-wing protest candidate and more like a serious contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, a contradiction at the heart of his campaign is becoming more glaring. You can call it the Radical’s Dilemma, or the Revolutionary’s Quandary, or maybe just Bernie’s Obama Problem. Whatever you call it, it was on stark display at last night’s debate in New Hampshire, even though Sanders tried to gloss over it.

The conundrum boils down to a schizophrenic view of a nation where progressive change is impossible and where progressive change is simultaneously happening. On one hand, Sanders argues that the political system is hopelessly corrupt, that the economy is outrageously rigged, that nothing good can happen as long as Wall Street, drug companies and fossil-fuel interests own Washington. On the other hand, Sanders says President Barack Obama has done a “fantastic job,” that America is in “much better shape than we were seven years ago,” that there has been significant progress on financial reform, health reform and climate action.

This is not just a political problem, as Sanders tries to carve out space to Obama’s left without denouncing a president with a 90 percent approval rating among Democrats. And Sanders can’t wave away the problem by saying the progress under Obama has been impressive, considering the Republican opposition, but insufficient; Obama says the same thing. This is a philosophical problem for a radical candidate, a question he hasn’t figured out how to answer: If things are never going to get better without a political revolution to take power back from special interests, how is it that things are getting better?

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Tim Mak at The Daily Beast: The Veterans Scandal on Bernie Sanders’ Watch.

Bernie Sanders’s tenure as chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee was characterized by glaring neglect of his oversight responsibilities, allowing the 2014 VA scandal to unfold under his watch, veterans’ rights advocates argue.

Sanders has touted his work on veterans’ issues, most recently citing his involvement in “the most comprehensive VA health care bill in this country,” in a debate Thursday.

Left unsaid however, is that he was the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, responsible for overseeing the Department of Veterans Affairs, as the scandal erupted.

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28 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: New Hampshire Primary Weekend”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    We didn’t get as much snow as I’ve been hearing. It’s heavy, but only about 4 inches or so. And already melting! What a relief.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Bringing this up from the Friday post (h/t Dakinikat):

    Sam Wang: The post-Iowa bounce goes to…Hillary Clinton.

    In aggregated data, Hillary Clinton has gotten approximately a 6-point bounce in New Hampshire. The median margin was Sanders +21.5% in 4 surveys conducted January 26-30. This narrowed to Sanders +15.5% in 6 surveys conducted February 2-5.

    A daily tracking poll from U.Mass. Lowell shows even more narrowing. On February 1 it showed Sanders +31%, which by February 6th narrowed to Sanders +14%, a 17 percentage point change in Clinton’s favor.

    In national surveys, Clinton went from a median of Clinton +12% (4 polls, January 22-February 1) to Clinton +16% (3 polls, February 2-4). This is noisy data, but the median change is a national 4-point bounce for Clinton. It is possible there was little change in either direction (see confidence intervals below).

    I posted the U Mass Lowell/Boston Globe poll and tracking polls previously, and today I have an NPR poll that also shows narrowing (see post).

  3. dakinikat says:

    I hope some of this data reaches the ears of those raptured by the Sanders stump campaign. I think that when Hispanics and African Americans weigh in that we’ll see a different tone in the media. Minorities live in the real world.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It won’t be very long until they are the majority. They deserve better than they’re getting from the corporate media.

  4. jane says:

    i would love a nation primary day, where we all get to vote for our candidates. That would be more telling than what we are getting these days.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Bernie Sanders Encourages the Rudeness of His Supporters

    http://www.reardonreports.com/bernie-sanders-encourages-the-rudeness-of-his-supporters/

    • janicen says:

      Wow, that’s really a shame. We do a similar event in Virginia and I’ve never seen nor gotten reports of heckling or rude behavior. I might have to go this year to see what happens.

    • NW Luna says:

      Why in the world would Bernie Sanders’ supporters treat this woman who made the Democratic Party a winning party in New Hampshire so disrespectfully?

      Because she supports Hillary Clinton for president? That’s too simple. I don’t think people are motivated to heckle a sitting U.S. Senator speaking at a Democratic Party event named in her honor simply because she’s supporting a different candidate.

      I’d believe it.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Clinton goes door to door in search of New Hampshire votes

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article58857583.html

    • NW Luna says:

      Like how that article describes that she has college students supporting her, for her detailed plans, and for saying women’s rights are human rights! You go, Hillary!

  7. janicen says:

    I love the Bernie cartoons!

  8. William says:

    I watch Hillary appear compassionate and philosophical at the NH Town Hall, and the next day all the media can talk about is that she gave some presentations to Goldman-Sachs. I watch her do a great job in the debate, and Sanders give an embarrassing performance with regard to foreign policy; and the next day, the media is all over, “Will she release the transcripts of her speeches?” There is the real world, and then there is the media’s world, ever searching for something to demand from Hillary Clinton. I wonder if she saved her grocery bills, as they might want her to release them as well.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    More interesting oppo research on Sanders.

    Why did Bernie cosponsor a bill and vote to dump Vermont’s nuclear waste in a poor Latino community?

    Bernie listed as cosponsor here:

    Article from Bangor Daily News on the bill passing.

    It’s not just nuclear waste, also medical waste from hospitals. The community didn’t want it, but Vermont and Maine gave Texas millions to build it anyway.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Even more about the Sierra Blanca story from Blue Nation Review.

    http://bluenationreview.com/bernie-pushed-to-dump-nuclear-waste-on-low-income-community/

  11. roofingbird says:

    BB, maybe it’s me but I haven’t been able to load your page since you put that tweet up from Watson on the debate page. There is just you and Fannie’s comment after mine, and that was a while ago.

  12. The cartoons are fantastic.

  13. List of X says:

    Yes, that does sound like a paradox, doesn’t it – the political system is corrupt, the economy is rigged, yet things are getting better?
    However, I don’t see these things as mutually exclusive, because you don’t have to support Sanders to agree that the political system is corrupt (SuperPACs, Citizens United, revolving door lobbying) and that the economy is rigged (barely any prosecution for banks for their role in 2008 recession, 1%-friendly tax system, low social mobility).
    And maybe that’s not corruption, but it can’t possibly be a good thing for the country where Iowa and New Hampshire get to pick the candidates for the entire country, although it’s got to be good for Iowa and New Hampshire.

  14. Joanelle says:

    But when people hear you speak bout corruption the assume you’re for Bernie unless they’ve seen or heard about the things he’s done that are clearly corrupt or thoughtless

  15. Joanelle says:

    I just saw an article about Bernie’s supporters pushing to have Hill’s speeches to Goldman, et. al. Released but Bernie has rejected that suggestion, maybe Bernie already knows what’s in them and realizes they would help Hill, more than him