Klobuchar, Buttigieg Real Winners of NH Primary

Klobuchar, Buttigieg Real Winners of NH Primary

Klobuchar, Buttigieg Real Winners of NH Primary

Welcome to the continuing saga of the Democratic Presidential Primary. With the Iowa Caucus results still in question, all eyes turned to New Hampshire last night. Would Bernie Sanders repeat his impressive victory in 2016? Or would Warren prove she was a power to take notice of? The answer to both questions is a resounding “No!”. In fact, the real winners last night were Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

Then and Now

The 2016 New Hampshire primary was the precursor of what we’d see most of the Democratic primary. At least what we’d see until the DNC stepped in to ensure Hillary Clinton would win the nomination.  The self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist won the primary with 153,193 votes to Clinton’s 95,355 votes. That is a difference of approximately 23%. To say it was a decisive win is putting it mildly.

Fast-forward to last night. With 82% of the vote reported, Sanders led Buttigieg by 4,105 votes. That is 1.7%. Klobuchar had 19.9% of the vote. Warren (9.4%) and Biden (8.5%) were distant third and fourth place also-rans.

If you watched some of the talking heads during the evening, you saw them falling all over themselves as they tried to figure out what was happening. Sanders was supposed to have won the state without any problem. (Hmm. Sound familiar? Remember 2016) What they all finally agreed upon was 1) Klobuchar’s debate performance accounted for her meteoric rise in the polls and 2) that rise kept Buttigieg from possibly handily defeating Sanders.

The Dropouts

Before the final votes were tallied, candidates began falling by the wayside. Political newcomer Andrew Yang shuttered his campaign. He hung in for more than a year and never gained the traction with the voters he’d hoped for.

Colorado senator, Andrew Bennett, also called it quits last night.

But the real question is who else will drop out following last night’s results? With 86% of the vote in, Yang, Gabbard and Steyer managed to get less than 5% of the vote each. Biden and Warren had dismal showings for candidates once thought to be leading contenders with less than 10% of the vote each. How long will any of these candidates be able to continue?

The Democrat’s Way Forward

That depends on who you talk to. Bernie-bots say the socialist banner carrier is the future of our country. But we’ve already seen how the Democratic establishment responded to him as a potential candidate four years ago. Nothing has really changed in that time.

But that doesn’t mean we can breathe easy where he’s concerned. As last night’s results show, Buttigieg and Klobuchar draw from the same voting pool. It isn’t a stretch to believe Buttigieg would have very likely been the undisputed primary victor had Klochubar not done as well at the debate.

The the following as an indicator about how closely voters identify the two on certain issues:

This is something the DNC will take note of and something the Republican Party should as well. With all the Dems running for POTUS saying one of the biggest challenges they face is unifying the country, voters in NH at least pretty much equally believe Buttigieg and Klobuchar are the candidates to do it. Sanders is at the bottom.

According to at least some exit polls, Sanders scored well with young voters. Of course, those young voters didn’t turn out in the numbers needed to repeat his 2016 performance. Why? That was one of the questions cable news talking heads tried to answer. One of them (and I don’t remember which. My brain started shutting down the longer I listened to their excuses and finger pointing) said the problem was those young voters couldn’t get to the polls because they didn’t have cars. Say what? No car means they couldn’t vote? What about public transportation? What about the way campaigns will make sure voters get to the polls, sending out cars and even buses when there’s a need?

Could it be Sanders and his supporters are becoming the Hillary Clinton of 2020?

But what about Klochubar?

Amy Klochubar pushed her way out of the center of the candidate pack with her debate performance last week. That performance continued with her speech last night. She also proved she–or her campaign staff and speech writer–paid attention to what Donald Trump said during his campaign against Clinton.

Hello, America. I’m Amy Klobuchar and I will beat Donald Trump.”

Those two short sentences sent spasms of hope through commentators in the liberal media. Could they finally have found the strong female candidate they thought they had with Warren?

The danger with Klobuchar is she has done her homework. She remembers how Trump sought out the dissatisfied and disenfranchised Democratic voters. Those same voters helped him defeat Clinton three years ago. As you can see in the video above, she is going after those conservatives and libertarians who aren’t happy with Trump. In other words, she is taking a page out of the President’s campaign book.

That makes her a danger in a way Sanders isn’t. No matter how dissatisfied most conservatives and libertarians might be with the President, they won’t vote for the self-avowed Democratic-Socialist (emphasis on socialist). Many will look at Buttigieg and see a smooth candidate, but one without any real experience on a state or national level. They will remember the travesty of the Carter Administration. But Klobuchar? She’s saying the right things and, at least part of the time, she sounds like a moderate.

“Donald Trump’s worst nightmare is that the people in the middle — the people who have had enough of the name-calling and the mud-slinging — have someone to vote for in November,” she said in her speech last night.

And that is another danger. Trump tends to shoot his mouth off before thinking. He can get away with that against a male opponent. But how will the voting public take it if he comes up against a female opponent, one who isn’t as unlikable as Clinton? I have a feeling Klochubar not only can take his digs but will have no problem giving them back.

That said, I don’t think she will win the nomination. However, there is another scenario we have to consider. Sure, it’s still too early to tell who will win the ultimate nomination, but we are seeing the field narrow. That means it is time to start looking at the possibilities.

Would a Buttigieg-Klobuchar ticket work?

That is the question we need to consider. Whether it is Buttigieg-Klobuchar or Klobuchar-Buttigieg doesn’t matter. If the Dems ever get their heads out of their asses and quit obsessing about doing in Trump, figuratively if not literally, they’d see that the B-K ticket meets almost every one of their talking points. Would such a ticket fly with the voting public? I don’t know. But it is something to keep in mind and to prepare to counter when and if the time comes.

She told voters she “cannot wait “to win with a movement of “fired up Democrats, Independents and moderate Republicans. ”If you feel stuck in the extremes of our politics and you are tired of the noise, you have a home in me,” Klobuchar continued.

This is the danger of Klobuchar and the danger of a ticket with both she and Buttigieg on it. They are in the “center” when it comes to Dems–not that that’s saying much. Both are young. Buttigieg can and will play the “I’m not a career politician” card. They can both play on the fact they aren’t straight white old men.

In other words, if we aren’t careful, we could see the modern day version of the Nixon-Kennedy debate playing out first in the Democratic primaries and then in the general election. Perhaps this is one time when you want the old white guy–hopefully Biden–to win the nomination. For now, it is still the Democrats’ version of musical chairs and we don’t know who will wind up winning.

 

Featured Image: Pete Buttigieg – Caricature by Donkeyhotey. Creative Commons license.

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7 Comments
  • CaptDMO says:

    Real winners of the NH primary?
    Oh, you mean the Democrat half.
    Amusing percentages. IMPRESSIVE!
    How did Mr. Trump do against HIS 16 other contenders?

    • Amanda Green says:

      Funny you should ask. The media gave very little–if any coverage to it. The last numbers I saw had him with close to 130k votes. HIs nearest opponent had 13,600 votes. IIRC, this means he had more than double the votes Obama had when he ran as an incumbent (of course, he also didn’t have an opponent) and beats out many previous incumbents. It also shows that Republicans in NH are not sitting back and taking the election for granted. Let’s hope they have the same attitude in November.

  • […] Amanda Green on The Victory Girls: Klobuchar, Buttigieg Real Winners of NH Primary […]

  • GWB says:

    And, I think a Klobuchar-Buttijiggy ticket would be harder to beat. But it would still be very doable. It would certainly play the identity politics angle, though.

  • Joe in PNG says:

    Bernie is starting to remind me of the Quixotic presidential runs of George Wallace. He’s an extremist who appeals to a very narrow, but fanatical core of his party’s base- but has no appeal at all outside of it.
    Like Wallace, he’ll be able to pick up a good % of the early primaries right until the non-kooky front-runners emerge. Afterwards, he’ll start to drop into the single digits. In the end, he may wind up with enough votes to be an annoyance at the convention, it won’t be enough to get him the nomination.

    • GWB says:

      But if it’s enough for a brokered convention, then – HOOBOY! – won’t that be fun!
      (I just want him to lose closely enough to have all his Bernie Bros try to burn down the Democratic strongholds.)

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