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Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Hampshire presidential primary retail politics- who's on second?

Unless a person lives or works in New Hampshire, it's difficult to imagine how up close and personal all the presidential candidates are with the state's voters.  

I doubt any other place on earth is like New Hampshire's retail political process. It's a state where the electorate and the candidates, who want to lead the free world, can intensely interact, like they're sitting at the old fashioned "kitchen table".  Sometimes, in fact, the candidates, really, are sitting at a kitchen table. 

At this point, in the retail Republican political "name recognition contest",  the 17 or so (I've sincerely lost count) candidates are competing to stay on the proverbial island, like they're in a survival television show. I'll bet some New Hampshire citizens, right now, are seeking out detours as ways of avoiding these candidates, who are likely appearing everywhere, like an inverse Where's Waldo game, except they're impossible to avoid because they're everywhere you look.  

Political followers can see the likes of "Why-O-Why-O" Governor John Kasich of Ohio, kissing babies in Newmarket New Hampshire, a place where the birth rate has been pretty flat in recent years. 

The Christian Science Monitor reports:

Kissing babies is as old as politics itself. And in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, many of the traditions still hold – visits to Robie’s Country Store in Hooksett, drinking lemonade with voters in backyards and living rooms, voters who have to meet each candidate at least twice before deciding whom to back, midnight returns from Dixville Notch.

Consequently, it's imperative for Republican candidates to meet as many New Hampshire voters as possible, as the time to enter the political debates season approaches.  

In other words, if voters don't know the candidates, they aren't going to vote for them in the primary. 

There's three chances, to either win, place or show, in these races.
There's no second chance for these candidates.  Just like any horse race, there's always the chance an outlying candidate will come in third. If that happens, it's almost like, unexpectedly, picking the trifecta, making the candidate seem worthy of the high cost of entering the race.  Of course, Donald Trump (nickname "the chump") probably jumps out of the gate with a huge lead because of his extraordinary name recognition; therefore, there may only be the place and show slots left on the race card, for the dozen or more other candidates.

Of course, I'm not any political expert about New Hampshire voting; but I can give my assessment about how the state's retail primary will go. It's pretty likely, given the name recognition and political good timing of the Trump-the-chump campaign, well..let's just give him the New Hampshire primary. Okay, Donald? Here, it's yours, bought and paid for.  The honest to goodness winner of the New Hampshire primary, after Trump, will be the candidate who comes in second.  What I'm saying is, the second place candidate, after the Donald "Trump's" the others with his flamboyant campaign, will be the real winner of the New Hampshire Republican primary election.

It's anybody's guess who the second place will go to, but while "Trump the Chump" is flying his helicopter around, with his logo boldly painted on the body of the aircraft, the fact is "Jeb!" or nickname "Bushy-boy", is in Miami (probably raising money).   Not smart. John Kasich, on the other hand, is kissing babies in Newmarket, NH.  Maybe Kasich will be the outlying candidate who "shows" his ability to win votes. In New Hampshire, money alone won't place a candidate on the national political stage. 

I've come to the opinion that political debates don't really count anymore. Republicans will make or break their ability to relate to voters based on the television ads they can afford to buy and on the quality of their retail campaigns. So, just because Fox News doesn't want all the Republican candidates on the same debate stage, at the same time, won't change many voters opinions. Frankly, there's not enough votes to split between the "place" and "show" candidates to make much difference, especially when the Republican electorate is split up between a dozen people who're running for the nomination.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Hillary Clinton is doing fine with her retail campaigning. Although she's been criticized for not making herself available to the press, she has nothing to gain by exposing herself to "gotcha" journalism by pundits.  People know Hillary Clinton and she doesn't need to be re-introduced to the electorate. Her name is her brand. She also owns three political strengths, i.e., name recognition, political "positives" and party support.  

Moreover, Hillary Clinton isn't loosing ground to anyone, at this time, although she's reported to be weak with white male voters. Nevertheless, her husband, Bill, is strong with white male voters. Obviously, Bill needs to retail campaign with Clinton's white male skeptics.

So, the retail voter campaign is Hillary's to loose for the Democrats.
For Republicans, the retail winner will be the person who comes in second. In GOP retail, the second winner is the one to watch, as the party will systematically take down Trump the Chump, after New Hampshire, and put their jockey on the two candidates who "place" and "show". That's my roulette wheel prediction and I'm sticking with my political bets.  

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