Welcome to the cattle call! It’s time for “Politics and Pie” in New Hampshire.
If Iowa serves as a pageant for social conservatives, then count New Hampshire as the first best chance for more mainstream conservatives to have their time in the spotlight. Romney won the New Hampshire primary during the 2012 cycle, a trend that’s reflected in the most recent polls pitting probable 2016 candidates against each other.
Walker is currently leading in New Hampshire polls. A survey from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling released Wednesday showed him with a double-digit lead, taking 24 percent support, followed by Cruz at 14 percent, Paul at 12 percent, and Bush at 10 percent.
But that doesn’t mean anything this early, according to Fergus Cullen, the former state Republican chairman who is writing a book on the history of the New Hampshire primaries.
“I don’t think there’s a frontrunner, it’s wide open,” he said. “History has not been kind to the candidate who has the lead in April…you’d much rather have your moment come in December or January.”
New Hampshire primary voters are known to have a fondness for mainstream conservative candidates, potentially providing an opening to the handful of establishment-minded Republicans that will be seeking to notch an early victory on the heels of the Iowa caucuses, which are historically kind to social conservatives.
The only difference we’re seeing here is that Walker also stood out from the crowd during events in Iowa earlier this year, making a name for himself with conservative republicans and turning himself into a magnet for attacks from both left and right wing media outlets.
Jeb Bush took his more moderate tone to heart during the event, embracing his stances on immigration reform and common core, and backing up his efforts to keep Terry Schiavo alive.
Shocker: this tactic may not have backfired:
The former Florida governor promised not to pander his way to the Republican presidential nomination, and aside from his polite indulgence in pastry, he appears to be keeping his word. Confronted by a 46-year-old Concord immigration activist Thursday night who warned his support for legalizing undocumented immigrants would be a “tough sell,” Mr. Bush responded, “Well, that’s my job. My job is to not back down on my beliefs.” Asked about the Common Core national standards, Mr. Bush argued that states need high standards to improve student achievement.
Mr. Bush’s refusal to back off from positions that put him at odds with his party’s conservative base represents a gamble that Republican voters will view him as more of a package deal that comes with a record of tax cuts and job growth, belief in a muscular foreign policy and reliable criticism of President Barack Obama’s leadership.
“Hopefully you like some of the other things I said,” he told the Concord man, Charles Pewitt, who responded: “He wants to fight on this issue, and I don’t think he’s going to win. But I do appreciate that he’s taking a solid stand and will not waver.”
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, on the other hand, blasted Bush’s positions on controversial issues, and emphasized the importance of executive experience over the ability to rally a crowd:
“Listen, Ted and Rand and Marco are not only friends … these are really incredibly bright, capable individuals who, I might add, all three of them give an amazing speech. I mean, they get me up, standing up and pumping the air,” he said.
But after eight years of President Barack Obama, a senator before he won the White House, Perry asked, “is that what Americans are going to be looking for? Or are they going to be more interested in someone who has substantial executive experience?”
Attendees at this year’s confab got to rub shoulders with almost every candidate and potential primary candidate—which to me reinforces the idea that this event is a cattle call, but a necessary one. We’ll see whose voice reigns supreme when it’s all over, but the stark differences between what appeals to a New Hampshire voter versus, say, an Iowa voter, may make it more difficult for any one of these candidates to rise above the scrum.
Hillary Clinton plans to ride into town next Monday and Tuesday, and hopes to distinguish herself from both Republicans and other Democrats during smaller roundtable sessions:
Clinton will headline multiple roundtables with students, educators and employees of a New Hampshire small business during the trip, according to campaign aides. She will also hold private meetings with Democratic activists in the state, as well as elected officials and community leaders, where Clinton will ask for their support in the critical primary.
New Hampshire Democrats have a long history of supporting not just Hillary Clinton, but her husband Bill Clinton, too. When the little known Clinton finished second in New Hampshire’s 1992 primary, news outlets dubbed the president the “Comeback Kid,” a moniker all the way to the White House.
Clinton tanked the Iowa caucuses in 2008, but then turned around to win in New Hampshire.DONATE
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