Yesterday when I did a preview of the New Hampshire primaries, I found myself wondering how much of the new, Democratic Socialist wave was going wash over the Granite State. They certainly had their share of Sanders approved candidates (not including Bernie’s own son, who he failed to endorse) and some of them were polling very competitively. As it turns out, not one of them made it over the finish line for the Democrats. New Hampshire voters went with Clinton supporters and the remnants of the old establishment by solid margins. Michael Graham has a rundown, and the news isn’t good for the New Left.
In 2016, self-declared Socialist Bernie Sanders won a crushing victory over the Grand Dame of the Democratic Establishment, Hillary Clinton, beating her by 22 points.
Two years later, Granite State primary voters turned up at the polls and said “Bernie who?”
None of the progressive candidates prevailed in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. Hillary Clinton supporters from 2016 will top the Democratic ticket in November. Even Bernie’s son Levi (who he declined to endorse) got an embarrassing 1.75 percent of the vote.
In the governor’s race, former state senator Molly Kelly trounced Steve Marchand by a nearly two to one margin, despite Marchand carrying the bullhorn of anti-Trump rhetoric. In the 1st Congressional District race, Obama admin official Maura Kelly was the one throwing the bombs at Trump, but Executive Councilor Chris Pappas beat her by double digits, despite raising far less money.
Graham reads quite a bit into these wins in terms of 2020 more than 2018. The big winners last night were absolutely the safe, stable, establishment politicians who were known commodities in the minds of the voters. If that pattern continues, Graham concludes that people like Sanders, Warren and Kamala Harris may receive a bit chillier reception than they might hope for.
If you’re a potential POTUS candidate, you likely picked up on the fact that, unlike 2016, endorsements from party leaders like Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Maggie Hassan appeared to make an impact. If you’re, say, Tom Steyer or Sen. Cory Booker hoping to run an anti-Establishment, grassroots #Resist campaign, that’s a challenge.
If you’re Joe Biden, it makes New Hampshire a nice place to start a presidential race.
That’s an interesting observation to keep in mind going forward. Joe Biden is supposedly going to make a decision about 2020 by January and he’s no doubt keeping an eye on how things play out in the midterms. All the presidential candidates pound the pavement in New Hampshire and Iowa in the hopes of getting off to a strong start. A poor showing by an underfunded candidate in one or both states has ended many POTUS bids prematurely. If Biden feels like he’s on friendly ground in New Hampshire and could quiet down his more socialist opponents, he might start seeing this as a real possibility.