Perhaps the most fundamental reason veteran Republicans can’t quite get their heads around the Trump phenomenon is that, if it is real, it would say something about their state that they don’t quite understand.
They noted the Republicans who have won the New Hampshire primary in recent years: Romney, John McCain, George W. Bush. (It’s been 20 years since ‘Pitchfork Pat’ Buchanan won the 1996 GOP primary.) For Trump to really be on the verge of victory, wouldn’t that mean the state of New Hampshire somehow had a total political personality transplant in the four years since Romney’s victory? Is that really possible? Has New Hampshire returned to older times, or taken a turn in some unknown new direction?
Like everything else, they don’t know.
“I don’t understand it,” yet another of those Republicans who doesn’t know any Trump supporters told me as I got ready to leave the First-in-the-Nation gathering. “It doesn’t make logical sense.”