The results from New Hampshire clarified a lot for me. This is the toughest choice I’ve ever had to make in an election. Usually it’s easy, I choose the candidate that best matches my values and who has a least some chance of winning. I voted for Bernie in 2016 because he has a message that needed to be heard. I wanted Hillary to be the candidate, yet needed to send that message.
This year is harder because of the evil currently residing in the White House. In prior years I could vote knowing that even if our party lost the general election, at least I could be safe in knowing that the safety of our country, our republic was not in jeopardy. I can’t cast a vote like that when I go to the polls on March 3. I agreed with little of what Reagan and either of the Bushes stood for, but I could go to sleep at night safe in the knowledge that they believed in and supported the Constitution. I can’t do that now.
So what will I do? First, an analysis of the results from New Hampshire. Bernie is being declared the winner by all the political pundits. Their analysis is that he’s now the front runner. OK, technically Bernie has won New Hampshire. Yet with 25.7% of the vote he is really just the leader. In 2016 he won with somewhere around 60% of the vote. This time? He leads. Nearly 75% voted for someone else.
The next level analysis is where things get interesting. Sanders/Warren combined, as the left side of the Democratic field, received 35.0% of the vote. Buttigieg/Klobuchar/Biden, the moderates, came in at 52.6%. So while we have no clear “winner”, we have a message, New Hampshire is saying we want a moderate to lead this ticket. But who?
Things are about to get messy, with Bloomberg spending hundreds of millions of dollars, targeting “Super Tuesday”. (as an aside, why do we complain about Citizen’s United when it’s the Kochs who are spending and remain silent when it’s someone we philosophically agree with?) We are likely headed to a “brokered” convention.
We haven’t had one in a long, long time. A brokered convention is one where there is no leader, no clear winner with enough committed delegates to win on the first ballot. After the first ballot, when the delegates are free to vote for anyone, the dealing starts. What I see is a moderate ticket, a deal made with two candidates combining their support, one getting the votes for president, the other for vice president. The ticket will likely be Klobuchar/Buttigieg, although the names could be in the other order, depending on who starts the convention with the most delegates.
So thank you New Hampshire. While you didn’t choose a clear winner you did communicate a message, even if the pundits can’t hear it. Your choice was the middle, a more moderate candidate.
Oh, and me? I’m going with Amy. I hear her talking in a voice that independent voters, those who chose Trump last time yet are fed up with him, will hear.