Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Last Night's Final New Hampshire Results-- And Bye-Bye Fiorina


In New Hampshire yesterday Herr Trumpf brought out more voters to the Republican primary-- both to vote for him (35.3%) and to vote against him (64.7%)-- than had ever voted in a New Hampshire Republican primary in before (almost as many as the Democrats' record turnout in 2008). And Democratic turnout Tuesday-- primarily for Bernie obviously-- was also much higher than expected. In 2008, the record-holder 'til yesterday, 287,542 Democrats voted and 238,979 Republicans voted. Hillary beat Obama that night:
 Hillary- 112,404 (39.1%)
 Obama- 104,815 (36.5%)
 Edwards- 48,699 (16.9%)
And McCain, who, unlike Hillary, went on to win his party's nomination, beat Romney that year:
 McCain 88,571 (37.1%)
 Romney 75,546 (31.6%)
 Huckabee 26,859 (11.2%)
This time 246,815 Democrats and 278,442 Republicans voted in the primary. Bernie won more votes Tuesday than Hillary won in 2008, making him the biggest Democratic primary vote winner in New Hampshire history (as well as the first Jew to ever win a presidential primary there or anywhere else). Not only did Bernie beat Herr Trumpf and John Kasich combined, but even the Democratic loser, Hillary Clinton, almost tied the Republican winner! This is how the votes broke down:
Bernie- 151,573 (60.4%)
Hillary- 95,242- (38.0%)
And because the Democratic Establishment has instituted an anti-democratic mechanism to keep control for itself-- unelected super-delegates-- Clinton walks away with 15 delegates and Bernie gets 15, even though he led by 22.3%. Yes, the party that pretends to care about voting rights! Between the 8pm and midnight, Bernie grassroots donors contributed just over $2.5 million to his campaign. (You can add to that here.) And in her concession speech last night Hillary-- who won two demographic groups, people over 65 years old and people making over $200,000-- pretended that she stands for the same agenda Bernie does. "Senator Sanders and I," she said, "both want to get secret, unaccountable money out of politics." Really? Who knew? It certainly hasn't been a theme of her campaign, the way it has been of Bernie's. And her campaign is widely funded by multimillionaires, billionaires and special interests (some good and some horrible).

And over on the right:
Herr Trumpf- 100,127 (35.3%)
Kasich- 44,776 (15.8%)
Cruz- 33,105 (11.7%)
Jeb- 31,220 (11.0%)
Rubio- 29,947 (10.6%)
Christie- 21,010 (7.4%)
Fiorina- 11,671 (4.1%)
Dr. Ben- 6,483 (2.3%)
In this video from last night, Bill Maher tells Jimmy Kimmel why he endorsed Bernie and why he thinks Ted Cruz is the worst Republican of the whole mealy lot:

Bill Maher may think Ted Cruz is Satan-- he isn't alone there-- but Ezra Klein made the case for why Herr Trumpf is worse a few hours after the polls closed. And it wasn't just because the politically-correct Ezra was offended by the word "pussy." He wrote, "I'm not here to clutch my pearls over Trump's vulgarity; what was telling, rather, was the immaturity of the moment, the glee Trump took in his 'she-said-it-I-didn't' game. The media, which has grown used to covering Trump as a sideshow, delighted in the moment along with him-- it was funny, and it meant clicks, takes, traffic. But it was more than that. It was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president showing off the demagogue's instinct for amplifying the angriest voice in the mob."
Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory. He pairs terrible ideas with an alarming temperament; he's a racist, a sexist, and a demagogue, but he's also a narcissist, a bully, and a dilettante. He lies so constantly and so fluently that it's hard to know if he even realizes he's lying. He delights in schoolyard taunts and luxuriates in backlash... He's not a joke and he's not a clown. He's a man who could soon be making decisions of war and peace, who would decide which regulations are enforced and which are lifted, who would be responsible for nominating Supreme Court Justices and representing America in the community of nations. This is not political entertainment.

...Behind Trump's success is an unerring instinct for harnessing anger, resentment, and fear. His view of the economy is entirely zero-sum-- for Americans to win, others must lose. "We're going to make America great again," he said in his New Hampshire victory speech, "but we're going to do it the old fashioned way. We're going to beat China, Japan, beat Mexico at trade. We're going to beat all of these countries that are taking so much of our money away from us on a daily basis. It's not going to happen anymore."

Trump answers America's rage with more rage. As the journalist Molly Ball observed, "All the other candidates say 'Americans are angry, and I understand.' Trump says, 'I’M angry.'" Trump doesn't offer solutions so much as he offers villains. His message isn't so much that he'll help you as he'll hurt them.

Trump's other gift-- the one that gets less attention, but is perhaps more important-- is his complete lack of shame. It's easy to underestimate how important shame is in American politics. But shame is our most powerful restraint on politicians who would find success through demagoguery. Most people feel shame when they're exposed as liars, when they're seen as uninformed, when their behavior is thought cruel, when respected figures in their party condemn their actions, when experts dismiss their proposals, when they are mocked and booed and protested.

Trump doesn't. He has the reality television star's ability to operate entirely without shame, and that permits him to operate entirely without restraint. It is the single scariest facet of his personality. It is the one that allows him to go where others won't, to say what others can't, to do what others wouldn't.

By the way, the Republicans spent their donors' money like their lives depended on it. So far Fiorina had dropped out and Christie is supposedly negotiating with several campaigns to see who will give him the best deal to drop out and endorse them. Jeb is most likely to absorb his campaign debts, although he admitted he spent a lot of time talking with Herr today. Fiorina's exit from the race is likely to have little impact on anything, except the nerves of people who watch their wretched debates, since her incessant lying was pissing off so many people all the time. Anyway, good riddance; I'm sure the entire nation hopes it will never hear of you again. These figures account for New Hampshire campaign spending and SuperPAC spending:
Jeb- $36 million-- $1,236/vote
Christie- $18.5 million-- $933/vote
Rubio- $15.2 million-- $547/vote
Kasich- $12.1 million-- $289/vote
Herr Trumpf- $3.7 million-- $40/vote
Fiorina- $1.8 million
Cruz- $0.6 million
Hillary spent $121/vote and Bernie spent $58/vote. Funny how the two winners-- Bernie (151,573 votes) and Herr Trumpf (100,127 votes) also spent their campaign money most effectively.

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At 1:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a note on the coming primary in South Carolina. Hillary's people are all excited as she shifts her focus to civil rights and police brutality as it should highlight the family's next firewall composed of African-American voters, her other firewall of women having burned to the ground in New Hampshire. South Carolina for Democrats is almost exactly parallel to what it used to represent for Republicans in the days before the Southern Strategy: a state the nominee of the party has no chance of carrying in the general election. Winning the South Carolina primary for a Democrat is like winning the New York primary for a Republican: gaining a clutch of delegates (and superdelegates) who will never be able to deliver the state for the nominee in the general election. It is a big so-what? South Carolina Democrats of whatever race are more conservative than even North Carolina Democrats, who were able to muster a general election victory in 2008 for Obama. Democrats might win Iowa or New Hampshire in the general, but not South Carolina. All of the talk about how unrepresentative Iowa and New Hampshire are while pretending that South Carolina, arguably still the most right-wing state in the union, is somehow important for Democrats because of a high African-American population is just more identity group nonsense which seeks to throw the next primary into greater relief because Clinton has a good chance of winning there. Fact is, South Carolina is meaningless for Democrats.

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