It’s hard to know how the New Hampshire primary will pan out.
On the face of it, Donald Trump should win easily. At just over 30% in the polls, he’s 14 points ahead of his closest rival Marco Rubio and 18 points ahead of Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz.
However, the anti-Trump propaganda machine rolls on. MSNBC misquoted Trump in Saturday night’s Republican candidate debate on ABC. MSNBC claimed he said ‘Immigrants did not make this country’ when, in fact, he said that legal immigrants ‘made this country great’. Several MSNBC commenters complained, and it seems the ‘news’ item is now gone.
Although many viewers thought he won the debate — and, once again, the GOP debates with Trump have been, as he would say, ‘yuuuge’ ratings draws, even on a Saturday night — the property mogul managed to upset the audience when he pointed out that no one was able to attend the debate outside of special interest groups and donors. From Business Insider:
Trump said audience members were all members of the Republican establishment.
“That’s all of his [Bush’s] donors and special interests out there,” Trump said of the people booing him. “That’s what it is. And by the way, let me just tell you: We needed tickets. You can’t get them. You know who has the tickets? … Donors, special interests, the people that are putting up the money. That’s who it is.”
The booing continued. Trump said he was self-funding his campaign, so Republican donors weren’t a fan of his candidacy.
“The reason they’re not loving me is I don’t want their money. I’m going to do the right thing for the American public,” Trump said.
He was booed again shortly after.
I strongly feel that if Trump doesn’t win, this will continue, and goodbye to the amazing experiment of America. Killed from the inside.
Many Americans are concerned about theirs and their children’s future with regard to employment, the economy, healthcare and immigration. A lot of these problems are bound up in deep-seated political corruption. The Donald is the only one who can slay that beast.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz has been busy smoothing over the Iowa caucus kerfuffle over whether his team or CNN lost retired brain surgeon Ben Carson much-needed votes. During the debate he once again gave his version of events. Carson replied:
In fact, the time line indicates that initial tweet from CNN was followed by another one within one minute that clarified that I was not dropping out. So, what happened to that one, it is unclear. But the bottom line is, we can see what happened, everybody can see what happened and you can make your own judgment.
Trump didn’t let Cruz off the hook, either. When Cruz referred to his victory as an affirmation by the people of Iowa to their nation and their children, Trump interrupted:
That’s because he got Ben Carson’s votes, by the way, but we won’t say that.
Unfortunately, Carson was rather quiet — again. Rubio repeated himself rather a lot which brought accusations from Chris Christie that he was inexperienced and could only parrot rehearsed soundbites. Christie once more reminded us he was a federal prosecutor. Whatever Bush and Kasich said was unmemorable.
For now, it’s still a three-way between Trump, Rubio and Cruz in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, some voters Trump’s team have spoken to asked if the New York billionaire was ‘serious’ about the presidency. Trump is changing tactics slightly in New Hampshire and is now making scheduled personal appearances to press the flesh, something he does not normally do.
The Telegraph reports that Trump’s returning home every night to his home in Manhattan and leaving again for New Hampshire in the morning could adversely affect his vote share on Tuesday, February 9:
Trent Spiner, executive editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper, said: “I think it’s absolutely going to hurt him. A lot of people make up their minds late and the fact he’s not here could be critical.
“I’m not sure the polls are accurate. In a few weeks we’ve had 82 polls, and people just get tired of answering their phones and don’t tell the truth to pollsters. We saw that in Iowa you have to transform polls into people showing up on the day. Until yesterday he didn’t have a ground game. The race is really up for grabs.”
It is, indeed.
More to follow once the analyses are in and the fall-out becomes clearer.