Wednesday, February 12, 2020

NH Republican Primary

My pal Eric Merrill, who I told you about last month, got 512 votes.  Eric pretty much defines "fringe candidate," but he got 1% of the town he grew up in and 2,5% of the town he lives in now.  That's more votes for president than I've ever gotten.

Donald Trump attracted more turnout for an incumbent running mostly unopposed than anyone previous, either party, and a good deal more, too.  That does speak to considerable excitement among his supporters. A word of caution about that, however.  You don't get more votes for being more excited.  You get more votes by attracting more people to vote for you. While people can develop partisan excitement for their guy or gal as the election approaches, I don't think it is much in question that Trump's supporters are more excited for him than any Republican in my lifetime.  Reagan 1984 may be an exception. Democrats get excited all the time, so that's an apples-and-oranges comparison.

On the other hand, Trump's approval numbers are still in the 40's, though improving.  With this economy and getting us out of wars*, and some real positives of Federalist Society judges and reduction in regulation to please conservatives, he should be over 60% approval. The argument is that he gains more than he loses with his combativeness and refusal to admit he's wrong, even when he is wrong, but I think that's an article of faith, not evidence.  The combativeness gets some of his supporters more excited, and it clearly has attracted some voters who would not otherwise be on board.  But is it a net gain?  Net gain is all that matters in an election.

*That is popular at the moment in a nation sick of lingering wars, but it is only a good if they are wars we should be getting out of.  Sometimes wars need to be fought.  Popularity is only one measure.

No comments: