When Monday’s Iowa Caucus rolled into reality I was blown away by one thing that kept being repeated on CNN. The volume of undecided voters on both the Republican and Democratic side of the caucus. It baffled and still baffles me that people will show up to vote without knowing who the heck they are voting for.
In the year 2016 there is no excuse to not be fully educated on all of the candidates running for president. We have the internet and the 24 hour news cycle. We have mobile phones that bring the news to our fingertips. Social media lets us have constant updates as to what is playing out in the political world. You can go to every candidates website and hear their platforms. You then can take it upon yourself to vet out the candidates platforms, fact check their platforms and see if they are viable in the political arena by simply googling the heck out of them.
Basically all your questions can be answered for you before you go to vote. That’s why I was shocked at how many people said they were undecided when they arrived to vote on caucus night in Iowa.
Now we are approaching the first in the nation primary in the great state of New Hampshire. Are we going to have the same number of undecided voters? According to CNN the state is a different beast and while the polls are calling for the candidate I support, Hillary Clinton, to lose by a wide margin, at least CNN claims New Hampshire voters tend to arrive to the polls knowing who they want to vote for.
Likely Democratic voters are far more likely than Republicans in the state to say they’ve made up their minds about the race, with 64% saying their choice is locked in, while just 41% who say so on the GOP side. Just 17% of likely Democratic voters say they are still trying to decide.
Thank you New Hampshire democrats for educating yourself before arriving to vote, even if I don’t agree with the candidate you are voting for…
Now, do I think Hillary has a chance at winning New Hampshire? I feel confident that New Hampshire will be different than Iowa for a number of reasons. First off, we won’t have to sit through the archaic caucus system. There won’t be a coin-gate controversy. People will vote and go home. It’s pretty straight forward. We will see a clear winner and a clear loser of that particular primary, at least I think we will.
The other thing with New Hampshire is that while 64% of democrats are decided before arriving at the polls to vote, it doesn’t mean Hillary will lose. Now, I’m not getting my hopes up, but I’m also not counting her out.
In 2008 Hillary was behind in the polls and was expected to lose New Hampshire in the primary to Barack Obama. In a surprise upset she won. Why is this? There are a number of reasons, but one in particular. The thing that can help Hillary Clinton and make for a surprising evening is that New Hampshire does not have a closed primary meaning those not registered with a specific party can vote in either party primary (but only one). Independents are welcome to vote in either primary, Republican or Democrat.
Hillary, who has attracted people on the left and center of the political spectrum can really gain some ground here. Especially since the Republican Party is running Donald Trump as number one and Ted Cruz who leans to the far right in second. The democrats have a super liberal democratic socialist as their second candidate. This can really alienate independent voters. Where will they go?
My hope is that they may fall into the middle ground or Hillary country.
Hillary also had a strong Democratic Town Hall performance on CNN Wednesday evening. CNN claiming a win for Hillary. She came out strong on foreign affairs. She swung hard when asked about military engagement. Hillary didn’t miss a single beat when trying to connect with women, mothers, daughters and grandparents. She proved she will challenge Wall Street even if some people felt she stumbled on her reasoning for speaking for Wall Street firms and accepting three speaking fees (heaven forbid she work while not in office). She also blew me away with her religious and spiritual conversation. All-in-all she proved she has the experience and persona to be president.
On the other hand I personally felt unmoved by Bernie Sanders, particularly when he spoke about spirituality and religion. I’m also unmoved by his broken-record foreign policy response. There is more to foreign policy and foreign affairs than casting one vote for the Iraq war years ago. I would love to hear him express further knowledge of the world and how to engage with it as the leader of our country.
If things don’t work out for Hillary the next few days then we will lose New Hampshire as we know we might. If that happens then we will do what I suggested Trump and Sanders should have done after Iowa. We will pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and keep pushing forward for Hillary. She will take Nevada and South Carolina followed by the White House. I have no doubt.