New Hampshire voters, like Iowans, can’t stand Hillary, and really, really dislike Trump.
It is reasonable to assume that voters in Iowa and New Hampshire are typical of swing state voters, except that they are taking the election more seriously so far. If that is correct, these numbers suggest that Republicans shouldn’t be too discouraged about the bizarre headlines that have seemed to dominate the race in its very early stages.
The problem is that the Republicans have to handle Trump with kid gloves, because his threat of running third party is very real. On the other hand, the degree of that threat will be a function of how strong the Republican candidate is. I think he’d be likely to pull a lot of Democrat votes, too, as Perot did.
[Update a couple minutes later]
Yes, the Republican leadership is driving its base into the arms of Donald Trump.
Also, related: The attempted coup of the Republican leadership begins. Both Republican leadership and Democrats hate the Tea Party, because they hate the constraints of the Constitution.
More thoughts on the meaning of Trump:
let’s leave Bush to one side—if only we could!—and return to the clown in mufti, Donald Trump. What only a few commentators have cottoned on to is that Trump has touched a nerve. His popularity may be fragile, may even be illusory. But he has, in his semi-articulate jabbering, reminded people that there is a world outside the beltway. It’s partly a matter of substance, partly style. People in many parts of the country are appalled by the flood of illegal immigrants that is changing the character of this country. Trump speaks to that. He also, quite obviously, eschews the focus groups. He doesn’t care about donors because he could himself pay for his own campaign several times over. He says what he thinks. It would be nice, perhaps, if the path between his cerebellum and his mouth were a bit longer and more circumspect, but his bluntness plays to the masses. He delights in tweaking the politically correct establishment.
…I don’t think Donald Trump will be the GOP candidate in 2016, and I don’t think he would win if he were. But he has raised some issues that the high and mighty dispensers of conventional wisdom would do well to ponder. Moreover, he has done it in a way that, though terribly, terribly vulgar, is catapulting Trump to first place in the polls. What does that tell us? That the people are stupid and need to be guided by the suits in Washington? If you believe that, I submit, you are going to be profoundly disappointed come November 2016.
[Update a few minutes later]
Link to Roger Kimball piece was wrong. Fixed now, sorry.