Abandon all hope all ye who enter New Hampshire (or something like that). Even though Bernie Sanders if from the neighboring state of Vermont, team Clinton believed she would win this state which she won in 2008. But now with Ms. Clinton trailing Sanders by double digits four months before the primary there are some in Team Clinton are recommending she abandon hope of winning the state and move her resources elsewhere.
According to Politico it’s a small but loud contingent of long-time Clinton supporters that want her to concentrate on other states.
The group — veterans of the family’s old campaigns and people close to Clinton’s fundraising — see little reason to support a strategy that continues to pour resources into the state where Bernie Sanders’ already surprising lead shows no signs of shrinking.
Despite confidence emanating from the campaign’s paid leadership team that Clinton is well positioned with more than four months to go before the primary, this circle of informal advisers is whispering about more aggressively looking beyond New Hampshire after a summer that saw her polling advantage evaporate. These confidantes are not only granting the possibility that Sanders could win here: they see it as a near-certainty, and in some cases wonder about the usefulness of flooding the state with precious resources.
Instead, they’re arguing that Clinton’s campaign would be just fine focusing on the states that follow in early 2016.
“I look at New Hampshire and I say, ‘um, yeah, whatever.’ I like the people in Iowa. I like the people in New Hampshire. But you know what? They are distinctly different than most places in the country are. They are very white, they are very parochial. And they are not emblematic of the country,” explained one Washington-based Clinton friend who remains in touch with the candidate, adding that she would be comfortable relying on the campaign’s organization in the 48 other states.
(…) The widening rift between Clinton’s team and the pocket of informal but influential advisers and old friends is quiet, but real. And it’s exactly this kind of off-strategy, off-message suggestion that drives the official Brooklyn-based campaign mad.
That’s because Clinton’s political team readily acknowledges her weakness in New Hampshire — she was down 14 points to Sanders by the end of September in the Huffington Post Pollster average. And the team is also well aware of the circumstances that the doubters see as evidence of a lost cause — Sanders’ next-door neighbor status, voters’ perceived inability to break into Clinton’s Secret-Service mandated bubble, and her own role as the establishment’s front-runner.
But to Clinton staffers in both Brooklyn and Manchester, the idea of shifting away from New Hampshire — the state that resuscitated Clinton’s 2008 campaign and her husband’s 1992 effort — is beyond ridiculous, and potentially campaign-killing. The state couldn’t be further from hopeless, they say.
“New Hampshire is doing its important work, which is having the candidates do all the critical work that needs to be done to earn the vote,” said Clinton’s New Hampshire state director, Mike Vlacich, who dismissed the suggestion that pulling back would even be remotely considered. “We set out from the very beginning understanding that we would have a challenge, and that we would have to work hard to meet that challenge.”
Truth is the people who are telling Clinton to abandon New Hampshire are nuts!
The RCP average (above) has her down by 11%, the latest poll from NBC/WSJ has Sanders up by 14%, but in primary politics four months is an eternity. Clinton has tons of cash for ads and there hasn’t been a debate yet. Just look at the jumping around on the GOP side after the CNN debate, with only two real candidates Clinton has the opportunity to make up 14% within days of the debate.
With the loss of popularity the former Secretary of State has seen over the past few months, pulling out of New Hampshire will seem to some like Ms. Clinton is giving up on the entire race. On the other hand these supporters are the same kind of extremist liberals as are the rest of Team Clinton. Perhaps all they are really doing is a program of redistribution of convention delegates. After all that is the progressive way.