Okay, so I don’t think Hillary will actually win New Hampshire, unfortunately. Still, if you look at the poll numbers over the last few days, it does seem like a staggering change of fortune.
Roughly a week ago, Bernie had as much as a 30-point lead, and perhaps closer to 35-points. The fact that someone could write an article about the possiblity of Hillary winning in New Hampshire would make you wonder if I’d recently invested in moon-landing-conspiracies and a fresh wardrobe of tinfoil hats.
But then the incredible happened: Bernie and Hillary had a debate last Thursday night and to anyone with a pair of clear eyes and working ears Hillary won in a landslide. [Or as Washington Post would report it: “Hillary looked like shit out there.”] Bernie looked fatigued and like he could barely keep up with her, particularly on foreign policy. His solution to fighting ISIS appears to be hopping in the DeLorean with Michael J. Fox and time-traveling back to 2002 to vote against the Iraq War again. His response to what to do about North Korea appeared to be written by a 15-year-old who didn’t properly do a homework assignment but just writes something down ten minutes before class stars.
Well, the debate seems to have made a tremendous difference since the polls started to shift almost immediately, but you know what else I think helped? Hillary fans—the silent majority as she has five times as many Twitter followers—began finally fighting back against Sanders rabid, Ron Paul-like fan base. So far, they’ve been reluctant to directly criticize Sanders—I know I was at first too—partly because some didn’t really think he had a chance, but also because of a misguided reluctance to end this damn primary before it gets worse. Plus, wanting to avoid the sheer intensity of his fans who sometime seem as ill-informed as they are angry or like I said, the Ron Paul for liberals: Bernie’s “Break Up the Banks!” appears to his equivalent of “End the Federal Reserve!”
Then I think they pushed their luck too far with bullying tactics, dirty campaigning, negative ads, Sanders going negative, saying he wouldn’t talk about the emails…while he talks about the emails, smearing Hillary’s supporters, decrying them sexist at every turn, and hacking into her voter information base. [I’ve only ever signed up for Hillary’s campaign, but I get daily messages and emails from Bernie’s camp.] Hillary fans began finally saying something and I think it’s made a difference as she’s halved his NH points (from between 30 to 33 down to 12 to 18) in half a week. It probably won’t be enough to win this state, but it does show the power of fighting back. Plus, if he wins by only a little bit then it’s hard to see this race getting easier for him as it keeps going. And ending this primary as fast as possible would be a very good thing for November.