Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ron Paul Makes History in New Hampshire - Comes in 2nd in Both GOP and Democratic Party Primaries

GOP Presidential primary-level candidate Ron Paul got over 20% of the vote in this week's GOP New Hampshire primary.  But he also got 2,273 write-in votes in the state's Democratic Party primary, edging out all but President Obama.  Obama, with 49,480 votes walloped everyone else, but he was running in an essentially unchallenged environment, with all the party machinery behind him. 

This was the first time in U.S. history where a candidate came in second in both major partys' state primaries.  most news accounts of the New Hampshire Dem results do not even mention Paul.  If you've been following media coverage of Ron Paul as long as I have, this shouldn't be very surprising.

Writing about the New Hampshire Dem results for The Nation, John Nichols notes:

Almost one in five New Hampshire Democratic primary voters cast their ballots Tuesday for someone other than Barack Obama.

The president still won the primary with a handsome majority: 81.9 percent of the vote.

But the fact that more than 18 percent of New Hampshire voters who took Democratic primary ballots chose to write in the name of another candidate—anti-war Republican Ron Paul was the second-place finisher in the primary with 2,273 write-ins—or to vote for one of the little-known contenders whose names were on the ballot with Obama’s begs a question: What if a prominent progressive had mounted a primary challenge to the president?

Consumer activist Ralph Nader, scholar Cornel West and others argued for such a challenge last year. And Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter DeFazio and Congressman Dennis Kucinich were among the Capitol Hill progressives who suggested it would be good for the party and the president to face a meaningful primary test. While inside-the-party wrangling might be messy, the argument went, Democrats would ultimately be well served by an airing of the issues and a pressuring of the president to focus and intensify his outreach to the party's base voters.
Obama got just under 82% of the vote.  In recent New Hampshire Democratic primaries,  Clinton got 84% in 1996, but:
.... there are some other numbers that should concern Obama and his Democratic allies.

While Obama’s New Hampshire Democratic primary vote percentage in 2012 was roughly the same as Clinton’s in 1996, their actual vote totals were dramatically different.

Clinton won 76,797 votes out of a total 91,027 votes cast in the 1996 Democratic primary.

Obama won 49,480 votes out of a total of 60,996 votes cast in the 2012 Democratic primary.

The Democratic primary turnout this year was down dramatically (roughly 33 percent) from 1996, the last year when a Democratic president was seeking re-election without meaningful opposition. By contrast, 2012 Republican primary turnout was up by almost 39,000 votes, an increase of roughly 16 percent, from 1996.

In 1996, when Republicans had an intense contest (Pat Buchanan beat Bob Dole by a handful of votes), more than 30 percent of all primary voters in New Hampshire participated in the low-profile 
Democratic contest.

In 2012, when the Republican race was significantly less intense (Romney maintained a reasonably steady polling lead and won with ease), less than 20 percent of all primary voters in New Hampshire took Democratic ballots.

Barack Obama ought not worry about the percentage of the vote he took in this year's New Hampshire Democratic primary. It was sufficient.

But the president and his campaign aides should be paying attention to the evidence of an enthusiasm gap when it comes to voting in the Democratic primary of will be a battleground state this fall. And they should be asking themselves whether that gap in just a New Hampshire concern, or if might be a problem in other battleground states where Obama may not have much margin for error.
 I'm not lifting a finger to help Obama in 2012, especially with new reports coming out of Afghanistan about the level of torture still being performed routinely by Americans at the Bagram black sites.  How can one donate to or vote for somebody who should be impeached and sent to the Hague?

I'd call that "an enthusiasm gap."


HarpboyAK said...

Phil, we're old friends, but I'm going to call you on this one.

Ron Paul might be against foreign war adventures and he might hate Wall Street bankers as much as we both do, but he's a racist who would let someone without health insurance die without treatment if they couldn't pay cash at a hospital.

He doesn't deserve your support, or the support of anyone who considers themselves the least bit progressive.

If you want to rail against our failed President, go right ahead, but please don't promote this selfish Ayn Rand following bigot.

Philip Munger said...

"If you want to rail against our failed President, go right ahead, but please don't promote this selfish Ayn Rand following bigot."


I'm not promoting Ron Paul. I'm promoting the anti-war ideas he is the only exponent of in the 2012 scenario, as we prepare to embark on War with Iran.

I haven't voted for an anti-choice candidate since Roe v. Wade, and Paul would not be the first.

But I will not support a candidate who deserves to be in the docket at the Hague, either.

Anonymous said...

Phil said...

"he's a racist who would let someone without health insurance die without treatment if they couldn't pay cash at a hospital."

He has a long history of treating everyone equally in his professional life. He also never turned away the poor from his own medical practice, he used a sliding scale, and even waved fees to those who were poor.

As a quick empirical answer to both, please watch this short clip:

Also, he is pro choice, in that, he wants the power to make that choice moved to a local level. There is nothing wrong with this, honestly Id prefer it. That always leaves the option to travel between states for various things open, where as right now, were roe v wade to be repealed and that power to remain federal, out would come the clothes hangars.

Anonymous said...

Harpboy you need to get your facts straight. Even if he were a racist, which he's not as he routinely provided free health care to impoverished blacks during his time in medical practice, that's still better than a mass murderer and somebody who condones torture.

Anonymous said...

"but he's a racist who would let someone without health insurance die without treatment if they couldn't pay cash at a hospital."

He wants exactly the opposite. First, that's not racism anyway but he knows something about virtue. When he practiced as a doctor, he never refused anyone and always charged the least and if someone wasn't able to pay it was no problem. Now why is the society nowadays so rotten? Because we exchanged the human ability of developing empathy and social responsibility with a system of bureaucracy that trying to get us to help other people with the use of physical force and coercion.

One can not be virtuous if there is no choice.

"Personally we have a responsibility to help poor people, but i don't have the right to steal from you and give it to someone else." Ron Paul

Sorry for my grammar, I'm German.