With recent polls showing Bernie Sanders gaining ground in New Hampshire and beating Hillary Clinton among primary voters, the Clinton campaign is preparing to take the Granite State by storm. From the start of her campaign this year, Clinton focused on Iowa to avoid an upset similar to 2008. However, the real upset may be brewing in New Hampshire which is why the chatter from her donor class is getting louder and louder.
Report from Politico:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is preparing to ramp up operations in New Hampshire to halt Bernie Sanders’ advance and rescue a lead in a state so many Democrats had thought would be an easy win for the front-runner.
According to people inside and near Clinton’s brain trust in Brooklyn as well as her New Hampshire operation, this next phase starts Saturday, with a Women for Hillary program in Portsmouth that puts Clinton on stage with the state’s popular senator, Jeanne Shaheen. It also includes new policy proposals relevant to New Hampshire voters.
But some of her backers argue it won’t be enough to claw back the gains Sanders made this summer as Clinton’s email controversy has dragged on. Sanders has now tied Clinton in New Hampshire and leads according to some polls, with a primary vote only five months away.
“How do you pick up the pace when everyone’s stuck on one issue? Give me an answer on the server and the emails. They don’t get it, they’re so disconnected from the people,” said Arnie Arnsen, a former state legislator and now a liberal radio host in New Hampshire.
Indeed, to some of Clinton’s donors and supporters, the campaign’s reluctance to make a more aggressive move against Sanders in New Hampshire reflects the same tone-deafness they had been worried about for months in her approach to the email saga that has had a measurable effect on voters’ views of her trustworthiness.
Unless the upcoming Democratic debates change anything, Hillary faces an uphill battle in a state which likes picking mavericks and outsiders over establishment candidates. I’m not convinced this all won’t change somewhat after Labor Day when more of the public begins paying attention, but Sanders is certainly getting his heels dug in and will probably focus all his efforts to pull a victory in New Hampshire.
The Clinton team knows this and it’s why they will begin putting more time and resources into the state. Even if Hillary wins in Iowa, but loses or nearly loses in New Hampshire, it will leave her quite vulnerable heading into the wider primaries in March of 2016.