By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – The race for president in New Hampshire is “very fluid” right now and voters are beginning to focus on the nation’s first primary just 99 days away, according to New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley.
Buckley held a telephone press conference for presidential primary reporters on Monday to say: “Democrats are united” and focused on getting rid of President Donald Trump next year.
The primary is now going into a bit of a “contrast mode” and there will be plenty of debates and the Iowa caucuses before anyone here has to decide which candidate will get their vote, he said.
So far, Buckley said the contrasting among candidates has been pretty kind to one another, or “soft” blows.
Eight of the presidential candidates and their campaign staffs were out this weekend knocking on doors, making calls, not for their candidacies but helping Democrats in mayoral races across the state, he said.
After Tuesday’s vote, he said there will be a bit of analysis on which party did a better job getting people to polling places.
The campaigns right now are “persuasive” and “infectious” with a series of messages which resonate with voters on a host of issues.
“This is a huge field offering an amazing diversity of voices,” Buckley said. “So really everyone has had a choice of someone who is representing them or multiple ones.”
He said he was surprised at the size of the field and its maintenance, despite former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rouke bowing out.
Calif. Sen. Kamala Harris also announced she would be pulling most of her resources out of New Hampshire and focusing on Iowa where the first in the nation caucus is held a week before New Hampshire’s primary.
Buckley noted that that strategy worked pretty well for the late Sen. John McCain, a Republican, who was spring-boarded by a good showing in the Buckeye State.
He said the more Trump can spend his money now, the less he will have available next year when he runs as the likely Republican nominee for re-election.
He said Trump’s message is for the “Top One Percent” of income earners.
Even those Democratic candidates polling in the single digits in New Hampshire should not be discouraged, he said, noting that the whole race is “very fluid.”
Candidates like Jimmy Carter in 1976 were polling very low at this point, and he ended up winning the presidency.
Buckley said the ultimate focus of the Democrats is the same for November 2020: “To make sure Donald Trump is not in the White House.”
And the effort will now go forward to make sure New Hampshire gets out to vote in the first-in-the nation primary in February, he said.