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June 17, 2011

NY Times Blogger: You Know, Jon Huntsman Could Be A Legitimate Contender For GOP Nomination Thanks To New Hampshire's Semi-Open Primary

Swell.

In New Hampshire, where Tea Party types overran the state Legislature and wrested control of the state party last year, turnout in the 2010 primaries was under 20 percent, as it usually is.

The turnout in next year’s presidential primary, on the other hand, will probably reach 60 percent. That means the influence of the most conservative, most motivated activists will almost certainly be diluted.

Second, it’s vital to remember that next year’s primaries will be the first since 1996 where Democrats haven’t had their own nomination fight going on. In other words, in the last two contested Republican primary seasons, independents in “open states” like New Hampshire split their votes between Republicans and Democrats. But this year, all of them will be voting for a Republican.

Via Ben Smith.

First an aside. Note the language used to describe the democratic victory of conservatives, "overran" and "wrested". What bias, right?

Anyway...what could possibly go wrong with letting independents who can't be bothered to actually join the Republican Party help decide the winner of the GOP's first primary? Oh, that.

While NH just lets independents vote in the GOP primary, as of now the next big primary, South Carolina, is a completely open .

Want more Huntsman fun? His top strategist is John Weaver. Weaver at one time was McCain's top guy, including during the period of time when McCain was flirting with the idea of becoming a Democrat. And what does Weaver think of the conservative base? Not much really.

"There's a simple reason our party is nowhere near being a national governing party," Weaver told Esquire. "No one wants to be around a bunch of cranks."

Right, that's why the GOP picked up House seats across the country last year, because it's a regional party. Or something.

On the other hand, when Weaver says "our party" he may be talking about Democrats.

John Weaver hunches his angular frame over a Styrofoam cup of coffee in the basement cafeteria of the United States Senate and tries to explain what might seem–to an outsider–his peculiar political loyalties. Once a loyal Republican strategist who directed the presidential aspirations of ber-conservative Phil Gramm and helped plot John McCain’s maverick primary run in 2000, he has since reregistered as a Democrat and severed consulting ties to all Republicans except McCain, for whom he still serves as chief strategist. “I only work for Democrats now,” he tells me. Noticing that he has overlooked the party affiliation of his most prominent advisee, I helpfully add: “And John McCain.” Weaver shrugs his shoulders and grins, “Oh, right.”

That's from a 2002 profile.

There's more on Huntsman here , here and here.

McCain was able to parlay wins in New Hampshire and South Carolina into the nomination last time. I'd hate to see Huntsman follow the same path.


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posted by DrewM. at 04:51 PM

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