The Morning Briefing: Always a Good Time When We Can Stop Paying Attention to New Hampshire

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Happy Wednesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Sedwithikan felt that his tailored corduroy tuxedo was going to propel him to new heights of renown at the next regional HamsterCon. 

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I was so out of it when writing the Tuesday Briefing on Monday night that I forgot to thank my friend and colleague Chris Queen for covering for me while I was watching the Detroit Lions beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field on Sunday. That was the loudest sporting event I’ve ever been to. My ears are still ringing, and only one guy in downtown Detroit tried to sell me cocaine (really), which shows just how much the city has turned itself around. 

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Much has been written about the fact that former President Donald Trump enjoys many of the advantages of incumbency in this presidential race, despite the fact that he’s currently on the outside of the White House looking in. Trump’s unique position has taken the drama out of the race for everyone but Nikki Haley and her advisors. 

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Trump coasted to victory in the boutique northeastern state of New Hampshire, a place political types are force to acknowledge the existence of once every four years. Matt did the news duty for us

Donald Trump has handily won the New Hampshire Republican Party primary.

DecisionDesk HQ called the race at around 8 p.m. ET, with 19% estimated reporting. Trump came in with 55.5% of the vote, followed by Haley in second place with 43.8% (see real-time results below). 

The result was widely expected, though the margin wasn’t easily predicted. Prior to Ron DeSantis dropping out of the race, Trump reportedly had a roughly 10-point lead. Back in December, polls showed her much closer. 

Haley’s campaign bet on a strong showing in Iowa but she came in third. She really needed a win in New Hampshire, or at least a strong second-place showing, to justify continuing her campaign. It is an indisputable landslide victory assuming Trump holds at 55% or more. 

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As I write this, 90% of the votes have been counted, and Trump is at 54.8%. The remaining ballots should be delivered via frozen pack mule sometime before Lent. 

Given her clinically insane response to her third-place finish in Iowa last week, I was surprised that Haley didn’t say that this “is now a one-woman race” in her speech last night. 

Haley’s return on investment in The Granite State was not great, and most of the voters who flirted with her probably wouldn’t be interested in a second date in November. This is from Victoria

Nikki Haley doubled Trump’s spending. She was bankrolled by Democrats and her Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts were operated by Democrats. And her voters? One estimate suggested that as many as 70% of Nikki Haley’s votes were from people other than Republicans. 

All of that non-Republican money did seem to get some independents to the polls for Haley, which might make her want to hang around for a while. New Hampshire’s negligible population has to be taken into account though. A second-place finish there — no matter how strong — isn’t exactly something to build one’s electoral hopes on. 

In every presidential election year — this one being a most notable exception — far too much gets read into the New Hampshire primary tea leaves, especially given how small it is. 

As a native of the Great American Southwest, I’ve long been irritated by the power that the dinky eastern states have. The entire state of New Hampshire is only a few hundred square miles larger than the county I live in, and it’s got about 300,000 more people. New Hampshire gets to pollute the United States Senate with two Democrats, however. Just look at the leftist havoc being wrought in Washington by eastern states that could fit in the trunk of your car.

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The state that kept sending Joe Biden to the Senate for 36 years and thus bears responsibility for the nightmare we have in the Oval Office has a population that’s smaller than nine American cities

OK, that was a tangent, but it felt good. People aren’t really here for the linear thought anyway.

Here’s hoping that Nikki Haley decides that she wants to start her inevitable Girl Power Boozy Brunch Club with Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger sooner rather than later and gets out of the race quickly. 

As for New Hampshire, all 27 of its residents can go to bed until some poor news saps are sent to report from Dixville Notch in November. 

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