We’ve heard this line a few times already this Presidential cycle from some minority fringe candidates who needed something to blame for their lack of support: New Hampshire is too white. And so is Iowa. Therefore, we don’t deserve the First in the Nation Primary, duh. Now, Rich Old White Bloomberg is playing the same card – after deciding to SKIP Iowa and New Hampshire entirely.
In his CNN Op-Ed he starts in almost right away.
The Democratic Party reflects America’s incredible diversity. But the first two voting states, Iowa and New Hampshire, are among the most homogenous in the nation. While it’s great that candidates reach out to voters in these states at every pancake breakfast and town hall around, what about African-American, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islanders, and other voters in places like Detroit, Montgomery, Phoenix, and Houston? I’ve visited them all recently, and almost to a person, voters tell me the other campaigns have almost no presence in their cities.CNN
Gee – why don’t Detroit, Montgomery, Phoenix, and Houston see campaigns? Because those cities, in those states, aren’t “swing” enough, generally. Montgomery is in Alabama, a state that last went “blue” in 1976 for Jimmy Carter, and is not considered “up for grabs.” It’s a Red State. Same for Arizona (though they voted for Clinton in ’96. It’s the Economy, Stupid.) Ah, and of course Houston, Texas. Texas is another perfect example of a Red State (for now – anyways.)
Detroit is the only city in a state that’s a battleground – Michigan. Trump won Michigan, and was the first Republican to win there since 1988 when H.W. Bush won.
This isn’t to say that Presidential candidates shouldn’t campaign in most/all 50 states. They should. They should certainly learn about the issues facing our citizens in every part of the broad nation. But moving FITN to a solid red state, or even a solid blue state, makes little sense. Bloomberg undoubtedly knows that.
Sure, those states may have diversity in racial and ethnic backgrounds, but they have far less diversity on the issues. They would represent a far different paradigm than a “purple” state like New Hampshire.
But, I digress. The real point of the Op-Ed isn’t that New Hampshire is too white. No, that’s silly. The real point is that Trump is off campaigning in battleground states that he won in 2016 – shoring up his base – while the Democrats have to fight each other for the primary. Basically, it’s no fair!
He says as much in the closing paragraph, while trying to undo his insults that Granite Staters and Iowans had to bear at the beginning:
Don’t get me wrong: I have enormous respect for the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire. Both states are full of devoted citizens. But so are the other 48. And we need a system that both better reflects our country and puts us in a better position to defeat a candidate like Donald Trump.
See – it’s not about diversity. It’s about a system that helps beat Trump. So, screw you New Hampshire!