Could Huntsmania Actually Have an Impact in New Hampshire?

  hypetty hype hype

scrumdiddlyumptious

As of two hours ago, the fickle folk of the Granite State have begun voting in the first-in-the-nation primary. Last night, the registered voting population of the petite hamlet of Dixville Notch launched the primary season with their weird tradition of voting 11 hours before everybody else. Nine people showed up. Due to History and the village’s uncanny ability to predict the outcome of the Republican nomination race (perfect record since 1960), this was viewed by tweeting humans as important and prescient. Amusingly, President Obama won more votes than everyone else, with three votes. Huntsman and Romney tied at two apiece, which is the only proof we have right now that Huntsmania, the eager flocking of Romney haters (and Obama defectors?) to relative safety under the bomber-jacket-clad wing of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, exists. It’s a little late, is it not? OR IS IT?

This very, very tardy hype is the result of Huntsman doing pretty much exactly what Rick Santorum did in Iowa. He basically moved to New Hampshire in the fall and proceeded to Go to Work every day, repeating essentially the same pitch speech around three times a day for months. His grand total of events in the state: 170.

Assuming that those events started with a smattering of people and increased to as much as 350 by the final day of campaigning (according to media reports), it’s possible that as many as 20,000 people have met Huntsman on the road these past few months (MATH). (To throw some more numbers your way, McCain won 88,571 votes in the 2008 primary.) Granted, none of those people had the faintest idea who this guy was before they showed up to whatever school cafeteria. But there is sufficient evidence that once in the guy’s presence, people liked what they saw.

Who are these people, besides being generally non-Romneyites? They appear to be independents, moderates, disaffected Obama supporters. They are people who might consider themselves fiscally conservative but socially moderate or socially liberal. They are people who don’t trust Romney, who find Romney to have evil eyes and a fake smile and Huntsman to be a kind of Revenge-of-the-Nerdsy cross-country star dad who helps you with your math homework. They like his diplomatic cred. They like his worldview. They are young people, a demographic of New Hampshire that seems largely divided between Huntsman and Paul. (According to Joe Scarborough, Huntsman is going to have to depend on unhappy Obama supporters — including the young ‘uns — to take his surge from a statistical uptick to an actual phenomenon.)

In the battle for second place between Paul and Huntsman — these two are vying for the 41 percent of New Hampshire that considers itself independent — another advantage Huntsman has is that many of Paul’s supporters appear to be DUDES. But don’t think Paul’s peeps haven’t noticed this. They’re on it.

Paul has one potential strike against him: the tasteless attack ad that Paul supporters allegedly put out last week (the origins of the video have since come into question, and the Paul camp has denounced it). But we can’t underestimate the power of the Paul fanatics to lift their guy into a solid second place. Paul has more money and name recognition than Huntsman. He’s been around the block. He’s still leading Huntsman in most polls.

But oooooh, does New Hampshire love to surprise us. For what it’s worth (fine, nothing, except for the fact that he might be smarter than a lot of humans), Isak the Goat has made his decision: Huntsman in 2012. [Washington Post]

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Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

View all articles by Liz Colville

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183 comments

  1. Come here a minute

    Huntsman might just squeeze out some right-wing votes before they realize he wears the funny underwear too.

      1. PalinzADummy

        Unlike Bishop Willard, Huntsman is not an officeholder of his cult. But I'm not as interested in his religion as in his economic and policy positions, and his treatment of corporate polluters, which was noticeably lacking during his two terms as Governor of Utah.

  2. Barb

    …. Paul fanatics to lift their guy into a solid second place.
    Yep, he's #2 in my book. A solid and stinky #2.

    1. PalinzADummy

      Considering that they're attempting to attract the apparently unfriendly female demographic by abusing them for being overly emotional twits who just want welfare handouts and are swayed by the MSM and by Obama's youth and stunning good looks compared to their shriveled old prune of a candidate, I sorta suspect any "lifting" the Paultradz do will only result in leakage all over their pointy little heads. Geez! It's a good thing they're not trying for careers in marketing, innit?

  3. hagajim

    "They are people who might consider themselves fiscally conservative but socially moderate or socially liberal"

    If they are socially moderate or socially liberal then Huntsman is not for them. Mormons are neither and cannot be by virtue of their religion – and magic undies.

    1. lizcolville

      Huntsman says his religion is really a general spirituality that includes Episcopal, Buddhist and Mormon ideas. JUST SAYINNNNNN

      1. hagajim

        Yep – and I'm a Catholic Priest who likes little boys. Mormons are mormons no matter how far they have strayed.

        1. PalinzADummy

          I don't know if he actually *said* it, but the CNN asslickfest over here indicates that one of his daughters was married in the Episcopal church, and that he is raising his adopted daughters (Indian and Chinese) in the "faiths of their land," or summat.

          1. CthuNHu

            Which is a crock of santorum. Being raised with knowledge of Indian culture and religion is not the same as being raised Hindu. His kids are being raised Mormon, (though not real strictly, e.g. coffee and alcohol are fine; probably about as strict and serious as your average bibulous Episcopalian) and it was some paranoid nutjob website that invented the idea that Asha was being brought up Hindu and Gracie, uh, Buddhist? Confucian? Communist?

            Actually, pretty much every parent would like to raise their kids Confucian. Doesn't usually stick, though.

          2. PalinzADummy

            The media loves the guy (why? He photographs well?), and finds it important to let the hoi polloi know that even though Mr. Huntsman has scary magic undies, his scary magic undies are not as scary as Bishop Willard's scary magic undies. Or sump'n.

            Raising your kids Confucian, or neo-Confucian? I understand the outcome tends to be mostly raising authoritarian unimaginative litte drones, with the occasional spectacularly nonconformist loon cropping up from time to time. Although for all that all authoritarian types are undoubtedy drawn to Confucianism, at least in Chinese culture, there has always been a strong thread of rebellion against the Confucian ideal.

          3. HateMachine

            There's an even-odds chance I'll be living in Japan in my (extremely hypothetical) child-rearing years, where the prevailing religious attitude is "Whatever" or "All of the above, why not."

    1. V572 the Merciless

      Makes as much sense as voting for Mittens because he has a palatial oceanfront home there. Are voters anywhere really that stupid?

  4. memzilla

    "…another advantage Huntsman has is that many of Paul’s supporters appear to be DUDES…"

    Vote For John Huntsman And Become A Great…

    Nope, can't do it. Rhyme Fail.

  5. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Huntsman is logical and believes in using facts to set policy. In other words, he doesn't stand a chance as a Republican. Where is his birth certificate? Probably in China with his Maoist overlords.

  6. GregComlish

    If Obama is going to compete for NH in 2012, he's either gotta fix the economy or start loading up on mousse

  7. slithytoves

    But oooooh, does New Hampshire love to surprise us.

    After all, it is the Land of Many Uses. I can attest to that having often used the rest stops and liquor stores on my way to Maine.

        1. PalinzADummy

          I was actually hoping someone could provide me instantly with the link to Jon Huntsman speaking in Chinese. I'm afraid I've already seen NEVERTOBEPresident Newt's putative Chinese ambassador, and all I can say is, they'd better guard him every second if he goes over there. He's highly likely to be mistaken for a pig and roasted on an open spit if they leave him alone for a few.

          1. reliefsinn

            Think he spoke some Chinese when he was on Letterman or Stewart, one of those guys.
            Don't have the tee-vee up here in NH, going to listen for the town crier announce the names of the winners tonight.
            I'm rooting for Kefauver.

  8. SayItWithWookies

    Huntsman is the new Dubya — in that the electorate thinks he'd be the guy they'd most like to have a beer with. Also, he doesn't drink.

    1. Mumbletypeg

      I guess when it comes to picking his running mate and generating a bunch of related schwag to hawk online, there won't be any Biden-style beer koozies. Perhaps instead … sippy-cups? Shirt pocket protectors? Hard to think of items that appear wholesome yet meet the cult standards.

      1. SayItWithWookies

        I'm thinking maybe a tasteful scroll of the Eight Immortals — it's both Chinese and an instructive parallel to the Eight Dipshits who ran in this seemingly endless steeplechase.

        1. PalinzADummy

          Very nice, lei! I could use one of these to go with my Kuan Yin. A nice, big print.

          My hint appears to be falling on deaf ears. Hmph. Perhaps I'll try a little closer to home.

    2. V572 the Merciless

      Huntsman sounds good until you listen to him. When you do listen to him, you learn he's anti-choice, anti-Medicare, anti-Social Security, and a spoiled rich kid with an entitled whine in his voice that makes you want to kick him in the 'nads.

  9. edgydrifter

    Huntsman has two HUGE liabilities to overcome in the Republican primaries:
    1) His use of correct grammar and pronunciation
    2) His relatively non-insane stump speeches

    Those are both serious show-stoppers for any Republican hopeful.

  10. SexySmurf

    Huntsman's name recognition has increased so much that the cashiers at Papa John's have stopped calling him "Mister Chinky Eyes."

  11. WhatTheHeck

    Huntsman is moderately moderate. How can the rabid republican base accept someone like that? The guy is running for the wrong three-ring circus.

    1. PalinzADummy

      He's not as moderate as he pretends to be. He came out in support of the Ryan budget plan long before other Republicans did. He wants to END — not reform, unlike other Republicans — Medicare. And for a facts-based, rational, supposedly sane guy, the fact that he would support the Ryan budget, which will cost us more and give us less, is questionable, at best.

      1. V572 the Merciless

        He's from Utah a Mormon, I think that alone answers the question.

        //fixed.

        And the answer is: until 1978 blah people were benighted sons of Ham and unworthy of priesthood in the Church. Then they were okay. This is the kind of clear thinking devout Mormons can bring to the political issues of our time.

        1. Biel_ze_Bubba

          So it's not just MIttens … the whole freaking church flip-flops when it's convenient to do so.

          1. PalinzADummy

            Reading about the Mormon cult might give you a few scary ideas, Biely. Consider, if you will, that all observant Mormons are required to wear the sacred undergarments. Consider that these (at least until recently, and, maybe, still) may only be purchased through the cult. Consider that most people change their underwear daily, and need, oh, at least three or four pair, which they go through in a year or less. It's a flimflam, a scam, a racket for siphoning the $$ off the suckers, and one of the most efficient I have ever come across.

            Perhaps a religion needs a couple of centuries to develop any kind of moral philosophy, but in my readings on this cult, I have not yet been able to discern anything over and above what the various flavours of Christianity offer.

          2. Biel_ze_Bubba

            Yeah, it's on a par with Scientology as far as the scam factor goes (Joe Smith and L. Ron Hubbard had a lot in common.) But give 'em a millenium or two, and even the most ludicrous ideas take on a sheen of respectability. I've seen it happen before.

          3. PalinzADummy

            (Wipes sweating brow) At least you haven't profferred up a new and painful treatment in wire mesh undergarmies for the masses. For this, among other things, we are eternally (honest!) grateful.

      1. PalinzADummy

        Not clicking the linky, eh?

        No, it's because the schlub failed to file timely with the required notarized signature (his own — oy!). This is the umpteenth time some dimwit Republican would-be-nominee has fucked up this way. Makes me wonder if their heart's just not in this race.

          1. PalinzADummy

            It's been one long string of missteps, this entire three-ring circus. At what point can we stop pretending they're "missteps" and start eliminating candidates?

  12. not that Dewey

    When in the goats of huntsman events it becomes necessary for Greta to fill some dead air…

  13. Joshua Norton

    The leading candidates are all driving off the cliff together like Thelma and Louise, leaving Jon Huntsman to pick up the pieces.

    And Jon really could beat Barack. That is scary.

    1. Tundra Grifter

      JN:

      I do think Gov. Huntsman just makes too much sense to ever receive the nod from the GNoPee.

      And there's The Dirty Litle Secret. A large number of evangelicals simply will not vote for a Morman. Period. They won't admit it – who in the world will tell a stranger from a polling company on the phone "Sure, I'm a bigot"? But it remains a fact.

      They will lie in public and then just sit out the election in November – voting for local candidates, perhaps, but not for a Presidential candidate.

    2. PalinzADummy

      Jon might, not could. If the stenographers of the media cooperate. If they actually do their damn jobs, not so much. Jon is not a nice person at all, although he sure plays a nice person in the media. I don't have anything *personal* against the guy, but he was for the Ryan Budget before most other GOPigs. The CBO says the Ryan budget will cost us more and give us less. He's also waffled on climate science after his initial bold statements. In fact, he pretty much walked back his position on global warming, and now says more research is needed (like we'll survive long enough to make that likely). He also thinks Medicare should be ENDED — a position no other Republican took until he articulated it. And he believes corporate polluters should be self-regulating.

    3. Gainsbourg69

      It's highly unlikely that he'll get the nomination because most Goopers think he's a pussy. In fact, the reason most of them are willing to overlook Newt's cozying up to Pelosi and Fanny-Fred is because he is the only one they feel would put up a fight against Obama.

  14. Tundra Grifter

    Sen. Ron Paul is kinda like Jesus Chris – don't judge them by the people who claim to be their supporters.

  15. Goonemeritus

    “Many of Paul’s supporters appear to be DUDES.”

    Why do most world events conspire to make me ashamed for having a penis?

      1. GOPCrusher

        I still haven't gotten out of the habit of when traveling outside the country, telling people that I'm Canadian.

        1. PalinzADummy

          Sometimes it's a matter of safety! Over dinner at a friend's home in Ireland, we were berated roundly by several Irish and English people about the re-election of Gee, Dumb? Yeah, Bush! Partner took to wearing a "We're Canadian, eh?" tee shirt for a while. One partner. The other one IS Canadian.

  16. chascates

    Huntsman may place 2nd or 3rd but he'll be history come South Carolina. Check out his list of issues: http://jon2012.com/issues
    Nothing about God, gun rights, or gay marriage: the GOP's trifecta for the base. And Huntsman, like many of the others, didn't make the ballot deadlines in other states: http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012

    It'll be down to Romney, the candidate without visible fangs, and Santorum, the great white hope of the evangelicals. Socialism FTW!!

    1. SorosBot

      And with Paul consistently getting his 15-20% of diehards aPaulstiles, not enough to win but enough to mess things up a bit.

  17. OzoneTom

    You have shown remarkable restraint, so I'll have to say it: "…and surging from the rear, Rick Santorum!"

  18. meatlofer

    After he pleasured himself, with the goat,the goat turned and kissed him. A good Goat will do that ,you know!

  19. MissTaken

    Huntsmania may infect NH, but it's going to die a quick death in SC. Once word of his majik underwear, illegitimate Chinese and Indian daughters, and the fact that his previous employer was a blah muslin gets out his campaign will be over quicker than you can hang up on a Karl Rove-esque robocall.

    1. SorosBot

      Exactly; Mittens may be facing an uphill battle in the South, but having worked for Obama alone makes Huntsman completely unacceptable to the base.

  20. CapnFatback

    Isak the Goat has made his decision: Huntsman in 2012.

    Well, it makes sense that Isak would be brought in to dispatch with Paul. We all know what he and his brothers did to that other nasty troll under the bridge.

  21. paris biltong

    Are we supposed to discuss this topic as if it mattered? As if we actually cared?
    Statistical upticks in this ridiculous Republic primary? Can't we switch over to sports, movies, chess, whatever?

    1. IceCreamEmpress

      Exactly. It's like having a discussion with my littlest goddaughter about which of her dolls would win in a fight.

  22. prommie

    Hey, Wonkette, where's the comment on my very own tub-of-lard Governor's latest misogynistic outburst, when he yelled at the female protesters last night "blow me?"

    1. FakaktaSouth

      Oh my God. Was that before or after he was crying about the dead assemblyman in the bathroom? (NJ Politics > most other politics)

        1. FakaktaSouth

          Between the way those boys hit last night and that convo on the sweater vest post about DrakkarNoir I am beside myself in love with manlymanlymanliness. That was incredibly fun. Roll Tide Indeed.

      1. PalinzADummy

        Good question. Why the fuck do the media seem to feel the need lately to tell us about the manly tears our manly men of politics seem to keep dropping? I never saw such a great big blubbering bunch of babies in my fucking life, jezus god. WTF is the matter with them? They cry at the drop of a hanky.

        And yes, I'd really like to know if Mr. More-Chins-Than-The-Hongkong-Phone-Book took time off from his blubbering to beg young women to suck his (fat-girdled) inch of dick. The Angry Inch indeed!

      1. prommie

        Ahh, I missed it, it was commented on yesterday, I was on my feet for 6 hours yesterday, performing my one-man-show for a packed audience.

    2. SorosBot

      We talked about that yesterday! Although I still maintain that he was offering to go down on her, with that fat and sloppy mouth of his.

  23. V572 the Merciless

    Statements with questionablecredibility often begin: "According to Joe Scarborough…" He's ahead of Donna Brazile or Susan Estrich, though, in that he actually won an election or two.

  24. HateMachine

    …many of Paul’s supporters appear to be DUDES. But don’t think Paul’s peeps haven’t noticed this. They’re on it.

    By 'on it' you seem to mean going into comment threads and courting the wimmenz with cask-strength misogyny. Great plan, guys. If there's one thing bitches love, it's generalizations based on gender.

    1. PalinzADummy

      To Paultardz' Surprise, Bitches Won't Vote For Old Man Who Wants All Up In Their Uteri.

      What the fuck is the matter with these cunts, do they think they're PEOPLE or something? It's just like all those nigrahs complaining about the Good Doctor's RACISM when we ALL know that it's BLAH people who are the REEL rasists.

      Read the comments on the linked story, if you dare. Every Paultard in the country seems to be logged in to WT.

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