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S4 Ep16: New Hampshire Weirdos for Nikki? (with Tim Miller)

January 20, 2024
Notes
Transcript
Nikki Haley is on the ropes after losing Iowa by 30 points, but there’s one group of voters who could bail her out: New Hampshire’s undeclared and moderate Republican voters. The problem? Even though they vote in Republican primaries sometimes, they hate Trump, they’re pro-choice, and some watch MSNBC. Republican voters in all of the other states? Not so much.
This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:06

    Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Focus Secret Podcast. I’m Sarah Longwell publisher of the Bulwark. And this week, we’re taking you to New Hampshire ahead of the presidential primary this coming Tuesday. Now with Donald Trump winning Iowa by around thirty points and Ron DeSantis finishing a distant second. Nikki Haley is really on the ropes, but New Hampshire holds her last glimmer of hope.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:34

    In the latest real clear politics average, she is down. Wait for it. Only thirteen points. We saw some Democrats crossing over for Nikki in Iowa, but New Hampshire is one of the only places where it’s really an ingrained art of the political culture for independence to cast strategic votes in primaries. And in twenty twenty four, that means a lot of moderate or left leaning folks are pulling Republican ballots.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:01

    And that’s mostly who you’re gonna hear from today. Because there have been some recent polls that show Nikki Haley closing in on Donald Trump in the Granite State. My guest today is my dear friend and colleague at the Bulwark, Tim Miller, whose spent his share of days traips him through the snows of New Hampshire in January on the Republican campaigns of John huntsman and Jeff Bush. Tim, Thank you so much for being here, my friend.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:25

    I had a house in Manchester even for about three months. So No way. I was a local at Republic. Unfortunately, closed down Republic. It was my favorite restaurant.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:33

    They’d always give me a hug when I came in. I ate there every day. And so I I know my New Hampshire. I know my Granite Staters, and I do have to tell you that this podcast is usually depressing. And I got to listen to these people on the plane last night, and they are my people.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:48

    You know, the people were focus grouping right now. You know, I kept being like, you go, girl. Like, yes. Like, everything they said, I was vibing with. So that’s positive.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:57

    So you can thank Connor for not adding into your bio. The losing hopeless campaigns of John Hudson and Jeff Bush.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:06

    K. We had hope. Losing campaigns that had very little hope, maybe.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:12

    So do you understand Nikki and Ron right now? Like, forget them, like, the individual candidates. But what about the people working for them? Like, what is going through their minds right now? Like, I was reading an article this morning about Ron’s staff telling him not to get out.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:28

    You know? Skye’s gotta keep going.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:30

    Yeah. I was always the rain cloud on the staff trying to talk my candidate into coming to terms with defeat. I’ve written many concession speeches, and so you know, kind of doing the casual, waiting till the candidates is a good mood before handing on the first draft of the concession speech. So it’s hard for me to get in the head of Santis people that want to continue on the death march, but, on the Haley side, it is easy to talk yourself into outside chances hope when you’re on a campaign. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:57

    It just is for two reasons. One, you’re around people to give you hope. Sure. Just anecdotally Right? Like, in your bubble, it’s your donors, it’s your it’s your supporters, it’s your friends.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:08

    In a state like Manhattan, it’s so small. They really know these candidates, So, you know, Nikki’s walking down the street and people being like, go girl. Go, Nikki. You know? And so you can talk yourself into the fact that you have momentum.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:19

    Based on anecdotes and the people around you. And then secondly, it’s just like human nature, you know, ending a campaign is the end. Talking yourself into outside chances, bank shots, that’s just human nature. Right? Like, I wanna give myself a chance.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:33

    I wanna keep hope alive. Right? And particularly in this case, when you have a front runner that, like, has court dates every week, it becomes, I think, easier to talk yourself into that. So I think that’s the Nicki deal. It’s a whirlwind.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:43

    You land in New Hampshire, Like, it’s more media than you’ll ever get in your life, cameras in your face everywhere, Dutch journalists, you know, like, people from all the world, your media requests, you could do media all day if you want So if that element is kind of exciting too, you have the buzz of that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:58

    So, you know, what was interesting to me about the sort of DeSantis mentality, like, he’s skipping new nature. K? And he thinks he’s gonna make a stand in South Sarah Longwell, and he thinks what’s gonna happen is that Trump’s gonna be Niki like a drum in New Hampshire, the one place where she looks like she could really sort of maybe beat Trump or come in really close to him. Stavis thinks that when trunk trances Nikki, Niki drops out before getting humiliated into her home state, and it becomes the two man race that Ron DeSantis has always wanted. So Nudanchers do or die for Nikki, that’s one way to look at it, or who cares.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:34

    They’re all losing to Trump by thirty points. So To what extent do you think New Hampshire matters at this point coming off of a thirty point win for Trump and Iowa?
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:44

    The one thing that Trump has right, and Trump has people have right as they’re attacking Nikki for trying to bring in these Democrats and undeclared voters into the process, is that, like, that is unique about New Hampshire. Right? And so winning New Hampshire or doing well in New Hampshire on the back of a surge in these voters that we’re listening to today, undeclared voters, I think that that could be meaningful and just in the way of it extends the timeline of the primary. You know, maybe there’s dent in the Trump invincibility element, but, like, when it comes to actually being the nominee, winning with these voters is not the path to being the nominee. Because there aren’t a lot of these voters that we’re hearing from today in these states, you know, and you get to super Tuesday, you get down here to Louisiana, There aren’t a lot of people that sound like the folks in this group, and the folks in this group would just be Democrats in Louisiana.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:32

    Yes. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:33

    And so, like, that’s kind of the problem. Right? And so I think that that’s interesting. It could be meaningful in a bank shot way that these folks are not the path. You know, Nikki, winning on the backs of these folks.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:44

    Doesn’t say a whole lot about where the actual primaries give you.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:47

    Yeah. And so as you alluded, we actually fielded a group of twenty twenty Joe Biden voters who are open to voting in the GOP primary. So that’s thinking about turning out for a candidate like a Nikki or Chris Christie. That needs they are either registered as Republicans or undeclared. A lot of these voters were undeclared, but they were also super engaged, and they knew how much their votes mattered.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:13

    So let’s listen to how they think about voting in Republican primaries.
  • Speaker 3
    0:06:17

    I’m totally planning on pulling a Republican ballot, because it’s a vote against Trump. So if we can get another candidate if that’s not Trump, then we’ll see what happens.
  • Speaker 4
    0:06:31

    So I’ve always kind of flipped back and forth, but the last couple of times, I didn’t think voting in the Democratic ballot would make a difference. So that’s why I picked Republican. I was hoping enough independence hopefully vote for Chris Christie and can get that win over the other option.
  • Speaker 5
    0:06:50

    Although I’ve learned heavily democrat over my whole lifetime. Of almost always, though, the Democrat, I’ve been a registered independent because it’s the only way to play ball in New Hampshire. I probably will pull public invalid. My intention is strictly to vote against Trump. And I’m on a flip of the coin right now between Chris Christie, who I like, And Nicki Haley, who I don’t like, but I think has a chance to upset Trump.
  • Speaker 5
    0:07:17

    And it was even last night on MSNBCs were talking. David Pluff, who used to work for Obama, was talking, if anybody in the open vote states were the primaries, they should consider voting for Nikki Haley.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:30

    I actually think I was on with plot
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:32

    on this one. Because, like, this is another example. You we’re not gonna run into too many states after this. Were you here? Focus participants talking about what David Pluff was saying and just being on a for I’m listening.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:42

    You see.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:42

    Yeah. Name basis with David Pluff, not having to clarify who they were talking about, assuming everybody knows.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:48

    Yeah. So here’s what we did. So, you know, we did this group before Christie dropped out. And so Connor, our producer, went back to all of these participants, right, after Christie dropped out to see how they’re thinking about things now. And the first woman in that set said she was leaning toward Nikki Haley already, Second woman is leaning toward pulling a Democratic ballot instead.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:09

    The last guy that MSNBC viewer, who usually votes for Democrats, is leaning towards Haley. So I think it is funny that there’s this, like, MSNBC viewers were agonizing about who they’re gonna support in the Republican primary. And like you said, those kinds of people are in very short supply, which is the reason that while you and I have disagreed in our predictions towards, I think Nikki could win New Hampshire. You don’t think so. And I’m moving more to your camp every day.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:37

    I just guy let the whole VM run away with me sometimes. Yeah.
  • Speaker 6
    0:08:40

    That’s right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:40

    But what we agree is that this was always Nikki’s last stand because it is so unique in New Hampshire, and it’s just These voters understand in ways, even other voters in open primary states, don’t think about this the way New Hampshire voters think about this. Right? Like, there’s not other primary states where people are gonna I’m gonna go pull the Republican out. I’m gonna make a real stand, Brinkie Haley. I’m gonna vote against Trump.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:00

    Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:00

    Not at scale. New Hampshire is so different. And New Hampshire is so different than Iowa even in this regard. I’ve always been in New Hampshire partisan. I’ve been spending a lot of time in both states.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:09

    Of course, there are certain people in Iowa that take the process seriously. And on balance the average Iowa person is probably more in tuned than the average Kansas person or whatever because of the nature of the caucus. But, like, New Hampshire really is a different element where you anecdotally are constantly meeting people when you’re campaigning there on the streets and in coffee shops that, like, know a lot about politics. And the questions are very engaged and nuanced. There is something special about nature.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:36

    I think it’s just small enough and high education enough, to be honest. And there’s something in the water, and there’s a little more pride about the status that you do run into a lot of people who are, like, very strategic about their voting. And, you know, there are gonna be some of those political hobbyists in every state, but it it really feels like the one state where that happens at scale.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:55

    McCain Hansman, they did well there as well. Like, what is it about New Hampshire that lets these moderate Republicans I mean, like, literally every other state wants you to be as mega as possible. But this, like, new answer that’s creating this weird illusion.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:10

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:10

    Like, no. No. The party might be normal again. But the warm water can always done well there. Like, when is it about New Hampshire voters that makes that happen?
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:18

    Some of it’s just demographics. Right? It’s just higher education, pretty white state. Some of it is the nature of when you think about New Hampshire, I don’t know that a lot of people think about the fact that, like, Southern New Hampshire is really a Boston suburb.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:30

    Yeah. Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:31

    And that’s a big part of the state. Again, it’s a small state. Right? So if you have the area kind of south of Manchester to the Massachusetts border. A lot of those people, again, in the pre COVID days, at least, were commuted into Boston.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:42

    Right. And so you have a big Boston suburban group, which is naturally gonna fit this kind of moderate Republican then you just kinda have the out of date now, Crocheted, kind of flinty, northeastern, contrarian, libertarian ish, person, Vermont even next door still has a Republican governor, Phil Scott. It’s like a super moderate governor. So that muscle has been exercised in a way that it’s not in other states. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:06

    Charlie Sykes, Kristen Nuno. Like, these people exist there. And so they’ve failed to build supporters If these people lived in New Orleans, they would just be democrats. Right? And, you know, and so there’s been a grassroots kind of element to that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:17

    And then just this undeclared open thing. Again, I think that there’s a category of people that just because New Hampshire is so important and they have so much pride in their status that there are a lot of people that kind of do this every time. They’re like, we’re undeclared. We’re gonna read everything. We’re gonna decide which side to go for.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:34

    All three of those elements combined. Is sort of what makes it a very unique situation.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:39

    Yeah. I love these people. So what was interesting to me about this group is Right? Because they are not Republicans involved, they’re, like, really into Chris Christie, you know, because he was still in a race and, like, and I like them because he’s lighten up Trump. Nikki’s, like, a deviation over from Christie, because she kinda wants voters there, like, move on from Trump but still like Trump.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:00

    And so she’s got this weird, wanting to walk to catch these people too, the ones who, like, really hate Trump and wanna see him get lit up. So the people in our focus group were considering her, but they also had, like, real misgivings about her. And so let’s listen to some of the sound where I think they’re gonna talk about Nikki and even Christie, and then I’ll talk a little bit about how they’re thinking about their choices now.
  • Speaker 7
    0:12:23

    I believe it was early two thousand and tens, she had actually sponsored a bill that talked about life beginning at fertilization. So for me, no matter what politicians say or don’t say on the way to trying to get their candidacy, It’s more about their past history. So for me, she’s been anti abortion kind of all along in is just changing her tune to try and get the vote.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:53

    You know, I’m reconsidering now because of her pro life stance. Because I am pro choice, and that’s an important issue to me. But, you know, once again, I think it’s gonna fall to Who do I want other than Trump? I mean, Chris Christie, yes, Nikki Haley. I think that she may have more leverage right now might have a better position.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:21

    So to me, it’s going to be whoever can unseat Trump. That’s who I’m gonna vote for.
  • Speaker 8
    0:13:30

    Where I like Christy. I don’t like Haley. And I don’t really dislike Kayley. I I guess I don’t trust her. I don’t think she’s brave enough or strong enough.
  • Speaker 8
    0:13:41

    To do what’s right. But I think she probably would like to do what’s right, but she’s not big enough to fight the copeful of what people would want her to do. Yeah. I’m I was gonna say at the first debate, she came out saying that we had to find a consensus, and we had to work together. I think she said she’s pro life, but that’s not what the people want.
  • Speaker 8
    0:14:05

    And it gave me hope that there was a voice of reason in the room because the rest of them, except for Christy, were all, you know, just hating group, this group, this group, and this group, and pro life, and yikes, and then, she came off. And I said, well, wow, maybe there’s something to her. And so then as I watched her and as time went on, that’s when I decided I didn’t fully trust her.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:31

    Okay. I just wanna say in those clips were the sentiments that you hear over and over and over again from focus groups about Nikki Haley. I don’t trust her. Is one. They always say this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:42

    Although these voters don’t trust her sort of from a the left wing side, but a lot of Republican voters say this about making where they don’t trust her to be mad enough. They also talk about her being weak, which comes up all the time. I don’t know if that’s code for woman or what, but the weak thing comes up all the time. And then the other thing is the, I don’t hate her, which is, like, this damning with faint praise that voters, it’s, like, I don’t not like her. It’s just an expression of their complete ambivalence about her.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:13

    And so I wonder If Nikki Haley somehow wins New Hampshire, it’s gonna get a lot of people that are really not sold on her. But what strikes these that she actually doesn’t seem like a natural fit for New Hampshire. Right? Like, not the way the McCain would have been or huntsman with the street talk. Like, that’s new hampshire.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:33

    Her word saluting, equivocating this, you know, a happy devil to say slavery. She doesn’t feel like she’s in step with new hampshire even.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:40

    Yeah. So answer never, then I only get to the strength thing too really quick. But, Marco, right, I think is the closest analog to her. Yeah. There’s some differences, but So he gets crushed by Christie in that debate.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:51

    So part of this is related to that. But he ends up at ten and a half percent last time in New Hampshire fifth place. So I just think that that is some data evidence that, like, this model is not a great fit for New Hampshire. I think that she is right now riding on these the fact that the state is anti trump. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:10

    That there’s enough anti trump people that there are some people that are going with her that she wouldn’t have been their first choice. Right? And I think that she’s kind of combining those with some folks that do genuinely like her. And so I think that’s one element. But the interesting question is How does she excite these people?
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:24

    Right? Like, for her to actually win for your pony scenario to turn out, she’s gonna have to change the demo of the electorate. To make it more undeclared. I have a greater percentage of this group turnout. That’s what I keep being coming back to when I just kinda don’t see it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:41

    Listening to this group, You know, some of these people are gonna vote for. They just aren’t that excited about her. Avortion comes up a lot. I do think sometimes in Republican groups, the not being strong as co from woman. But in this group, it was an older woman who was, like, she’s not strong enough that she was talking about standing up to Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:57

    Yeah. Right? Did I just think that she’s too weak of a person to kind of say and do the right thing. And so it’s like, was there a way to kind of create a Christy Haley Hybrid that got enough of the Republican, you know, the Witt heirs may be Trump crowd and also excited enough of the undeclared. I don’t know.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:16

    But I I think that that’s gonna be a for her is that I don’t know that she’s gonna excite these independent people enough. Maybe she gets enough of them just because they’re like, wanna be part of the process. There’s no democratic process. She’s, like, the best or bad options kind of situation, but that’s usually not a path to, like, changing the makeup of an electorate. That you’re just banking on people voting for you because you’re the least bad option available.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:39

    Yeah. The thing I always think about with Nikki is, like, she’s very polished in her way. Like, she’s so, you know, I’ve if people say, like, she’s a good politician, she’s good out there on the stump. So she’s very put together. She seems nice.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:52

    And I think that that’s fine. Like, that can get you a little way when they’re, like, what kinda looks the part and It’s nice that she’s a woman. Like, there’s sort of some of that that makes her stand out. But at the end of the day, her inability to kinda stand in front of people and be like, this is who I am. No apologies.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:08

    Like, so many of her lines are and she does him over and over. She’s not always so quick with, like, a really good answer. She sounds very practical. So one of people say about her. Just a little bit of a depth, though, now in politics, is that she seems like a regular politician.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:22

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:23

    And in a different era, that polish would have helped her. And I think now it seems in on it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:28

    Yeah. And I don’t know if an everyone else’s names. Right? And the only example of a Haley candidate to win at modern New Hampshire would have been Mitt in twelve. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:36

    That he’s the neighboring state governor. So it’s like a home state. I mean, most of these people all knew him from from local news. Right? Besides him, you know, it’s McCain, it’s Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:46

    Those are the types of folks that did well.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:49

    Every media buyer knows this that if you wanna run ads and new hints, you gotta buy part of the Boston
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:54

    Boston. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:54

    Market. It makes it so expensive to like play in New Hampshire. So let me just ask you, do you think she makes it to South Carolina?
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:03

    I keep going back and forth. And part of it is I want her to for for the content. I kinda think so. And and just because of the rationalization elements at the start of this, is it’s like, There’s the delegate element. There’s all these things you can think of in your head.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:19

    The only case for not going to South Carolina is if she actually wants to be Trump’s VP. And it’s unclear to me if the VP thing is just part of her caution, and so she’s not answering that question because she doesn’t wanna make anybody mad, and she doesn’t want any trump voters to think that she wouldn’t or if she really is kinda eyeing it. Right? And that would be the argument for getting out, right, is to do well, but not win and to try to cut a deal. But if she doesn’t want that, I don’t know.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:46

    I think that she might wanna see it through. What do you think?
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:49

    It’s a tough call. I tend to believe. Just that humans or the human politicians, which is Yeah. But, like, they don’t like to get crushed in their home state.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:59

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:00

    Right? That that feels awfully bad. And so I am not a believer as our good friend, Jb, last is that, like, Nikki is a viable be choice.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:10

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:10

    There are plenty of boot licking Suck you by available who have never crossed him in ways Nicki has, you know, read plenty establishment ish while still being full manga and loyal to him. So, like, I just I don’t know why Nicki gets him something unique that, like, at least a botnick doesn’t get him. And so I don’t see her having a big bargaining chip. Also wonder it’s getting pretty vicious between her and DeSantis. I don’t know, living down there together in the twenties, and it does seem like they kind of wanna kill each other now.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:42

    So maybe she wants to stand and I’ll re speak to Stantis. I have no idea.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:46

    I mean, John Casey, you gotta remember, John Casey stayed in the two thousand sixteen race. For f?
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:52

    Still Ohio.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:53

    And so who the hell knows?
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:56

    Oh, and this is where, you know, with JBL and I would also to invoke him too much while he’s out here, but he kind of had this, like, Ron DeSantis is gonna drop out before Iowa. And I was like, no. Because he’s got too much money. And I think DeSantis, like, they gotta be low on farms at this point, but Mickey’s got this big infusion of cash that just came in. And so she might be able to afford to ride it for a little while.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:18

    Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:18

    And
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:18

    so maybe she wants to just outlast a status. Like, it seems like there might be value in being the last person standing against Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:25

    My one other thing on this to consider, sometimes you have to just consider basic human elements. My friends in that are not in Nikki’s current world but had used to be a Mickey world. They’re like, she’s bored.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:36

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:37

    You know, she likes the limelight. She likes the attention. Right? So, like, where where you might think that human nature might oh, you don’t want a month of punishment and pain. The other side of it might be that she doesn’t mind the punishment and pain.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:49

    People are talking about her, and it’s better than going home to Sullivan’s Island and being on Zoom’s.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:56

    Yeah, man. It’s run for something or mow the lawn. You know? Yeah. Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:00

    And, like, for a certain kind of person that you might as well just, like, kill them. Like, it’s, like, having Chris Christie is, like, that Like, Chris Christie had that important in his book about how, like, you leave the governor’s mansion or you go home and, like, the phone’s not ringing and secret service walks away and, like, Yes. Just being alone with your own thoughts makes you wanna go mad. I do wanna turn to a group of two time front voters that we also did in New Hampshire And we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the third guys still in the race around the Santos. He’s currently mired in the single digits in New Hampshire.
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:33

    I think he’s at five percent. And one participant we had, very succinctly explained why. Let’s listen.
  • Speaker 6
    0:22:42

    Punchable face, and I just don’t like
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:44

    them. Yeah.
  • Speaker 9
    0:22:46

    They’re all politicians, and therefore, to me, I don’t want nothing to do with them regardless of party or whatever they say I’m all set.
  • Speaker 10
    0:22:52

    I view him as a career politician, and I think that’s why I wouldn’t vote for him. I’d rather have somebody that I think would do okay as a politician, but also shows other traits other than just pleasing or saying that the things that the people wanna hear. And that’s how I feel about the campus.
  • Speaker 11
    0:23:11

    Oh, I loved it when he sent the immigrants up to Massachusetts.
  • Speaker 5
    0:23:14

    Just the ground.
  • Speaker 11
    0:23:16

    I thought that was beautiful. And that’s what they deserve too because they have taken in so many immigrants. It’s just overdone and it needs to be slowed down or stopped, and the wall built
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:28

    Those are the two time front owners. So I will say when I did, the two times Trump voting group, I was like, you know, even in Good Old New Hampshire, a lot of people love Trump. Like, there’s a reason why it There’s some chance for Nikki, but, like, the chance of him getting fifty percent here, also pretty good. And, like, they really hate DeSantis. Like, it’s, like, there’s trumpers, And then there’s this like other part of undeclared right leaning independent soft GOP moderates who kinda like Christie and Nikki, but, like, there’s no lane for DeSantis in New Hampshire for some reason.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:05

    Why is that?
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:06

    Yeah. Well, I focused Jonathan Last question on the demo of the New Hampshireites that the huntsman Kipes could get. But there is another part of New Hampshire Right? Like, New Hampshire has a big blue collar kind of element to it. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:20

    And if you kinda look at that map from twenty sixteen of where Trump you know, did a lot better than previous Republicans. It’s that appalachia, like, all the way through then the Industrial Midwest, but then it goes all the way up through Maine. And then Northern New York, you know, where where Stefanik is. Right? It’s like that type of person, a blue collar, maybe a former Democrat made an independent parole voter, Buchanan did well in New Hampshire.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:44

    Right? So I in this one tiny little state, these two things do exist together. Right? Like, the more erudite waspy moderates, and, you know, you’re more blue collar. I’m not gonna do any voice work here, but, you know, the kind of voice I’m talking about of the new englander that is gonna appeal to Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:00

    And Trump have huge rallies there in New Hampshire, and one kinda overwhelmingly in the state. So that does leave DeSantis in this real real sour spot. And and the other thing that it does continue to support listening to those voices is my idea that Had he just hit his entire campaign around the immigrant trafficking and, like, built a statue of himself trafficking immigrants. So it would have been a better use of money than national ads that he ran because that was the one thing these people did like about him. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:31

    Sad. But It
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:32

    is sad. It is sad. I will say the first guy who said that DeSantis has a punchable face, he commutes And he is part of that blue collar crowd and he was, you know, had that that kind of lost in his accent and he said it. And, you know, Sununu is endorsed Haley, but Kim Reynolds, who was extremely popular in Iowa. She had endorsed DeSantis.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:52

    Why didn’t that help him more in Iowa?
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:55

    Because endorsements work down not up.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:59

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:59

    Particularly at a presidential level. And particularly now with Donald Trump, It’s just like, people have made a choice based on Donald Trump for their own self. And they don’t really care what Kim Reynolds’s opinion is. And if Kim Reynolds on to scientists. There’s gonna be a handful of Trump cultists that that makes them like her less.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:16

    But a lot of people are just gonna be like, oh, well, okay. You know, I don’t know. She’s just she didn’t then get it. She’s a little too establishment. She’s still done a good job, but she just doesn’t quite see things the way I see.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:26

    I, you know, that’s from the focus groups. Right? You know, could it have worked in a different era where the candidates were more unknown. Could Kim Reynolds have been an important voucher for back in the twenty twelve race, you know, when the candidates weren’t quite as famous, maybe. But people aren’t judging Trump for themselves.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:44

    And so I don’t this is a new new endorsement. Like, the question is can this new endorsement help move Christie people to Haley? Yeah. Can he help me a validator for folks that think she’s too conservative on abortion and things like that. Maybe he can have an influence there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:01

    That’s an easier ask, right, to move somebody from Christie to Haley than from Trump to DeSantis. In a weird way. If that makes sense.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:07

    That no. It makes total sense. We did a Nikki episode the last time you were on with me. And one of the headlines, of it was is that people didn’t wanna vote for a woman.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:16

    Oh, yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:16

    And there was, like, one or two people that said that, listen to this two time Trump focus group, and when we asked about how they would feel voting for a woman.
  • Speaker 9
    0:27:25

    Don’t, like, take this the wrong way guys because, so just be prepared. Don’t like, wanna kill me after. But I don’t feel as though a woman belongs in the presidential seat. And I say that only because the other woman in here can hopefully can relate, but we think with our heart, mostly, over mind, and That’s not what we need right now. We need somebody like trump.
  • Speaker 6
    0:27:51

    Man’s job, no offense to any woman out there. I just feel like it’s a man’s job. They’re gonna make tough decisions that can’t have any emotions involved. They’re the commander in chief. They have that red button that they’re disposable at all times.
  • Speaker 6
    0:28:06

    I just kinda feel like it would be better in the guys’ stand for the suitcase to you know, the metal suitcase, the ball in the world. No one I’m having a bad day at that time of the month or whatever. Oh, no. It’s just kinda how I feel.
  • Speaker 11
    0:28:22

    I think a woman does have a chance right now because diversity, you know, that stuff. I don’t think she’s gonna follow what she’s talking about. I think we’re getting a partial smokescreen from her I don’t fully trust her. She’s telling us all what we wanna hear. But what is she actually going to do?
  • Speaker 11
    0:28:46

    I’ll stick with trump so far. I don’t trust a woman.
  • Speaker 12
    0:28:49

    Gotcha.
  • Speaker 13
    0:28:50

    I did like her for a long time, and it was a toss between her And then when I started seeing the commercials on the gas tax, I was questioning, you know, what else would she do that? You know, she wasn’t ever going to raise tax. And what else would she change her mind on?
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:08

    We’ve had lots of people say things like this in the groups. This is the first one where someone’s been like But maybe she’s on her period. And then what happens? Like and also just, like, all the women in the group were like, yeah. You can’t elect a woman.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:21

    You know, because you know who’s totally rational and never makes any decisions based on emotion. Donald Trump, You know, that guy is just he is a c s steel box. He’s like a technocrat almost. He’s just a slave to the data. Never makes an emotional call at all.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:41

    I wanted to like people. That makes it really hard. Time of the month makes it really hard.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:47

    Sir, those are tough ones. I gotta say it’s funny, in the other group, the Biden voters who were gonna go pull about stop Trump. One of them said, I don’t think this country is ready to elect a woman. Now she she liked the idea of, woman being president, but she is, I think, correctly assessing her New Hampshire compatriots by saying that she doesn’t think the country’s ready for a woman because I gotta tell you, I don’t think I would have said this before this cycle. I think I would have said, you know what?
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:15

    Actually, I think the first woman president is probably gonna be a Republican. And I’m not sure I think that anymore. I’ve talked about this with Antelzer a little bit last week, but just it’s almost like because Trump has given permission, just to say whatever, that maybe that they’re being more honest, like, that they would have not said that stuff out loud before. They’re certainly saying it out loud. I’ve heard it so much about me Yiley from the two John Trump voters.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:39

    You can overstate any problem. Right? And that’s true about sexism. It’s true about everything. But, like, Nikki, I’m at CPAC, and she’s on stage going The Democrats say we’re a sexist party and, like, we’re not a sexist party, and then you hear, like, somebody else shut up c word.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:55

    And she tweeted this week or said, I forget about how America is not a racist country. Has never been a racist country. So is that an interview? Never been
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:03

    a racist. Never been.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:04

    Never is tough because hesitate. It’s tough if you’re kinda actually listening to the people.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:10

    Alright. I don’t wanna get out of here without letting people some of this Charlie Sykes sound, because it was funny to me how, like, in the tank these guys were for Christie. And I assume he realizes that the people who really liked him, like his fifteen percent were basically coming from Markrats. People who liked hearing him blow up trap. So let’s listen to them talk about Christie.
  • Speaker 12
    0:31:29

    Chris Christie. He speaks the truth. He’s not gonna win, but he’s getting the message across, and he’s not a coward. The rest of them are cowards. They’re totally afraid of this retail criminal.
  • Speaker 12
    0:31:39

    And, you know, they said they’d pardon him. I’m very familiar with his campus. It’s ridiculous. He tells what luck it is. He was a good prosecutor.
  • Speaker 12
    0:31:49

    He did put Jared Christian’s father away, which shows the family tree there. If I go into the primary, it’ll definitely be for him.
  • Speaker 5
    0:31:57

    I’m with Christie too. I think he stands up. He sees it like it is. I think he’s got a pretty good track record. I think he’d do well.
  • Speaker 5
    0:32:06

    Do I think he’s gonna win? Probably not, but you can always hope. And it is an absolute vote against Trump.
  • Speaker 8
    0:32:12

    It seems to me like the Republican party and the Democrat party have switched. And the Republican Party wants government to tell me everything and control me and the Democrat party is saying live and let live. So I’m afraid to buffer any of them at this point, except I think Christie would let us be. I think he’s, you know, the old fashioned Republican.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:36

    So that last woman talked about live and let live in New Hampshire. Generally kind of a live and let live kind of place. Live for your die. Like live for your die. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:45

    This is the thing though. I love what she said about Republicans used to be the live and let live people, and now they’re the ones that wanna tell you what to do. And Democrats are the ones who think you know, you should be able to live and let live, which to me, that strikes me as about right. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:59

    I think probably during COVID, maybe some people would have some pushback on that, but, it’s nuanced.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:04

    There was some anti Sunu sentiment around how he handled the pandemic.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:08

    Were more live than let die during COVID. You know? Yeah. But I don’t know if Chris, you realize this, I assume he has to because you need all the people to come to your events. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:19

    They talk to you afterwards. It’s easy to figure out the warning sign for me from Haley when I was there for the circus, like in October when her little surge was starting. I went to one of our events, and several people recognized me. And I was like, not a good sign for you, Nikki. But, like, that they use the types of people that are showing up to your events.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:36

    Right? Nobody clocked me at the Vivic event in Crawford County Iowa. I can tell you that. And so the nature of the parties have changed. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:46

    And so maybe it means that Chris Christie is an independent now that has more appeal to democratic voters. Right? It’s just like there are a lot more people that are kind of in the mold of the type of governor Chris Christie was. That now choose to vote for Democrats. And I think the woman at the very end of that clip kinda summarized that well.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:05

    Yeah. So it’s funny all of the people in this group would stick with Biden in a general election, between a Trump bid rematch. And they’d all vote for Biden over Haley too, because as one person said, I don’t want Trump pardoned. But about half the group would have voted for Christy over Biden. Do you think if Nikki, if she were to somehow win?
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:25

    Do you think she put New Hampshire in, general election contention?
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:28

    I don’t think so.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:29

    Like, do you buy the Nikki Haley head to head polling that she would crush fighting by, like, seventeen points?
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:34

    No. Because the people from your two time Trump group, some of them would go down the other way. And then there’d be partisanship that would be happening. A lot of voters who say that for Nikki in the middle right now would be educated about our abortion position that don’t know, like, people in this group really knew. You know, I think that they’re probably versions of women like those in this group Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:51

    Who live in Ohio or whatever that would say right now they’re for Haley and then the ads would start about how she is for a six week abortion I think that she would struggle, with that. I thought it was interesting. The people that said that they’d vote for Christie, at least one person over Biden was because of Kamala. So that has kind of sunk in a little bit. She was like, I like Biden better than Christie, but I worry about that Biden would die.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:11

    And I like Christy better. I don’t she didn’t maybe say that explicitly, but it was very clear that that was the point that she was trying to make. No. I think that the map is different with Nikki, obviously, than Trump, but I don’t think that it extends to somewhere like New Hampshire.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:24

    Yeah. Alright. Just before we get out of here, I’m gonna give you a chance to talk about Chris Sunu, just the smidge. Because good old governor Sunu, in both the groups. The voters like Sununu.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:36

    They all liked how Sununu, like, appears on Boston sports radio. Like, they find him to be a regular guy. And, obviously, I think Nikki Haley felt glad to get his endorsement. But Chris Sanuno, he’s on my bad list. Because he keeps being asked whether or not he would vote for Trump and support Trump if trump’s the nominee.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:57

    And he’s starting to do this thing where he’s like, why do you keep asking me that? Obviously, I would support him. He’s the Republican, and we can’t live under Biden’s disastrous policies. Do you wanna have the last word on Sununu or do you want me to rant?
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:08

    I’d like to hear your rant so we can just do both. I’ll just be brief. Like, my thing is I get that. I would probably like Sununu if he is my governor. Governors are different.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:16

    I don’t know everything that he’s done as governor. I’m sure I’d have some complaints, but I think that he’s probably been a perfectly good governor. What he’s bad at is being a Republican pundit. Because he projects his wishes and his desires onto reality, and we need more than anything. We need people like Chris Nune who’s speaking truth.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:33

    About what is happening and expressing his frustrations rather than I don’t know whatever this kind of game’smanship that he’s playing. Like, Chris can assume a new governor seems fine to me. Christine, who’s CNN pundit, I find very bad. I’m just trying to think about the right word. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:49

    My problem is the conflation the two. Right? So I agree with you. He makes a bad pundit, which is why he says, like, Trump’s never gonna win that nomination. I mean, the number of anti anti pundits people who wanna stay on the Republican side, but don’t like Trump, like Sununo, they have no fundamental understanding of Republican voters.
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:06

    They just don’t or they’d realize that actually of course, trucking with the nomination. But that’s not what bothers me about Sununo. I agree with you. I love me. It’s a moderate, dem state, Republican governor.
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:17

    Those are my sweet spot. Hell again, Sununu. But when normal Republicans like Sununu, who clearly don’t like Trump, endorse him, And probably Nikki Haley when she eventually just breaks my car and endorses trap after she drops out of this race. That is the worst possible thing that can happen because They create a permission structure for normal voters who also don’t like Trump and also think things are wrong with them to be like, well I mean, you can’t vote for those Democrats Joe Biden’s a disaster, and I take it on faith because normal Republicans that are old school that I still like like Chris Nuno and Nikki Haley tell me it’s okay. They’re gonna endorse that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:53

    And I’m not sure that there’s anything more dangerous than when the normies see fit to build that permission structure.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:00

    Amen, sister. Amen. I got nothing to add. Amen. Amen chorus.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:04

    I’ll have plenty more rants to that. Each time one of them endorses Trump officially, we we can reprise this.
  • Speaker 6
    0:38:10

    Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:10

    I get angrier and angrier as this number goes on.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:14

    Yeah. I think, both of us will. Alright, man. I really appreciate you coming on doing new enhancing. You’re the best.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:20

    And thanks to all of you for listening to another episode of the Focus Secret Podcast. Go rate and review and people find this on Apple iTunes. She’s, you know, because Tim’s on, everybody’s gonna go and be like, Tim’s my favorite.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:34

    It when you’re ready and reviewing. More soon.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:38

    Alright. Thanks, buddy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:39

    See you.
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