Congratulations to The Donald for winning last week’s Republican primary in New Hampshire; he won it fair and square (by contemporary standards, if not by ordinary folks’ standards of decency).
But The Curmudgeon has a problem with all of the attention paid to the New Hampshire primary and the consequences of not performing well there.
And no, it’s not how incredibly unrepresentative New Hampshire is of the country as a whole. He already had his say on that matter, and if you want to revisit that curmudgeonly spleen-venting, go here.
This time around The Curmudgeon has another beef: the place is puny.
How small? So glad you asked.
Donald Trump won the Republican New Hampshire primary with 100,000 votes.
In a country of 300 million.
That gave him 35 percent of the Republican votes in the primary. And while yes, it was more than twice as many votes as John Kasich, his nearest competitor (45,000 votes), calling a man who won 35 percent of the votes a “landslide winner” is some pretty serious overstatement.
Trump’s 35 percent total? That’s 100,000 votes out of about 250,000 votes cast.
250,000 votes in a country of 300 million.
(From a New Hampshire electorate that cast 64 votes for our old friend Poor Bobby Jindal, by the way.)
And the effect on what really matters in presidential primaries – convention delegates?
Trump won 10 delegates.
And how many delegates are needed to win the Republican nomination?
One thousand two hundred thirty-seven.
MCCXXXVII. (You see, Miss Wolk and Miss Brugler? The eager kid with the freckles and glasses really was paying attention.)
So by winning 35 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, Trump won 0.8 percent of the delegates he needs to win the nomination.
Less than one percent.
Yet based on this teeny, tiny piece of the U.S., two candidates, Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina, had to drop out of the race. Not that The Curmudgeon will miss either of them (and we may not have seen the last of them, since both would be good running mates for John Kasich and possibly Jeb Bush), but he really thinks the results of an election in a tiny, insignificant backwater like New Hampshire should not be permitted to have such a profound impact on an entire country’s choice of who will become its next president.
It’s not right and it’s not fair.