The subject of this piece is a recent commentary given by television veteran Tucker Carlson, previously with Fox News. His platform of choice was ‘X’, where he elucidated his thoughts on the strong performance of former President Donald Trump at the Iowa caucuses. The country observed the New Hampshire primary this Tuesday, and Carlson used this opportunity to advocate a return to traditional voting methods, as epitomized by the approach taken in Iowa, known as the ‘Hawkeye State’.
Tucker Carlson, in his characteristic style, expressed his curiosity at the intense aversion some people bear for Donald Trump, an aversion that often borders on hysteria. He suggests this topic deserves closer scrutiny than it currently receives given the tumultuous political climate. ‘What if we reverted to the old-school method of holding elections as previously done in the country, wouldn’t that be an interesting experiment?’ Carlson postulates.
Carlson offered an image of how this process would look by recalling a time when voting was a uniform, manual process. He envisions a situation where everyone takes to the polls on the same day, with identification in hand just as we do at the airport or a liquor store. He argued that electronic voting machines would be a thing of the past in this envisioned voting process.
In this ‘retro’-style polling process, as imagined by Carlson, there would be neither absentee ballots nor drop boxes. Surprisingly, the individuals who would serve as your poll workers might be familiar faces from your local area. ‘These poll workers might be your neighbors, not enforcers paid by tech tycoons from California,’ Tucker hypothesized.
The stalwart television figure moved on to stress the personal freedom inherent in voting–the ability to ‘choose’ the names inscribed on the ballot paper. Contention on judge involvement limiting voter’s choice wouldn’t feature in this envisioned election process. He stated, ‘You, the voter, hold the power in deciding for whom your vote is cast.’
Carlson also mentioned the counting of votes in this throwback scenario. Once the casting of votes is completed, no external force can halt the count – that would simply be illegal. ‘The election results would be known within a couple of hours, and you’d feel pretty confident that they were accurate. This used to be our norm, wouldn’t it be intriguing to relive it?’ he pondered.
Drawing a direct line between this traditional style of voting and the decisive win by Donald Trump in Iowa, Carlson noted that the former President’s victory in the Hawkeye State was nothing short of spectacular. Reporting a margin of more than 30 points, Trump’s triumph dwarfed the previous record by a considerable extent. Amidst victory celebrations, Carlson put forth this question, ‘Doesn’t the success of this traditional style of election underscore its effectiveness?’
With evident relish, Carlson recounted the spectacle of the Iowa caucuses: it was not a closely fought competition but rather a stunning upset. ‘Trump’s Iowa victory was akin to the Viking invasion of the Irish coast, leaving nothing but smoldering huts in its wake. Chris Wallace looked as though he was on the verge of illness,’ he jests.
In celebrating Trump’s impactful victory, Carlson was confident in his prediction that Donald Trump is likely to become the Republican nominee. ‘His victory was not just a win but a sweeping triumph, breaking records,’ he elaborated. However, even in the midst of his praise for Trump, Carlson predicted potential scenarios in which Trump’s path to the nomination could be obstructed by unconventional means.
He hypothesizes a situation where Nikki Haley becomes the Republican nominee purely because the voters are left with no other options. The conjecture continues with DeSantis withdrawing due to financial constraints, thereby retreating back to Florida. ‘At the same time, liberal donors would unite to back Nikki Haley with limitless funds – a circumstance I can see unfolding. More importantly, what if Trump ended up behind bars? In that scenario, Nikki Haley would clinically secure the Republican nomination,’ Carlson shared.
Gearing up for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Trump, who might secure the 2024 GOP presidential nomination with a win, is expected to excel in the state. A recent poll conducted by CNN out of the University of New Hampshire indicated that Trump stood far ahead in terms of support among the New Hampshire Republican voters.
The same poll suggested a rise in support for both Trump and Haley since the previous poll in early January. However, despite Haley’s steady gain, the distance between her and Trump has widened rather than narrowed, reinforcing Trump’s dominance.
Similarly, Trump’s opponents have long looked to New Hampshire as the most likely battleground to thwart his quest for a consecutive GOP nomination. Haley enjoys a considerable support base among moderates and undeclared voters. In addition, she garners more support from degree-holders than Trump.
Despite the different demographic groups skewing in favor of Haley, these groups together form a small part of the typical GOP primary voters’ pool in New Hampshire. Trump, on the other hand, enjoys widespread support among self-identified Republicans, conservatives, and non-degree holders.
Something to note is the strength of the commitment from each candidate’s supporters. A striking 88% of Trump’s supporters are firmly committed, while only 74% of Haley’s supporters hold the same level of loyalty. This results in a significant chunk of voters strongly backing Trump, against a lesser share feeling the same way about their commitment to Haley.
In relation to the undecided voters who will be key in the forthcoming primary, around 51% are leaning towards Haley with 28% favoring Trump and a mere 14% inclined towards DeSantis. Interestingly, irrespective of their own choice, most New Hampshire Republican primary voters believe it’s Trump who will come out on top in the contest.
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