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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Primary Challenge to Obama? Not In New Hampshire.

I’m pretty strongly on record dismissing as a media invention the idea that a serious primary challenge to Barack Obama is in the works, barring unforeseen developments.
Now we have some polling data from a state that would have to play a big role in any anti-Obama revolt, New Hampshire.
Magellan Strategies polled over 1000 likely 2012 Democratic presidential primary voters, and didn’t find much in the way of an uprising, at least as measured by hypothetical primary matchups. You may recall that Hillary Clinton won NH in 2008. She’s not about to challenge Obama in 2012, but according to Magellan, if she did, she’d be trailing 59-28. There’s been talk of Howard Dean taking on the president; he trails Obama in the poll 78-10. How’s about Bernie Sanders, who filibustered the tax deal that upset progressive elites so badly? He’d be in even worse shape in NH, down 79-8 to the president.
Keep in mind that NH is a state with a very robust progressive activist tradition, and few of the minority voters that serve as Obama’s hard-core base. Moreover, two of the three hypothetical challengers in the Magellan poll are from the neighboring state of Vermont. If big names like Dean and Sanders can’t get traction against the incumbent in NH, it ain’t much happening anywhere.

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