Sanders will win New Hampshire. Can he win by double digits?
At this point, even the most optimistic in the Hillary Clinton campaign realize that they have no chance of winning New Hampshire. They technically don’t even need to; with sex Super Delegates already pledged, Sanders will have to get over 2/3rds of the votes to technically beat her. That’s not the real issue.
Presidential campaigns are all about momentum. With most southern primaries coming up, New Hampshire represents the springboard from which the next month’s campaigning will be launched. If Clinton can keep her loss down to a single-digit percentage, she will lick her minor wounds and storm through the upcoming states. If she loses bigger, she may have to campaign harder in Nevada and South Carolina to make sure her victories there are decisive before the March swing begins.
For Sanders, a double-digit win in New Hampshire represents validation for his campaign. Despite doing well in the polls and drawing a virtual tie in Iowa, his campaign simply hasn’t received the type of respect it deserves. Most pundits on both sides of the political aisle look at the Sanders campaign as a speedbump rather than a roadblock on the way to Clinton’s anointing. A 10%+ win and he’s in better shape. A 15%+ win will make some start questioning whether Clinton has what it takes.
If he can beat her by more than 20%, people will start recalling her catastrophic collapse in 2008 and wonder if this is history repeating itself.
Technically, it’s not. In 2008, Clinton lost the minority vote. As fate would have it, this year she’s stronger with minorities but weaker with Caucasians. Yes, it’s a strange political world we live in.
New Hampshire will either be Sanders last hurrah or it will be the neon sign saying, “look at me and take us seriously.”