Donald Trump may have upended political projects in 2015, but at least one well-known political voice in New Hampshire isn’t convinced that the bombastic billionaire will be able to pull a win out of his hat come February. The publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, one of the most influential newspapers in the Granite State, penned an editorial published Sunday saying that voters are too smart to let Trump ride his divisive rhetoric to a primary win there.
In the opinion piece, Joseph McQuaid, who has been the publisher of the paper since 2000, wrote that the notion that Trump’s swell of TV coverage, promising polls and a punditry increasingly accepting of him will win him the Republican nomination shows that cable news likes good ratings, wants Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton to face off with Trump and, well, doesn’t know New Hampshire voters that well.
“That is an insult to the intelligence of Republican voters,” McQuaid wrote. “Beginning right here in New Hampshire on Feb. 9, a great majority of them will disabuse him of that notion.”
To McQuaid, Trump is offensive and, given his recent foray into criticizing Clinton for her bathroom break during a debate, a bit childish. He takes things too far, McQuaid continued, as exemplified by the attacks on protesters from his supporters he tacitly backed, his mockery of a reporter with a physical disability and his dismissal of the war record of Arizona Sen. John McCain. Trump, McQuaid wrote, is simply not mature enough to be in the White House.
McQuaid previously made clear who he thinks should be the GOP's guy. In late November, in an editorial by the publisher, the Union Leader endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for president. The effect has been dramatic for Christie, who has made New Hampshire a central strategic point in his campaign. His polling in the state has more than doubled in the month since that endorsement.
Christie is tied for third place in New Hampshire, but if the trend says anything, he could soon find himself in second and catching up to Trump by the day. He takes in 11.5 percent of the vote, according to averages of polls put together by Real Clear Politics. That puts him in a virtual tie with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has seen a small decline recently. Ahead of him is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has hovered between 12 and 13 percent of the vote since mid-November. At the head of the pack is Trump, who has fluctuated unpredictably since he took first place in polls there in July. Trump currently takes in 26.5 percent of the likely GOP vote in the state, ahead of his nearest competitor by 13.7 points.