TO: New Hampshire democrats & independents
FROM: Massachusetts democratic Super Tuesday voter
RE: your primary decision
DATE: February 2, 2020
Hey New Hampshire presidential primary voters! There seems to be one thing almost all democratic primary voter agree on. That is we need to nominate the candidate that is most likely to defeat Donald Trump. If you agree with me on this, please consider the following:
The key to retaking the presidency lies in winning in the Midwestern states we lost on the last election. A point on which there is also wide agreement. Most notably those states are Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. I’d add Ohio to that list. But, let’s not quibble. So, the simple question is which candidate has the best shot at returning those states to the democratic column? The answer is also simple. Amy Klobuchar.
As many of you know by now, Senator Klobuchar has won by wide margins all across Minnesota, including in those parts of the state carried by President Trump. Hilary Clinton only narrowly carried Minnesota, as it is a Midwestern state that has an electorate with many characteristics similar to those of the key states Clinton lost.
But drill down and take a look at the key group of voters needed to retake those states. Those voters are suburban republican women. Not long ago I attended a fundraising event for Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin. She is one of those newly elected democratic women with a national security background, CIA, who won a very close election in 2018, turning a formerly solid red district to blue. There were a number of elements to her success. But what she stressed most was her ability to capture the votes of just enough republican women to win with 50.6% of the vote. That’s what we need to do in the coming presidential election. Klobuchar has the strongest record of successful bipartisan legislation in the Senate. That likely to appeal to Republican women. Who better to win their votes than Klobuchar, a woman who has done it before?
But what about Buttigieg? He has run a brilliant campaign. He is an attractive candidate who claims a similar ability to win Midwestern votes. However, drill down again and look at the evidence. Buttigieg is the Mayor of a college town that has elected only democrats since 1972. Winning in South Bend demonstrates nothing about national elect-ability. But Buttigieg did run statewide in Indiana for Treasurer in 2010. He got a whopping 37.5 % of the vote. What is demonstrated is that in his home Midwestern state he has little vote getting ability. Conservative as Indiana may be, it has elected Joe Donnelley, Evan Bayh, and other democrats to the Senate. Were Buttigieg to become our nominee he will almost certainly fail to carry his home state. He actually has little record to campaign on as Mayor of South Bend. He will likely have great difficulty winning other Midwestern states as well.
So here is my plea, as a Massachusetts Super Tuesday voter. Please send me Amy Klobuchar! Yes, I know we also have a strong woman Senator from Massachusetts. And, I love Elizabeth Warren. But I go back to the elect-ability consideration. Warren has not demonstrated ability to win votes across party lines. Though she defeated a republican incumbent, we are possibly the bluest state in the country. And she fared poorly in those conservative areas of the state that more likely mirror the parts of the Midwest we need to win. It’s in your hands now.