It’s easy to forget, but there actually are Republicans running against President Donald Trump to become the 2020 Republican nominee. Bill Weld is still in it. Joe Walsh technically dropped out, but he was still on the ballot in New Hampshire on Tuesday night. A 72-year-old “hardcore constitutionalist” named Mary Maxwell is also in the race, at least in the Granite State. There’s even some dude named Zoltan Istvan, who apparently secured a whopping 48 votes in this week’s primary vote.
But the big story is not that Trump faces serious competition for the nomination, because he clearly doesn’t. Weld, his biggest challenger, only managed to come away with 9% of the vote on Tuesday night in New Hampshire. No, what’s remarkable is just how MANY voters came out to support Trump – especially considering that his position as the 2020 nominee is one of the biggest certainties of this entire election year. By the time the precincts were reporting 96% of the vote, Trump had earned 127,937 votes – more than double what Obama got in 2012 when he was running for re-election.
“Enthusiasm for @realDonaldTrump is through the roof!” tweeted the president’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale. “With approximately, 70% of precincts reporting, President Trump has surpassed the New Hampshire Primary vote total of every incumbent President running for re-election over the last four decades.”
Parscale’s brag is not hyperbole:
- President Donald Trump in 2020: 127,937
- President Barack Obama in 2012: 49,080
- President George W. Bush in 2004: 52,962
- President Bill Clinton in 1996: 76,797
Trump hit the media for ignoring his big win: “Wouldn’t a big story be that I got more New Hampshire Primary Votes than any incumbent president, in either party, in the history of that Great State? Not an insignificant fact!”
Surely Trump’s massive turnout (along with Bernie Sanders’ good night on the other side of the race) was on MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’ mind as he got depressed about 2020 on Tuesday night.
“I’m a bit frustrated, and I’m not the answer to all questions,” Matthews said while covering the primaries. “I’m just not tonight. I’m a little frustrated because I don’t know what this all means.”
Matthews said that Democrat voters, nationally, were not ready to turn the economy upside down in a socialist revolution.
“They just want to be secure in their own economy, in their own lives and see their kids once in a while. If that’s the case, Trump is going to be tough to beat. So I don’t know. I think in either case, it’s going to be tough to beat Trump,” Matthews lamented.
You’re not right all that often, Chris, but you’re right this time.