In terms of races there are some twists the Governor’s race Gov Sununu is considered pretty safe by, Real Clear Politics and given the strong economy he should be, although there is word that some grass roots folks are still upset about the Transgender bill he signed and angering the base is what cost Scott Brown a seat back in 2014. The Governor had a table but did not attend
In contrast New Hampshire’s entire Congressional representation to congress is now filled with Democrats and while Real Clear Politics has no polling they give the edge for the Dems to keep both the open seat in NH-1 (ranking leans dem) and NH-2 which includes Nashua (Likely Dem) however the gives the left sent a pair of Democrats to congress for the last several years. However the Trump boom is a piece of the equation combined with the degree that Democrats have gone over the top in terms of words and deeds, in my opinion is the thing that is going to give the eventual nominee whether Negron, Levenson or any of the others not in attendance an edge that the media is missing.
But for that we will need unity which is the message that Matt Schlapp of CPAC fame preached to the crowd in his speech, he reminded those in attendance that that conservatives might make up a good chunk of the electorate but we’d need a few more to bring us over the top.
My Camera tends to die at 20 minutes so I had to stop and restart which cost about 6 seconds of the speech
I spoke to him after his speech:
It remains to be seen if the GOP will be able to take his advice and maintain the house, but I suspect that if they followed Donald Trump’s lead of doing what he promises rather than equivocating they’d have a much better chance.
Note as I said the good folks at Granite Grok live streamed the event (you can seem me in the picture as I sat at the foot of the state filming. They also interviewed Matt and I’ll include that interview either in an update to this post or as a stand alone when it’s available.
Mr. Schlapp was kind enough to remark on the hard work he’s seen me to at CPAC and I’m grateful for those words of appreciation for my work.
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By now all of you are likely sick of my CPAC 2018 posts so you will be pleased to hear that other than a guest post (that needs integration of the graphics and the text) this post will close out my coverage of CPAC 2018.
My primary goal at CPAC was to answer some questions I had about the conservative movement and its relationship with the Trump administration after year 1. Here is what I found:
CPAC is Donald Trump’s event and will remain so as long as he is President and chooses it to be so:
The biggest difference between CPAC 2018 and CPAC 2017 was the fact that it was clearly a Donald Trump crowd that attended. Last year there were plenty of establishment types supporting different candidates and agendas and it wasn’t hard to find folks who didn’t care for Trump among the attendees. This year was very different, except in media the folks who did not support this president were few and far between or for the most part silent. This was a Trump crowd and as long as the president keeps deciding to show up it will remain primarily a Trump crowd and I suspect CPAC will act accordingly in terms of how it carries itself.
Ted Cruz has replaced the Paul Family as the other big presence at CPAC:
When I first came to CPAC it and the straw polls in it were dominated by the Ron Paul (later Rand Paul) folks who generally came en mass to vote for their hero. With Donald Trump in office, Ron Paul now retired and any Paul for President Campaigns on hold for at least a decade there is no sign that the Paul organization is trying to get young people there. However I seemed to constantly run into Ted Cruz folks. This is not a surprise as Senator Cruz remains one of the most popular speakers at the event but also because while President Trump full fury was directed at Senator Cruz during the campaign he has with a few notable exceptions governed to the priorities of the Ted Cruz Crowd. In fact one might even say President Trump has made the Ted Cruz base his base and while I’m sure the Senator and his supporters (full disclosure like myself) would be delighted to see a president Ted Cruz, as long as he is moving our priorities forward they will stick with him.
The single biggest star for Trump are the Tax Cuts:
While I got a lot of assorted answers on what the folks liked best about Donald Trump the overwhelmingly most popular things about him was the tax bill and the economy. The strong Trump economy which is in evidence is and remains his single biggest selling point among the CPAC activists with one exception from a particular sub group…
Evangelicals and Pro-Lifers are with him all the way:
…and that the Pro-Life voters of which I am one of. Pro-life voters are uniformly ecstatic about Donald Trump and the attention his administration has given to our cause. The religious people I talked to are willing to forget Trump’s past as they would any convert who has “seen the light” so to speak. As for the failure to defund planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare those I questioned on the subject lay the blame squarely at the feet of the GOP in general and Collins, McCain and Murkowski in particular in fact this keeps with a particular pattern…
The GOP not Trump is taking the hit for any failures:
It’s very clear that when it comes to the blame game the CPAC crowd gives Trump very little of it for the various legislative failures. The GOP get the lions share of this and I suspect this might be a real driver during the midterms in decreasing turnout for the party in an election that they need to win there is one exception to this.
The #1 complaint about Donald Trump are the Tweets (particularly in conservative media):
This is a subject where I depart from the majority of both CPAC attendees and particularly my fellows in conservative media. While I and several Trump partisans think the President’s Tweets are an invaluable tool to bypass the media to get his message out (making them react instead of him reacting to them) most of those I talked to dreaded his tweets. It was considered not only a distraction from his agenda but I got a real sense that supporters in conservative media dreaded him saying something untoward that they might be obligated to defend or discount.
The Democrats should have made a DACA Deal while they could:
I asked people about a DACA deal for the wall. While there was a significant amount of folks who disagreed the clear majority of attendees were more than willing to swap DACA for a wall. Once the president speech was given saying DACA was dead, folks concluded that they could get a wall without DACA and that opinion seemed to harden. The wall remains a sine non qua for the Trump folks and if they get it I suspect it would cover a multitude of sins and it seems to me the President would like to do something for the DACA crowd but it’s clearly the opinion of the crew that they don’t need to give an inch.
The CPAC crowd is more optimistic about the midterms that the party as a whole:
A lot has happened in the intervening two months but at the time of CPAC with the tax cuts starting to kick in the crowd there were feeling pretty good about the midterms. While the President warned about complacency it seems that warning wasn’t enough to get the optimism out of them but if the GOP wants to overcome the energized Democrats they will need more than a vague confidence of victory.
The CPAC crowd wants Trump to continue being Trump:
The final question I asked all there was this: How can President Trump help the GOP win in the midterms, the answer was almost unanimous: Keep doing what you’re doing. Trump votes like the Trump policies and as long as the economy keeps booming and jobs and wages continue to rise there will be voters who will think twice before turning to the party promising to raise their taxes.
The real question is this: Are the Trump voters energized enough to overcome both energized Democrats anxious to vote and Democrat machines that now know where they need to steal said votes? The answer alas wasn’t at CPAC, it’s in the individual districts and I think the it’s going to come down to the warning that the President gave about complacency. Fortunately for the GOP the Democrats are making it very hard to pretend that there are no consequences for defeat.
The second question is this, If the Trump votes aren’t energized enough to hold the house, who will get the blame? The media and the establishment will certainly blame Trump but who would the CPAC activist blame? The answer to that question will determine what CPAC 2019 looks like.
DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The story (blogged) so far:
My Camera battery died during the interview but I was also recording audio so to make sure you got his answer so I’m embedding the full audio which I recorded seperately
This is a catch up post I had initially put this soundtrack at the end of the interview with a still image but the sound didn’t sync right and frankly I haven’t had the time to fix it so in the interest of getting this up before my CPAC conclusions posts I offer it here and now.
There will be two more CPAC posts, my conclusion post and a special guest post which will go at a later date.
DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The story (blogged) so far:
For those of you who missed the post in question, because Scottie Neil Hughes didn’t make it to CPAC Vito ended up with the Cannoli Dutch Kitchen made special for her, the post about it is here and the video is here