NH: The Polls Were Right | Steve Berman

There’s a deluge of hot takes this morning, so I’ll be short and to the point. First, the polls were right. The polls were right in Iowa and they were right in New Hampshire. That means they’re likely right in South Carolina, where the RCP average shows Trump with a 30 point lead. Possibly Haley could narrow that, but her chance of winning is about nil. Haley has vowed not to quit after losing New Hampshire by 11 points. Ron DeSantis also vowed to stay in, right up until he suspended his campaign.

Many folks and political analysts think Haley is finished and should pack it in. But she shouldn’t. This has nothing to do with high-falutin’ political talk of “let the voters decide” and “we don’t want a coronation.” Trump voters are too numerous and too amorous of their candidate, and they do want a coronation. The voters have spoken so far, and continue to speak. I think that shortly after Super Tuesday, the delegate battle will be clear, unless something extraordinary happens.

I think Nikki Haley should stay in for practical reasons. First, if the last remaining challenger exits, then the GOP might as well disband and call itself the Trump Party. You might think that’s already happened, and to a large extent, it has. But there are still rules, and delegates, and a convention. If Haley goes now, all those things will be moot, with Trump running like an incumbent. You might say he’s basically an incumbent, but he’s not.

Trump faces a lot of jeopardy if he doesn’t win in November. His prospects are poor. With Haley in the race, Trump has to be more disciplined and not give in to his worst instincts to enable some of the less decent people among his supporters.

If Nikki Haley quits, these elements will become emboldened to be more radical. The results of the 2024 election will be secondary to their desire for Trump to win. There has to be some place for those who believe in decency to place their vote, their money, and their trust. Without Haley, those conservatives who support her simply become an anti-Trump effort, and we know that results in more radicalized voters.

Nikki Haley has to stay in to demonstrate that the “establishment” is not some mob, but an actual political party dedicated to the rule of law.

One more point: the primary elections that Trump wins are not rigged, are they? If they’re not, and the same officials run the November election, and Trump loses, why would they not rig the primary but rig the general election? Maybe Democrats want Trump on the ballot just to beat him in November? But if that’s true, then did Trump really win? I say the elections, including 2020, are valid. If Trump wants to win, he has to accept the results, good or bad.

Without Haley in the race, the primaries are meaningless, and the 2024 general election becomes more vulnerable to charges of fraud, proven or not. We don’t need another 2021. We don’t need four more years of prosecutions. Keep Haley in, and let’s play according to Hoyle.

The polls were right, and the election was not rigged.

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.

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