Word on the ground in New Hampshire is that Team Hillary knows they are going to lose and lose big. The campaign is prepared to lose in NH and recover in SC, where Hillary is leading Bernie by a huge margin. Hillary has already turned her attention to the general election, and for good reason.
In New Hampshire, non-aligned voters are allowed to show up and vote in either primary, and they comprise a huge portion of New Hampshire voters (including Republicans and Democrats). There’s a very real possibility that Team Hillary will be encouraging these people to come out and engage in some operation chaos in the Republican primary.
What would that look like? Well, Hillary clearly wants to face Trump in the general election, since Trump is the only candidate she beats head to head and the only candidate who is more unlikeable than she is. However, encouraging her people to vote for Trump would not help Trump since Trump is expected to win handily. The best way to help Trump get the nomination would be to muddy the field behind Trump.
What this would look like would be for two or more of the “establishment” candidates to have strong showing tonight, such that they have a plausible claim to going forward. It would be beyond Team Clinton to tell her people to go out and vote for Kasich and Jeb tonight, to convince both of them to stay in it through South Carolina (and maybe Super Tuesday). If that happens, Hillary gets to face Trump and likely wins. If the field narrows after tonight, she faces Cruz or Rubio and likely loses.
The smart play for Hillary and her supporters tonight is to give up on New Hampshire and throw some chaos into the Republican race.
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