With election results from New Hampshire just a few hours away, one of the many dynamics in the extraordinarily fluid Republican presidential race is the impact of absentee ballots.
Many of those ballots were cast prior to the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, which could mean that the brief post-Iowa momentum enjoyed by Sen. Marco Rubio may not be much of a factor.
Republican activist and freelance writer Dennis Lennox, writing for IJ Review, points out that winning the absentee vote in the Granite State often breaks down to which candidate is most organized at the grassroots level.
Lennox, an aide to the Ted Cruz campaign, wrote this:
Bush, Christie, Cruz, Kasich and Rubio are running the best organized
campaigns in New Hampshire. Their campaign operatives and consultants
are old pros who know absentee voting can make the difference in a
Good campaigns know not only who generally votes absentee, but will
target them with mailers and telephone calls until the ballot is
returned to local election officials.
And if each of the so-called establishment candidates have a strong
absentee voting operation then there might be little practical
difference between who finishes second, third, fourth and perhaps even
fifth. (Recall that Joe Lieberman claimed his fifth-place finish in
the state’s 2004 Democratic primary was actually a three-way tie for