New Hampshire Independents May Control Fates of Trump and Sanders

Dec 31, 2015 · 462 comments
E.B. (Oakland, CA)
Clinton would likely beat out Trump, but against Bush, Christie, and Kasich she would probably lose; and against Rubio she would be beaten handily. Bernie Sanders has a lot more credibility and a lot less baggage to bring to a general election that is pitted against establishment candidates; and while he's currently considered the underdog against Hillary, I see him as much more competitive against any given Republican nominee.

The DNC is clearly biased against Bernie, and so is the liberal mainstream media (NY Times, CNN, etc.); but he has the support of a growing grassroots movement, as well as a lot of progressive groups. Bernie is capturing the imaginations of young people, as Obama did. Many rank and file Dems are stuck on Hillary out of force of habit and ingrained cinicism; but just as Bernie supporters would vote for Hillary in the general election, Clinton supporters (and more!) would vote for Bernie.

In summary, Bernie Sanders 2016!
Sail Away (Friendship)
PBS's documentary "In Defense of Food" with Michael Pollan makes a very effective case that we no longer buy and eat real "food", because everything is processed until it is so artificial, unnatural and unhealthy, that it's not fit for human consumption. Today most of our food is was run through a factory taking everything out and then adding back in artificial shapes, colors, tastes, nutritional items and preservatives. Its fake and damaging to our physical and emotional constitution.

The same can be said for much of our political system and most of our candidates. Its all processed, fake and unhealthy. I have been a Republican, an Independent and a Democrat over my lifetime trying to seek real solutions to real problems in the towns, cities, counties, states and country that I have lived in, always trying to elect the least "processed" candidate for the most real needs that I felt we faced. If you believe that whole real foods from a garden are better and healthier than manufactured, artificial, boxed and wrapped ingredients, then Bernie Sanders is the closest candidate we have to a home grown natural, no manufactured processing, no boxing and wrapping, real live person running for office. All other candidates are cornflakes.
HJ Cavanaugh (Alameda, CA)
Some voters seem to view these primaries, if not the general election, not that much different than voting for professional sport's all-star teams, or selecting your favorites for the Oscars. But that is probably not much different than it has ever been. As long as we retain the one person one vote concept and more of us actually chose to employ this important privilege we will be OK.
Bruce Olson (Houston)
Many people of both major parties call these voters spoilers.

The objective of any citizen, whether he or she be a Republican, Independent or Democrat should be to influence and determine the final winner of any general election through his or her vote as long as the vote is conducted legally and the voter is qualified to vote under those legal standards.

As far as I am concerned what some call spoiler votes are no more spoiled than those cast by ignoramuses who vote based on rhetoric and "gotcha" lines more than knowledge or a person's apparent ethics and respect for those against whom he or she is running.

Our Constitution establishes that public offices are selected by vote of people. Political parties are mentioned nowhere in the Constitution as part of the process. As far as I am concerned the states are out of line regulating how a non government political party selects its candidates to run for election, including setting the voting dates and establishing the voting qualifications of voters to vote in its private selection process.

Perhaps America would be better off selecting its candidates in other ways or if these primaries are to be state regulated, establish federal standards to at least standardize how the various states run their primaries and/or caucuses.

As it is our politics is a grim joke like so much else that has become a grim joke in the last 30 years, to wit: healthcare, gun control, immigration, voter suppression, wealth & tax inequality.
magicisnotreal (earth)
I think Mr Sanders has the right idea and focus for improving the nation and solving problems at all levels.

As for Trump he is the epitome of the worst parts of the 1970's culture.

His is the mindset that keeps itself dissociated from accepting blame or getting ones hands dirty by being tricky and technical with language and never ever being specific by pretense of ignorance all the while ignoring the glaring fact that the person doing so must be well aware of what it is they are avoiding acknowledgment of to successfully do so.
It's a 1st cousin to coded racist language and other manipulations by people whose appeal is to wrong headed socially unacceptable ideals and beliefs.
MyTwoCents (San Francisco)
I wouldn't go quite this far:

"Bernie Sanders has zero shot at the nomination. Absolutely zero."

I'd leave out the "absolutely."

But since Bernie has zero chance of winning the nomination, a lot of disgruntled Democrats probably will "protest-vote" for him in the primaries. Once he's out, of course, those same disgruntled Democrats will vote for Hillary in the general election. They'll deny vehemently that they will, but in the quiet solitude of the voting booth that's exactly what they'll do.

Happens every time. Nothing special this time.
MyTwoCents (San Francisco)
Well, of course:

"My inner Anarchist wants a Bernie versus Donald general election."

The polls show Sanders would beat Trump –– which, I think, is the main reason so many Democrats devote so much time and ink to Trump. The same goes for Hillary Clinton (though her margin over Trump is lower than Sanders' margin). Neither of them matches up all that well against other opponents, of course (notably Rubio), and so the Sanders and Clinton campaigns prefer to focus on Trump.
Don (DE)
Truth be told, the only candidate that Hillary has trouble with is Rubio, whom Real Clear Politics said could beat her, according to polling. The same goes for Carson. The question is, will the Repubs have enough sense to nominate him?

And why aren't the Repubs, and the Rep[ub media, focusing on Rubio?
MyTwoCents (San Francisco)
"And why aren't the Repubs, and the Rep[ub media, focusing on Rubio?"

Probably because they'd like to win the election, and they know Trump can't get them there. The Republicans are probably happy for now that the Democrats are focusing on Trump and leaving Rubio alone.
JW (Palo Alto, CA)
In a primary such as New Hampshire it is difficult to choose one person of either party to vote for. I have watched several of the Republican and the one Democrat debate. On the Republican side I find most of the candidates lack the polish that one needs in the new international work that must be done--there is no Kenedy or Kerry. Only Clinton and Bush seem to know how to at least figure out which fork to use at a state dinner.
You may think this does not matter. However, the US is no longer insulated from such necessities as we were during the days of Andrew Jackson. I also want someone who is able to stand up to Israel and its demands for ever more for them and less for the displaced Palestinians.
I deplore the positions of Trump. I see not a person who has Presidential stature, but a rich (I wonder how much of that $10 bil he claims to be worth is leveraged?) boy who needs to grow up. He is a bad example for young people. How many wives has he had? A Trump White House might make that of some other residents laugh and wonder what all the fuss was about regarding their other activities.
gunste (Portola valley CA)
Republicans who court their "base" will alienate the Independent center. As in New Hampshire, the Independents have 30-40% of the vote and we do not like the doctrinaire demagogues who appeal to the Freedom Caucus and Tea Party in general. America is no place for extreme right or left wing legislators. Independents are most likely the more thoughtful voters and they prefer the centrists.
Seneca (Rome)
The clamoring for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is America's version of the Arab Spring. We want our democracy back. Nobody really believes they'll win or, if they do win, make a difference, but it just feels good sticking it to the man and the status quo establishment.
eusebio vestias (Portugal)
Thank you Mr Bernie Sanders I Agreed Hillary Clinton 2016
Dennis (New York)
The key word in this headline is: May. A lot of scenarios are possible. This may happen, this may not. There are occasional upsets but scientific prognostications have become increasingly sophisticated despite a gullible public who questions their validity.

Leave this task to the experts like Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight site. In 2012, he was 50 for 50 on the Electoral map. The NYTimes has an admirable crew on board, folks steeped in the science of statistics not here-say and anecdotal stories. Madison Avenue is able to analyze the public's consumer preferences. Political strategists do the same.

Primaries and elections are rigged games. They always favor the house. Do voters realize they choose a delegate not a candidate to represent them at the convention? They pledge but are not obligated to vote for the candidate even on the first ballot. To top this off, each party has a curious Catch-22 phenomenon called Super Delegates. These are party elders, members of the establishment who possess enormous clout in the nominating process. They exist in numbers large enough to decide the nominee. Neophyte voters may think they're picking the nominee. Does one honestly think Republican and Dem leaders would leave that decision to the Lumpen Proles?

Right now, Hillary has almost a thousand Super Delegates committed to her versus Bernie's dozen. For the Dems, the primaries are an afterthought. That a fact, Jack.

Russell A Miles (Durham, NH)
This article attributes a quote to my father, Russ Miles, that paints him as a potential Trump supporter. I called my dad when I saw the quote to make sure he had not lost his marbles. His actual statement to the reporter was, "What I think about Trump cannot be printed in your newspaper". The quote used is actually from another patron at the local Dunkin Donuts that morning. As a vocal critic of Trump my dad is going to get plenty of ribbing from his buddies at the coffee shop. Thanks NY Times!
jpduffy3 (New York, NY)
The way things seem to set up this time is that the undeclared voters will be the spoilers rather than making a positive contribution to the election process.
Bruce Olson (Houston)
"Spoilers" are citizens with the right to vote any way they please.

The objective of any citizen, whether he or she be a Republican, Independent or Democrat is to influence and determine the final winner of any general election through his or her vote as long as the vote is conducted legally and the voter is qualified to vote under those legal standards.

As far as I am concerned what some call spoiler votes are no more spoiled than those cast by ignoramuses who vote based on rhetoric and "gotcha" lines more than knowledge or a person's apparent ethics and respect for those against whom he or she is running.

Our Constitution establishes that public offices are selected by vote of people. Political parties are mentioned anywhere in the Constitution as part of the process. As far as I am concerned the states are out of line regulating how a non government political party selects its candidates to run for election, including setting the voting dates and establishi9ng the voting qualifications of voters to vote in its private selection process.

Perhaps America would be better off selecting its candidates in other ways or if these primaries are to be state regulated, establish federal standards to at least standardize how the various states run their primaries and/or caucuses.

As it is our politics is a grim joke like so much else that has become a grim joke in the last 30 years, to wit: healthcare, gun control, immigration, voter suppression, wealth & tax inequality.
Jennifer (Massachusetts)
All this would be fine if the election was really one person, one vote.
Dave S. (Somewhere In Florida)
"Independant" voters call themselves that, because it sounds better than "fickle."
RDA in Armonk (NY)
Somebody has to explain to me the logic in allowing someone who does not belong to a particular political party to vote in the primary of that political party. If I were allowed to vote in the Republican primary, given they are all bums I would just vote for the candidate who I thought would have the weakest chance of winning in the general election but wouldn't blow up the world if he were to win. Is that what it's supposed to be about, though?
Fred (Kansas)
The closest era in America history is the late 1890's when the oligarchs contral companies and government. Today the rich control government and buiness does does whatever they want. We need another Teddy Roosevelt. I am sure they is one among all of Republical running for President.
carlson74 (Massachyussetts)
Excuse me but there is no comparison between Trump and Bernie. Bernie's message has not changed since he got into politics and not the same as the ignorant rantings of Trump. The constant comparison is the media lumping them together by the media is brainwashing the public to derail the Sanders campaign.
The failings of the past 35 years and whenever the Republicans have ruled since 1931, is the problems the country is facing and it time we change direction not go with the same failures as before.
Without Social Justice there is terrorism, slavery and hatred.
Ellen Oxman (New York New York)
Bernie Sanders is winning fans on the campaign trail — by flying coach.

Supporters of the rumpled Vermont senator have taken to posting snaps of Sanders crammed in among his fellow travelers as he jets across the country in his uphill effort to defeat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

A stream of images are posted under the hashtag #SandersOnaPlane — including one showing the Brooklyn native sneaking in some computer time while sitting between two passengers.

“I’m voting for the guy willing to sit in the middle seat,” wrote one admirer in an image that has been widely shared.
Richard Grayson (Brooklyn, NY)
Reading these comments, I make one conclusion: People who comment on New York Times articles have nothing in common with New Hampshire voters. Most of these comments are worthless partisan pitches for their candidate. not any kind of interesting analysis that I had hoped for. The comments from New Hampshire voters in the article were fascinating; those in the comments section, not so much (not much at all).
Dev Martin (Vermont)
“I don’t want Bernie Sanders to be president,” he said, “but I’ll vote for him anyway.”

Nice closing sentiment. I noticed you can see the writing on the wall, NYT. I also noticed you've started priming your readership on how to interpret his win. For shame. Do you ever give it a rest? Nevermind I'll google it. Nope, you never do. At least we have HuffPo and TYT. I'm too claustrophobic to live in an echo chamber. You should be too.
pong (New York)
Clinton didnt get endorsements this season from Cheney, Rice and Beck? Scratch that Glenn Beck endorsed her last year...the Democratic party is a disgrace, thankfully Sanders contrast has shown millions of Democrats what has been manipulating them for decades...
vincentgaglione (NYC)
If so many independent voters with a perverse sense of motivation indeed affect the outcome of the New Hampshire primaries, then in fact they are meaningless.
Softel (New York)
Did you guys check with the big boss before you wrote this article. Don't you know there is a black-out on any positive mention of Bernie Sanders until after he loses the New Hampshire primary? Don't you guys understand his wife is a "fellow-traveler". Big mistake. This guy could do real damage to the status quo. Don't let anyone know what he has been saying. How about another article (make it long) about Jebbie and his new strategy for defeating the Donald by buying more positive press coverage?
Anne-Marie Hislop (Chicago)
I cannot understand for the life of me how so many of my fellow citizens can support Mr. Trump who is expressing hate-filled, bigoted, xenophobic views right and left. I keep looking at their faces wondering how such nice seeming people could think that way. Evidently I had a much higher opinion of the American voter than is warranted.
AACNY (New York)
Anne-Marie Hislop:

"...expressing hate-filled, bigoted, xenophobic views right and left."


The answer is staring you right in the face. First, you must remove your politically correct blinders.

Stating that our southern border should be closed and illegal immigration staunched is neither xenophobic nor bigoted.

Stating that we need to stop immigration from certain Middle Eastern countries until the Obama Administration has a vetting process that actually works is neither xenophobic nor bigoted.

These are common sense statements. Quite frankly, there are many Americans who would look you in the face and wonder how you have drifted so far from reality that you can no longer think sensibly.
Larry (Chicago, il)
It's because he's right and speaks Truth to Power
RADF (Milford, DE)
@Anne-Marie Hislop
"I cannot understand for the life of me how so many of my fellow citizens can support Mr. Trump who is expressing hate-filled, bigoted, xenophobic views...."

The real question you need to ask is "How can so many people view Fox News and believe what they see and hear?" The big challenge to this country has been the dumbing down of the American citizen/voter. When only 60% of the population engages in voting, and maybe not even that during the mid-terms, democracy is undermined by extremists, and educated people know that extremism (whether right, left, or religious) is destructive.
Barbara DiFiore (Bronx)
Well, at least Bernie Sanders get a mention in this article. It's a start but not quite the end of the media blackout. That said, I find it a little hard to believe that the main reason that NH voters will support Bernie is to pull the rug out from under Hillary. Based upon the crowds that he has been drawing and the discussions on FB about Bernie I have no doubt that he will win among both Democrats and independents. People across the country admire his integrity, his commitment to the working and middle classes and his consistency on the important issues such as climate change and income inequality.
fran soyer (ny)
You make good points. What socialist newsletters do you subscribe to ? I would love to hear your thoughts about the 90% tax rates he supports *

* source: Donald Trump, the only honest person running for President **

** source: Kunal Mukesh, NYT message board
Don (DE)
Bernie Sanders has zero shot at the nomination.

Absolutely zero.
E.B. (Oakland, CA)
There are several Republican candidates that could beat Hillary. Rubio would win handily, but Christie, Kasich, and even Bush would have a fair shot. Bernie is really a lot more competitive in that field.
fran soyer (ny)
Christie tells it like it is. I think he is the best Republican candidate.
Cyn (New Orleans, La)
I am voting for Bernie. I think he is underestimated.

I do not believe he will be able to get free college for all, family medical leave or undo the previous trade deals, but I do think universal healthcare is the only way to go. As for the $15.00 minimum wage hike? I think it could prove a problem for small businesses in states with lower standards of living, but the Democrats are going to try to get it regardless.

I like his foreign policy, his stance on social justice.

If Bernie does not win, I'll vote for Hillary.

I don't think repealing the ACA, tax cuts and gutting social services, marginalizing Muslims, deporting immigrants and getting us in a ground war will be the solution to our problems.
Larry (Chicago, il)
But doing the exact opposite has made our problems worse. Big Government has failed to deliver on every one of its promises to create paradise. Your blind unquestioning devotion to a failed ideology is holding America back
vermontsings (waitsfield, vermont)
You don't understand Bernie Sanders. You seriously (purposefully) underestimate him. You must not really be a supporter but rather you hope by your comment to attempt to dissuade some of his supporters. My response?
#feelthebern. #BernieSanders2016
fran soyer (ny)
Half the Sanders supporters are Republican Hillary haters posing as liberals. You can pick them out because actual liberals aren't as caustic and negative as these phonies are.

They can't provide a single policy proposal they like, but they'll give you a laundry list of reasons why they won't vote for Hillary despite being lifelong Democrats.

They try to pretend they are Sanders supporters but their inner hatred is a tell.

Watch, some of them will come after me with some negativity. I know a true liberal wouldn't.
Kevin R (Brooklyn)
I think what you may actually be seeing is a large number of typically apolitical supporters, who don't necessarily identify as anything in particular on the political scale.

Perhaps young folks who like his ideas and what he stands for, but aren't necesarily up to date on politics in general.

I think you're underestinating his support and assuming it's an "anti-Hillary" brigade, but what you're actually seeing is a pro-Sanders brigade that is so strong, it's also flowing over and grabbing supporters who are completely adept in the area of politics. They're used to arguing about sports or other areas of entertainment, so those types tend to be more "troll-like" as far as attacking other candidates with little or no logic involved.
fran soyer (ny)
Valid point Kevin, and I agree to a point, but ...

Apolitical young folks going to the Times comment board in between Christmas and New Years to vent their frustration with Hillary Clinton a year before the election ?!

That doesn't sound like the first thing on a 18-29 year old's mind this time of year.

I mean, anything is possible, but the posts are very similar and a lot more negative about Hillary than even Sanders is about Hillary.

To be clear, I am sure that many of the posts are truly Sanders supporters, and my estimate of half is probably too high; but if you take the pro-Sanders posts that are also anti-Hillary, I'd say half of those are from Republican shills.
NYHUGUENOT (Charlotte, NC)
I don't know what world you're living in but I've yet to see a Conservative as intolerant, vindictive and nasty as a Liberal.
Eric T. (Moultonborough, NH)
As a voter who leans sightly left of moderate, I will vote in the Republican primary in an effort to rid the country of Mr. Trump. My problem is that none of the other candidates has much traction and I don't necessarily want to throw my vote away to the candidate who might well be best for the country, but will lose the NH Primary so that I will likely wait for the polls just before the February primary and vote for the second place candidate, assuming Trump still leads in the polls. Based upon others I have spoken to, number two in the polls has a substantial likelihood of capturing a large segment of the "undeclared" NH primary voters.
Tiny Biz Owner (Virginia)
Bernie will take care if Trump if nominated. Hillary will not be able to defeat him. If you want Trump to fail, we need Bernie! If Bernie is so far left, then the country must be too, since the majority of Americans agree with his policy proposals. Don't vote out of fear, vote with love for your neighbors, your children, your grandchildren.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
After reading many comments, I can't help but wonder at the total lack of consideration of foreign policy. Bill Clinton's, "It's the economy, Stupid" may have played well in 1992, but it's a different world today, the momentary post-Cold War stability and hope having evaporated.

Having shunned Jon Huntsman the last time he ran, the Republicans this campaign lack a single candidate with credibility when it comes to foreign policy. In this very multi-polar, international world of unusually relevant complexity, the Presidency is not a place America can afford to have an occupant needing on-the-job training.
fran soyer (ny)
Clinton was terrible. Bush is my guy.
NYHUGUENOT (Charlotte, NC)
"the Presidency is not a place America can afford to have an occupant needing on-the-job training."
Why not? That's what we've had for the last seven years. Unless your comment is a criticism of the present White house occupant.
Larry (Chicago, il)
John who?

Any Republican candidate is an absolute foreign policy genius, especially when compared to the stunning, unprecedented, deadly incompetence of Obama/Clinton.
MyTwoCents (San Francisco)
Wrong and wrong:

"There is a LARGE segment of Sanders voters who will vote for Trump if Sanders is not the nominee. And will NEVER vote for Clinton even if she's the nominee."

If Clinton beats Sanders for the Dem nomination (guess what?), not all Sanders voters will switch to Clinton – probably only 99.999%. At least .001% of them will vote for Trump (assuming he gets the Republican nomination, which I consider a very long shot).

In other words, Sanders voters will do what minority-candidate parties have done since the dawn of time: back their party's nominee once their preferred candidate has been knocked out.

We've been hearing the same claptrap for decades. Goldwater supporters wouldn't vote for Nixon, and Rockefeller supporters wouldn't either. Kennedy supporters would "never" vote for LBJ, etc., etc., etc.

But then they do. Every time.
MyTwoCents (San Francisco)
"Bernie Sanders is going to surprise a lot of people, people."

I actually think Bernie will do quite well in the primaries -- but only because those who will vote for him will know he doesn't have a prayer of getting the nomination. Votes for Bernie will be just "protest" votes, cast by Democrats who will promptly switch to Hillary Clinton once she's knocked out Bernie.

If this were truly a horse race among the Democrats, Bernie wouldn't do as well.
Kevin R (Brooklyn)
You're in for a shocker, then, my friend. Bernie's support is so large that it simply can not be fathomed in comparison to past political campaigns.

He is tapping into a segment of voters that no one has ever tapped into before, and the polls will never reflect these voters.
terri415 (ohio)
Oh pish. That is just nonsense.
Larry (Chicago, il)
You want to think Crazy Bernie is underestimated. He is economically illiterate, totally unqualified to be president, or even dog catcher. if any homeless person on a street corner starting chanting Bernie's nutcase ideas he'd be thrown in a mental institution.
MyTwoCents (San Francisco)
Pardon me for stating the obvious, but apparently it's not obvious to Hillary Clinton supporters:

Donald Trump may be a bad guy (and a lightweight, in my opinion), but notice that HC barely beats him in head-to-head polls. She loses to other Republican candidates (notably Rubio) and it's not unlikely that her deficit will grow once Trump (inevitably) self-destructs and bows out.

If HC were really a strong candidate, she'd be 10-15 points ahead of Trump in these head-to-head polls. That's not the case.
Kevin R (Brooklyn)
Right. That's Bernie who's beating Trump by double digits.
fran soyer (ny)
Of course the head to head averages shows Hillary up 5 pts vs Trump and Sanders only up 2, but don't let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Larry (Chicago, il)
In a Crazy Bernie vs Trump match up, Trump would wipe the floor with Crazy Bernie. Crazy Bernie is even more economically illiterate and unqualified than Obama was in 2008 (and is in 2016), and that's saying something!
MyTwoCents (San Francisco)
"And I don't believe I can vote for Mr. Sanders in the primary in New York, because I'm not a Democrat."

Not to worry – he's not either.
Dennis (New York)
Bernie though Independent caucuses with the Democrats. Since he's running for the Democratic Party nomination he will be on Row "A" the Democratic line in NYState.

Ellen Oxman (New York New York)
Dear G-d,
Please make Donald Trump go away. Today, G-d, before I left the house, I had on C Span (I think) and D. Trump was talking to a crowd about his use of hair spray... in his nice apartment in Manhattan, and how the hair spray could NOT hurt the atmosphere because his apartment is "sealed"....

Dear G-d, Please keep him in his sealed apartment with his hairspray.

Give us Bernie Sanders, who would never talk about hair spray, but would talk about the serious issues of the environment.

Thank you, G-d.
jcd (nyc)
He was kidding.
CWH (Colorado)
Thank you Ellen for your post. I saw Trump's commentary on hair spray as well. I cannot believe this man is ahead in polls. They have to be wrong! After listening to him insult the disabled, hispanics, women etc, how can we take 4 yeas of this!!
Larry (Chicago, il)
But Crazy Bernie wasn't kidding when he said America's main problem was too many brands of deodorant for sale, and that Big Government was needed to correct this problem.
RoughAcres (New York)
Just saw "The Big Short" yesterday, and I hope many, many voters do, too: the naked, callous, rapacious greed of the financial and mortgage industries, the developers (self-made billionaires included) - from the top of the profit chain all the way down to the bottom - is on full display, and the consequences of a full-throttle "me first" attitude are as dire as they were foreseeable. Had we simply turned over the US economy to terrorists from 2001-2008, we might have fared better. As it is, we have had seven years to reverse much of the damage (though we could have done it faster and more efficiently, were the Congress not Republican).

If we vote these thieves back into power... after seven/eight years of rising hopes for the 99% for economic justice... they WILL take the rest.
fran soyer (ny)
Those real estate developers are terrible. That's why Trump is my guy. He will stand up to the developers, he can't be bought, he is successfully wealthy.
Pete (IL)
Fran Soyer
You're correct Trump can't be bought. He is doing the buying. He doesn't need to be bought he already owns it. You think he is going to suddenly become benevolent? God luck with that
CWH (Colorado)
Mr Trump i a fake conservative who will support laws that help him personally as a developer. He supports eminent domain and government intrusion. I cannot believe how gullible people are.
jacobi (Nevada)
One wonders what the dairy farmer would think if he knew the Burn would like to nationalize his farm?
Saccharum officinarum (Belle Glade, Florida)
Larry (Chicago, il)
And force them to buy only US Government Brand deodorant! Amazing how liberals think Crazy Bernie will get everyone...except them of course
vermontsings (waitsfield, vermont)
Don't be ridiculous! Bernie is a staunch protector of individual rights.
babel (new jersey)
"So Mr. Crossan may vote for Mr. Sanders, if only to make Mrs. Clinton sweat."

"mischief makers have pledged to vote for candidates they generally dislike — leading a conservative, for instance, to support Mr. Sanders in a bid to damage Mrs. Clinton’s standing in the general election."

Independents in New Hampshire with comments like that seem to be very calculating and devious. My impression in the past was that they listened carefully to what the candidates had to offer and voted accordingly. From this article they appear to be game playing rather than taking their votes seriously. It is really time to stop giving the spotlight to small states like iowa and New Hampshire. All the media attention has really gone to their heads and soured my impression of them. These are not places I'd want to visit.
BrooklynGal (New York City)
Well, I find something quite disappointing here in New York: Closed primaries. I intended to be an Independent, but mistakenly signed up for the "Independence Party." And I don't believe I can vote for Mr. Sanders in the primary in New York, because I'm not a Democrat. I also believe that numerous Working Families Party members support Mr. Sanders, and they can't vote for him in the primary, either. I think this is a shame!
avrds (Montana)
It may not be too late to change your registration. The voter registration form for the State of New York says a change must be submitted 25 days prior to an election. Worth a try!
Doris (Indianapolis, IN)
I wonder why you haven't heard how to vote for Bernie if your State has a closed primary. It's been circulated in all his online posts on Facebook and Twitter. All you have to do is switch your party affiliation to Democrat to vote for Bernie on the primary and general election. Please contact your State Election Board and start the process.
puarau (calif)
To all you folks who are going to vote for Bernie next year, please also vote in the off-year election in 2018. Voters in New Hampshire supported Obama twice, but abandoned him by not showing up in the off-year elections, and thus allowing a newly elected republican senator help negate everything he was trying to accomplish. If you are going to vote, that means every two years, or maybe you should not at all.
Robert Shaffer (appalachia)
Thank you puarau, this is so very important across the spectrum of politics and doesn't get enough emphasis. Politics are local.
redleg (Southold, NY)
As a registered Republican I don't want so called "Independents" selecting the candidate of my party. As a matter of fact, having just entered my 86th year, I yearn for the days of the back room politics, where professional politicians with their fingers on the pulse of the people selected candidates who served the nation well, including in the times of utmost stress - World Wars and the Great Depression. Then along came the candidacy of George McGovern - a lightweight, but darling of minor party activists who flooded the polls at the primaries. When the average Dem got to the polls that year in the general election, he gagged, and George won one State, Massachusetts.
Primaries, or even worse, "caucuses" represent the ills of pure democracy at their worst.
The best we can do if we must have primaries is to limit the choice of candidate to those who believe in the party system to the extent that they are registered in that party.
Margaret (Florida)
Your coverage of Bernie Sanders is truly pathetic. This man has drawn many thousands at a time to his speeches, filling entire stadiums, crowds that Clinton can only dream about with her tiny orchestrated appearances where people are herded to sit close together to make them seem more numerous in pictures. But here you show a photograph of 7 individuals who look at him full of doubt. If your biased take on his campaign weren't so outrageous and unprofessional, it would be hilarious, comedy material in the right director's hands, I'm sure.
I think you are going to be made to eat your own words...

And when this is all over, maybe someone will make a movie out of this most underappreciated and underestimated politician's run for the White House.

Only in America can an honest, accomplished, experienced, non-corrupt politician run for office and be declared unelectable. (And the reason being precisely that he can't be bought. And this is a democracy we live in, right?)
CAF (Seattle)
It is an excellent point: a candidate whose public appearances draw thousands of people is depicted by the Times as unpopular and appearing in front of only a few. Such a hack job, this piece.
Larry (Chicago, il)
Why are there no Blacks in the picture at the Bernie rally?
CityBumpkin (Earth)
I agree with a lot of Sanders's policies, but I think American voters should have already learned to end their perpetual romance with the candidate who is going to "change Washington." Barack Obama ran on that label, and made a lot of promises to "change Washington." But nearly 8 years later, I think it's safe to say Washington is still Washington.

The deeply entrenched system means candidates don't change Washington, but Washington changes the candidates. I'm not advocating against Sanders, but don't pin hopes of reform on him.
HR (Maine)
There is a huge difference. Obama, though young, was still an established member of the political machine. He took tons of money from PACs and corporations. Any politician would then be expected to answer to them, and they do.
While Sanders has run as an Independent through his years in Congress, he obviously leans Democratic (he caucuses with the Dems). It is more that the party has moved to the right of people like him. Sanders has been in Washington a long time, and it has not changed him.
This is the genius of the Sanders campaign. He is running within the party to force them to make a choice, he is a true progressive and independent voice. If any bill is to be passed, the Democrats and Republicans will have to work equally hard for THE PEOPLE to get a President Sanders to sign it.
I also imagine a President Sanders actually engaging with the members quite regularly, as opposed to Obama who cloistered himself in his house.
CityBumpkin (Earth)

"If any bill is to be passed, the Democrats and Republicans will have to work equally hard for THE PEOPLE to get a President Sanders to sign it. I also imagine a President Sanders actually engaging with the members quite regularly, as opposed to Obama who cloistered himself in his house."

I don't mean to sound sarcastic, but that's an awful lot like campaign promises I hear every 4 years. "Working hard for the people..." "Engaging with members of Congress..." Those are canned slogans.

Indeed, if President Sanders won't sign bills by the lobbyist-owned legislators from each party, he won't do a lot of signing at all. Two years into his Presidency, the American voter will be angry about the government deadlock.

I did not post this to badmouth Sanders, whom I have a lot of respect for. But this is the kind of election cycle romance I'm talking about.
CWH (Colorado)
Bernie seems like a nice decent man and I love his temperment, but his high taxation policies are scarey. It would ruin our economy.
mr. mxyzptlk (Woolwich South Jersey)
I've read a lot of the commentary. I like Bernie Sanders. His ideas would benefit the country. For him to have a shot at all of doing what he would like to do if he is elected will require exactly what he says, millions and millions of people standing with him and not disappearing once the election is won. The Congress is corrupt just as the Times pointed out yesterday, bought and paid for. Attention would have to be paid to votes and corrupted politicians replaced in the midterms by those millions and millions of people standing with him. Lets see what kind of a leader Mr. Sanders is. Mr. Obama has been a smooth talking disappointment possibly co-opted out of fear.
Michael Cosgrove (Tucson)
As someone who has always been registered Independent, and therefore locked out of voting in the primaries (in closed primary states), I never much cared about the primaries. I was always willing to vote for whatever Democrat the party selected.

Not this time. The stakes are too high this time. So I recently took the pragmatic step of registering as a Democrat. Just so that I can vote for Bernie in the Primary.

I advise all readers to determine the type of state they live in (open vs closed primary) and change their affiliation accordingly. It was easily done in 5 minutes via the Internet for AZ, so it is probably that easy to do in most other states. You can change it right back after the primary. Feel the Bern.
Kevin R (Brooklyn)
Here, here! I know many independents here in New York that have done the same, all registering democrat after many years as independents --- just to vote for Bernie in the primary.

I wonder how many independents have actually went through the hassle of re-registering, just to vote for Hillary? My guess is none.

We are not counted in any polls, either. This is the sleeper electorate that they pundits and pollsters are completely forgetting about when it comes to Sanders' support!
The Poet McTeagle (California)
It was announced that Bill Clinton, master politician, was going to be campaigning for Mrs. Clinton in New Hampshire. That has to indicate they are worried about Sanders.
CAF (Seattle)
Does Hillary have to rely on Bill to get elected? If so, why? Wouldnt that be news worthy of investigation?
Todd Fox (Earth)
Maybe they can even hire someone to yell "get back in the kitchen" again.
Kevin R (Brooklyn)
Hillarys recent fundraising emails make it VERY obvious that they are worried about Sanders. Their tune changed very quickly when he announced that he had smashed a record 2 million plus contributions.
Anthony N (NY)
YAWN ... I certainly don't begrudge the folks in NH their quadrennial fifteen minutes of fame. I have friends and family there who are among he most wonderful people one could ever meet. As for the media and pundits - well they have to earn a living just like the rest of us, so I have no real gripe with them either. But, to paraphrase Bernie Sanders (you know, the guy the Times forgot), "Enough about the damn Iowa caucus and NH primary". Kefauver, Stassen, Muskie, Hart, Lodge, Buchanan Tsongas, and probably others I can't recall are in the pantheon of NH winners.
CityBumpkin (Earth)
This article makes me think the American Presidential election is more a weird, Byzantine game than any effective expression of democratic will.
Taoshum (Taos, NM)
Guess what? NH and Iowa are relatively small states with fairly low populations. Campaigns find this very helpful when they attempt to canvas the whole state and practically speak to every potential voter. In contrast to a large state like California where they would need mega bucks and years to visit every county and speak to even half of the people... all the while having limited insight into the polls that seem to guide their daily routine. In addition, the fringe players would probably get dumped in situ or priced out of the race.
Andrew Allen (Wisconsin)
Politics has gotten so manipulative. Mainstream media have all but written off The Donald in stories about pending federal policy. They go straight to Cruz for comment instead. And the Dem party has already shown how they feel about Bernie...pulling the rug out from under him with their sleazy voter-data stunt.

I think it would be terribly sweet if The Donald and The Bernie teamed up just long enough to kick all of their teeth in.
Jim (Dallas)
After Sanders is run out of Iowa on February 1, 2016, I do hope that he does win the New Hampshire primary on February 9th.

Sanders and his supporters at least deserve to leave the electoral process with a smile on their face because beginning February 20th and concluding on March 1st their effort will resemble bugs on a windshield as the HRC express blows by them to the nomination.
Murphy's Law (Vermont)
The power of POTUS is highly exaggerated considering all the hoopla in the election process.

Obama is widely criticized for not being liberal enough, what could reasonably be expected from him given the Congress he had to work with.

If Bernie is elected, and I hope he is, he will disappoint unless he is given a friendly Congress.

As it is said in Vermont, "It is hard to soar like an eagle when you have to work with turkeys".
Jonathan (NYC)
....and using insulting language towards the other party is not exactly going to improve your chance of getting cooperation from them."
AACNY (New York)
What's also exaggerated is the future under the liberals' favorite candidate.
Wilson1ny (New York)
With no offense intended to the residents of the great state of New Hampshire -

I'd like to know out of what oddball sense of proportion a state with 1.3-million people - roughly a third that of the city of Los Angeles - of whom 20% are under the voting age of 18 and also of whom 94-percent are white – got to be so revered? Keeping in mind too that primaries and caucuses are a political
machination of the Republican and Democratic parties themselves and not a constitutional mandate.
Geoffrey James (toronto, canada)
You tend not to hear about the fact that Sanders has an aggregate 6 point lead in the NH Polls. The kind of vox pop reporting in this piece is without any basis in fact. It is nothing more a series of chance encounters.
Tiny Biz Owner (Virginia)
Or cherry picked. More than likely you run into Bernie supporters who are way more excited about him being the only honest candidate who oozes integrity and actually cares for people, and this article chooses to portray the 'protest vote'.
Lorenzo (Italy)
Seems most people who say they like Sanders but won't vote for him say that because they have bought the media lie that he can't win on the national level. Think positive and vote for him and show yourself that you can change the system in the US and give the media the kick in the pants that it needs.
David Michael (Eugene, Oregon)
Interesting choices. Trump...the worst of the lot and Sanders, the best of the candidates. Gotta say, never a dull moment in this presidential election season. But why or why does it have to be sooooooo long? With TV and electronics, 12 weeks is plenty.
bob west (florida)
This guy Trump is a very scary person as are his sheep followers. Hopefully reason will encourage people to not vote for he nor Cruz. If either becomes president I will move to the farthest reaches of Canada! The U.S. has become a very backward nation!
Reader In Wash, DC (Washington, DC)
Is Trump scary because he wants to secure the borders while the Democrats and many Republicans want to give amnesty to illegals aliens?
sandrax4 (nevada)
Trump is scary because his inflammatory, hateful and deliberately lying rhetoric riles up his supporters and gives them permission to blame their lot in life on the dreaded 'other.' He seeks to bring this nation down, not appeal to its better angels.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
Dear Reader in DC,
Neither is true, thankfully. Nobody really wants to give amnesty, as in full citizenship, to illegal immigrants, and actually President Obama deported many more than Bush ever did. And Trump is scary because he's a racist fascist, not that he wants to secure the borders, because he has no realistic plan for doing so, and he relies on illegal immigrants who currently work for him anyway.
MCV207 (San Francisco)
The farces in Iowa and NH co-opt a national selection process using two narrow (and for me, unrepresentative) slices of the US population. We here in California, the most populous, ethnically and socially diverse state - and the eighth-largest economy in the world - have not gotten a real chance to have a say in the presidential nomination process in decades. I'm so ready for a non-partisan discussion leading to a national primary in June of presidential election years. It might just take watching a brokered Republican convention fiasco on live TV, or, even more chaotic, two independent candidates (DT and BS) running against the mainstream nominees, to jump-start the process.
Roger Mexico (surf city)
Whenever I read about the outsize influence of fundamentalist farmers in Iowa or undeclared NH voters, I'm reminded, for *some* reason, of the line in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony."

It may not be aquatic, but it's certainly farcical that our democracy teeters on so many absurd traditions, the electoral college being another.

Oh, God, to live in a nation that makes at least some rational choices about governance! The USA is caught in a negative feedback loop of 18th century constitutional anachronism and haphazard state processes.

As another reader pointed out recently, if we're going to have a primary system at all, the only state that should hold the first primary is California, being as diverse and important as nearly any nation-state on the planet, a mix of urban and rural, farm and city and technology, and possessing two enormously important and different urban centers.
Margaret (Cambridge, MA)
Only someone who knows nothing about NH could refer to its population as "fundamentalist farmers." I believe you're thinking of Iowa.
jackox (Albuquerque)
I recommend that everyone go to see the movie "The Big Short." Also, read the book. When you see what and how the global crash of 09 happened- you will know how important this Democratic primary is.
Doris (Indianapolis, IN)
I intend to watch this movie soon. I know it is very intense.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
After reading many comments, I can't help but wonder at the total lack of consideration of foreign policy.

Having shunned Jon Huntsman the last time he ran, the Republicans this campaign lack a single candidate with credibility when it comes to foreign policy. In this very multi-polar, international world of unusually relevant complexity, the Presidency is not a place America can afford to have an occupant needing on-the-job training.
Ben Alcala (San Antonio TX)
"So Mr. Crossan may vote for Mr. Sanders, if only to make Mrs. Clinton sweat. 'I don’t want Bernie Sanders to be president,” he said, “but I’ll vote for him anyway.' "

LOL that is almost exactly how I feel:

I will vote for DONALD TRUMP, if only to make the REPUBLICANS sweat. I don’t want DONALD TRUMP to be president but I’ll vote for him anyway.

Texas has open primaries and I will be voting for THE DONALD if Debbie Wasserman Schultz continues trying to force Hillary Clinton down the throats of those of us who support Bernie Sanders.

Is it too much to ask for an open, fair, unbiased nominating process and more debates to be conducted during the week?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is from Florida, she is either a closet Republican or she hates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio so much she is willing to hand the election to THE DONALD.

If it appears that Hillary only gets the nomination because of Debbie's dirty tricks (like hiring an incompetent IT vendor to try to trap Bernie) a lot of Democrats will stay home next November.

Plus lots of Republicans will come out to vote AGAINST Hillary. Seeing as how the Republicans can't shut down Trump that will almost certainly hand the election to Trump.

Great plan there Debbie!

PS New York Times, please update your comments section to let us use to use bold, underscored and italic text. I hear that there are is a new-fangled invention called "computers" that will make that ultra-easy!
Hotblack Desiato (Magrathea)
I thank the Times for not allowing bold, underlined or italic type. I wish there were a way they could keep people from shouting in all caps, too.
A Guy (Lower Manhattan)
You're wrong.

If Donald Trump was the other candidate on the ticket, the Democratic turnout would be record-breaking.

The far left doesn't want him. The center right doesn't want him. Muslims don't want him. Hispanics don't want him. African-Americans don't want him. Women don't want him.

And these groups don't just not want him. They are terrified of him. Everyone aside from a small, highly vocal group of uneducated, bigoted, old white men knows the danger Trump poses to this country.

Personally, I'm pulling for Bernie. I strongly oppose the current system of crony capitalism of which Hillary Clinton is pretty much the poster-child. I would be voting third party if it were Clinton vs. Bush (as I did when Obama ran).

I want change.

But I'd be first in line to vote for Hillary if Trump is the Republican nominee. She's not just a no-brainer; she's an absolute *must* against him.

I truly tip my hat to the Republican Party's ability to live up to their dysfunctional reputation by somehow finding the only candidate who actually makes Hillary Clinton look like the lesser of two evils.
Jonathan (NYC)
You fail to understand the impact of feminism on liberal Democrat women like Debbie W-S. As long a Bernie is a man and Hillary is a woman, then Hillary is automatically the candidate she will do anything for. It doesn't matter what mistakes and crimes Hillary commits, Debbie W-S will support her anyway.
Mark Schaeffer (Somewhere on Planet Earth)
I lived in Iowa and have been to New Hampshire many times. One must often wonder how these two States remain "the deciding point" for our important Presidential elections? If people have not decided between Republicans and Democrats at this stage of the campaign one must wonder about their "stupidity" or "complete lack of political interest". Neither of which is to be celebrated. These two States do not represent modern day America either. Chattanooga, Tennessee is more diverse than these States. Get them off the caucus and primaries grid.
Duncan Lennox (Canada)
There are only terrible choices for POTUS on the clown bus. None are good for America except the 1%. HRC is owned by Wall St and her big AIPAC funders. She is Republican light. Bernie is the only choice and he needs a Democratic (both bid D and little d) Congress to turn the ship around.

Now ; are there enough logical voters in the USA to do this ? Probably not based on the fact that in 8 separate Gallup polls, 45% of US adults say that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old and that evolution did not happen.
Don (Excelsior, MN)
Bernie has already won in that he has started a movement for an economic system that puts stake holders first and 1%ers second. It will not go away just as Bernie has never gone away. Becoming POTUS would be a gift from the cosmos, so likely not to happen; still, none of the republican wannabes will ever be a POTUS, ever. Bernie is successful, win, lose or draw.
Lennerd (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Don in Excelsior, MN, Check this out:

This university's mock election has predicted with 100% accuracy since the early 1970s. Go Bernie!
diekunstderfuge (Menlo Park, CA)
We have got to end this absurd, arbitrary nonsense of endowing Iowa and New Hampshire with outsize and utterly undeserved influence. If this article is any indication, a not insignificant percentage of voters in New Hampshire seem perfectly willing to play Russian Roulette with both national politics and the media. If this article is any indication, a so-called 'independent' more accurately means, 'someone who has not bothered to equip him/herself with even the most basic knowledge of civics, domestic policy, and foreign affairs -- to say nothing of compassion and logic -- who can therefore be persuaded to vote in the most capricious of ways.'

The purported 'independents' interviewed for this article are not to be admired. They are to be admonished for their reluctance to own up to their actual political proclivities, instead choosing to pretend that they can be won over with the right stance on a particular issue. They are to be shamed for casting votes for the express purpose of cracking the whip just to demonstrate that they still hold it.

It is well past time to strip Iowa and New Hampshire of their roles. Primary elections should be held nationwide. Candidates should have to campaign in all 50 states, instead of ignoring the states that actually represent the America that is trending in order to focus on states solidly stuck in the last century.

Alleged 'independents': just because you mark 'undeclared' on your voter registration form does not make it so. Own up.
Alec Dacyczyn (Maine)
I've never liked that a couple of small states have such disproportionate influence on electoral politics. All states should hold their primaries on the same day.
Parrot (NYC)
The Clinton / Bush Establishment Party is a vote for the 1% in economic policy, foreign policy, military policy and open ended immigration to continue
Byron Jones (Memphis, Tennessee)
There are few titles in American democracy as privileged as “undeclared New Hampshire voter.”

Sounds like a great formula for a primary humbug vote effort.
Mel Farrell (New York)
Trump will become an unpleasant memory, Hillary will ride off into sunset, never to run again, and Sanders will take the helm and shake the foundations of the .01%ters.

We the People, can, and must make this occur.

Ignore the lackeys and shills trying to distract you, wake up, stand up, and take our nation back from the wholly avaricious .01%ters.

It's our duty !!!
HRaven (NJ)
Bernie Sanders is an intelligent, honest, ethical, experienced U.S Senator. As President I would trust him to select qualified individuals for key roles. I've never been ambivalent about where I stand politically. I will vote the straight Democrat ticket, as always. Go Bernie!
Dorota (Holmdel)
"Mr. Sanders, desperate to broaden his appeal beyond the left..."

Nothing can be farther from the truth: Mr.Sanders is not desperate to broaden his appeal beyond the left; he already is quite popular among the young voters, who, because of having only cell phones, are not reached by the pollsters conducting their surveys among the landlines owners only.

When my son's apolitical girlfriend recently announced that she donated to Sanders' campaign, it has only confirmed that Bernie's support is much broader than that of the left only.
gardener (Ca & NM)
This morn. I awakened to an email from the Clinton campaign asking me for one dollar, not for one dollar for the sake of the dollar, but so that she can count my name as one more to her contributor list, making it seem that more of the poor, lower and middle class are contributing her than to Senator Sanders.

Where did she get my email address ? From also peeking when the DNC firewall was down, maybe. The only information I have voluntarily provided to a presidential campaign was to the campaign for Senator Sanders, to which I will continue my contributions.

I didn't delete her basically unwelcomed intrusion into my computer however, as I will enjoy keeping up with the propaganda that she distributes.

Not sure by a long shot that Sanders is the candidate who is desperate, as the some among mainstream media continue to attempt to label him.
HRaven (NJ)
Dorota, that word "desperate" leaped off the page. Talk about editorializing in a news article. Cub reporters in vogue these days? Get me rewrite.
Cyn (New Orleans, La)
Well. Don't feel bad. I got an email asking for $19. I'm still wondering how they arrived at that figure.
sdowler (Los Gatos)
I can't abide the podium pounders like Trump and Sanders, their actual ideas are obscured by the scowling grim faced demeanor and when reading a calmer analysis of their positions I'm even further put off. These do not appear to be rational people who can keep a clear head during the intense pressure of global decision-making where reactionary shoot-from-the-hip ideas could spell disaster.
DR (New England)
The fact that you equate Trump with Sanders shows that you know nothing about either of them, especially Sanders. Bernie Sanders has a long history of helping ordinary Americans.
CWH (Colorado)
I agree. Sanders is nothing like Trump. Sanders is a thoughtful person who appeals to intelligent people. Trump.....not so much.
Tiny Biz Owner (Virginia)
I am pissed off at Congress, Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Pharma. If you aren't, then you're not paying attention. I finally have a candidate willing to fight, and people complain he's angry or grumpy. You go spend a few years in Congress, then come back and show me your smile.
How about this? Sanders runs against Cruz. (Spoiler alert) Cruz (who is a dead ringer for Joe McCarthy) asks Bernie "Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?" Someone in the audience says "At long last, have you no decency?"
Jonathan (NYC)
Nope, Bernie says: "Sure, nothing wrong with that, is there?" The crowd applauds wildly.....
Victor Hoff (San Diego)
“It’s where New Hampshire can make the most difference this year,” she said, ticking off the names of some moderate Republicans she might support, including Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio and Jeb Bush. “Anything to stop Trump.”

Bush? Moderate? Two Words: Terri. Schiavo.
carl bumba (vienna, austria)
I have never seen such discrepancies between the Readers' Picks and NYT Picks as in recent articles involving Sanders. There should be an indicator level displaying this value for each article as a measure of biased or disconnected reporting. We've got a code red situation going with this one and it's obvious to me that someone should be relieved of their privileged position at NYT.
As most here recognize, the article itself is biased against Sanders. Just look at the first photo! Could you find a more skeptical group of potential voters - in perfect focus. It's ridiculous (and then begins with declaring that the NH electorate are more privileged in our democracy than is, say, our Ambassador to France.) And then the article ends with an outrageously obscure voter opinion that is actually the INVERSE of the widely held view that although Sanders is the superior choice, one might HAVE to vote for HIllary because Bernie isn't electable (just what we were hearing at this stage in Obama's campaign against Hillary.) The NYT better analyze their campaign coverage data before someone else does.
HR (Maine)
The quotes of the people interviewed for this story are maddening. It is no wonder our country is such a mess.
The primary voting system and the electoral college system are failures; they are not fair or equal representations of the electorate. We need a much shorter election process, publicly financed campaigns (S1 per taxpayer per year), a one day national primary then a national election with the popular vote deciding the presidency.
Adam T (Toronto)
I live in a city where a carnival barker got to be mayor because a lot of voters mistook bombast for candor. I see Trump's lead as being much the same. Clearly voters are disaffected with the status quo. There is an opportunity for a populist candidate but Trump isn't it. Why working Americans vote Republican has always baffled me. Why would anybody think that a narcissistic, billionaire has the interests of the common citizen at heart? If the people would ignore the fear mongering and listen, they might realize that Sanders is the candidate they need.
Jack P (Buffalo)
Americans vote republican because they don't want their dollar to be worth only 75 cents.
jcd (nyc)
Bernie would grab even more money from me than Obama did. He wants to raise taxes rates on the top 5%.
Z (North Carolina)
All 'NYT Picks' appear to be for Bernie Sanders. Whoever he may or may not be, and we really do not know, it is absolutely wrong for this paper to promote a candidate at this stage in the way that you have. Trump, on the other hand, is a candidate you do not miss an opportunity to demonize.

We need more from you at this time. Much more.
Todd Fox (Earth)
I'm not sure you've been following the Times coverage of the primaries. You're absolutely right that this newspaper should not be promoting a particular candidate at this point, but Sanders is decidedly not the one they're promoting.
A Guy (Lower Manhattan)
Bernie Sanders has been representing the public as an elected official for over 30 years, but you can't seem to figure out who "he may or may not be"?

I see why you're pulling for Trump.

The education system in this country truly is a disaster.
Z (North Carolina)
No, I'm not 'pulling for Trump', as you so quaintly put it. I do know one of his most trusted advisers for many years was a woman. This is not in sync with his portrayal as a virulent chauvinist.

Sander's full and seemingly unquestioning support for Israel troubles me. I would also like to know more about private contractors hired by the state of Vermont during his tenure.
Vermont's extraordinarily high number of heroin addicts troubles me also as it speaks to a level of hopelessness in that
Peter (Chicago)
I am still torn between Bernie and Hillary, but the past half year and counting the NYT has taken almost every opportunity possibl to subtly slam Bernie. This isn't to say you won't critize HRC, but it is done with the tone of implied forgiveness and inevitability. No one else gets that treatment.
From claiming that he's desperate for votes to implying a lack of seriousness of Bernie's campaign, it is transparently bogus opinion journalism disguised as analysis, and the amount of comments that recognize this with nearly every piece (still! - even after you acknowledged the public frustration months ago) should give your editors pause.

If you want to give us analysis, why don't you take their policy proposals and tease out how they might actually play throughout their first term - let us know how what they want to do would actually affect the daily lives of normal citizens - and take a break from this sort of nonsense. That is the kind of analysis that could cement me on Hillary's side - but right now it just looks like you all have some kind of bizarre motivation to block us from actually learning anything substantive about Sander's actual policies.
Mel Farrell (New York)
Well said.

Regardless of the Times political agenda, and other mainstream media perception management tactics, the majority of people are on the internet, social media, and texting, searching, exchanging idea, talking to each other on a scale that the puppet masters can do almost nothing about.

Short of shutting down the Internet and social media sites, the entrenched elites are flummoxed, scrambling, desperately searching for ways to guarantee any one of their candidates makes it to the White House.

Hillarys' handlers see the problem, and more and more, they are stealing lite versions of Mr. Sanders suggestions, hoping to sway the electorate.

Won't work.

Most see Hillary as a devious wholly self-absorbed creature, desperate to serve the monied interests backing her.

As for the other side of the double headed coin, the majority see that group, that crazed cabal, as a colossal dirty joke, unpleasant to hear, and thankfully soon to be forgotten.

I'm hopeful now, for the first time in several decades, hopeful, we can tear the foundation from under the corporate / military / industrial alliance that owns and operates our government.
Taoshum (Taos, NM)
Well, you can certainly count on the TV Networks to put every derogatory phrase from DT on the prime time "news" along with a few cute videos from someone's cell phone to substitute for real coverage of events that might illuminate the true situations we face. They do realize that we fast forward or mute the 25% of the half hour dedicated to ads, yes?
Chris (NJ)
With the last line, the puppeteers of the Times flaunt their disdain for Sanders supporters, and the average NYT reader.

As if to say, "If fair coverage of Bernie is what you want, just you wait and see how far out of our way we are willing to go to avoid the actual issues."
John Fedorczyk (North Carolina)
We lived in NH for over 20 years and, as is the case this year in my opinion, the results of the primary are fodder for the media--of all stripes--and New Hampshire's single TV station. Beyond that there's no there there. NH's results are incidental to what occurs with either party. Given the length, infinite(?), of the campaign the media has to have something to drone on about.
Just Me (Planet Earth)
The best part abut this election is that we don't have to choose b/w HRC and Jeb! Bush. No more dynasties. Another factor that the media has completely ignored is that most people are MODERATES and want a candidate that can reflect that middle ground. My favorite candidates are Rand Paul, Sanders, and Trump. I wish them the best as they slay the crony dragon of DC.
diekunstderfuge (Menlo Park, CA)
Your location says "Planet Earth," but I'm not actually sure you're not from Neptune. What you purported "moderates" perpetually forget is that being 90% regressive, 5% modestly liberal, and 5% indifferent doesn't make one "moderate." It makes one a right-wing reactionary.
Mark Schaeffer (Somewhere on Planet Earth)
You want to hear about dynasty: An American online newspaper is already talking about a Chelsea Presidency. I nearly puked. That is how stupid America is becoming, or shall we say "that is how indentured our media is".
AG (Wilmette)
Once again this article reveals too many of those people with whom Churchill warned of a five minute conversation.
Haitch76 (Watertown)
Can Sanders overcome the ruling oligarchy? The balance of power in this country has gone to the very wealthy. Can Sanders turn the tide? Certainly a David and Goliath battle. We never had a real democracy, is now the time?
drollere (sebastopol)
i have to smile when i read well educated adults talking as if political candidates were prizefighters in the canvas square.

the executive office is bound by the constitution and settled law, the congress has been gerrymandered into political deadlock, the court system is underfunded, understaffed and backlogged for years, regulators are toothless, corporations are shielded from meaningful responsibility, the rich have their tax breaks and buy the media to tell the rest of us what to cry about, and meanwhile we deplete the planet of critical nonrenewable resources.

it's a machine, folks -- a money greased, resource eating, people breeding, media spewing, surveillance sharing contraption of legal gears and wheels. whom you elect to ride the float, what they promise before the election, has nothing to do with what comes next. the machine grinds on, the population grows apace, the economy dominates all other issues. there will be no significant change no matter who becomes president.

wake up.
Tracy (Columbia, MO)
Which for good and ill probably bodes well for both. The entitlement of HRC and her DNC lackeys is blatant, no sane person would cling to that over the wellbeing of their families and communities, and the Repubs are getting a mere pittance of what they deserve from the Trump fiasco. They've systematically sought to destroy the middle class, an equitable economic structure, and force their fascist social culture down all Americans' throats since 1980. If 35 years of conservatism ever more extremist results in King Trump, well, that's what they've asked for all along.

Happy New Year!!! Time to shake it up from the foundation up.
fran soyer (ny)
That's a system that needs fixing.

If you are a Republican, you are going to stay undeclared and vote for Sanders, because you would rather face him than Hillary. Likewise, if you are a Democrat, you will stay undeclared and vote for Christie or Fiorina, or whoever you think has the worst shot in the general election.

This leads to distorted outcomes. Now that I know this, I will pay zero attention to the outcome of either one of these primaries.

Same thing with Iowa. It's ridiculous that the winner of their caucuses comes down to "ground game" and "organization".

The way the primary system overweights the outcomes of 2 small states with exploitable quirks needs to be revisited.
Do note that in current national polls, Bernie Sanders beats Trump by a margin twice as large as HRC's. Against any GOP nominee, Bernie, according to the national polls,
– not HRC – is the stronger Dem nominee.
fran soyer (ny)

You are making my point for me.

The same trickery that Republicans will pull in the NH primary is being pulled nationwide towards pollsters.

The distorted outcome I'm alluding to is already happening in the head to head polling.
Barbara (D.C.)
In these early primary states, your vote really counts. While if you live in the nation's capital, you are taxed without representation... Just another sign of how out of balance our system has become.
sc baseball fan (s.c.)
“Anything to stop Trump.” this is why someone who is not a member of a political party should be allowed to vote in one.. she has vowed to thwart the views and choices of the party members.. this can work the other way with an "anyone but Hillary" sentiment.. if you do not care enough to be aligned with a party you should forfeit the right to vote in its primary
Joe (Iowa)
Another article about what "might" happen. I realize sitting at your desk making guesses is a lot easier than actually getting out in the field and doing some reporting. It's the "new media" I suppose.
DR (New England)
No one is forcing you to read it.
Joe (Iowa)
DR: Did I say I was forced to read it? Try to stay on point.
Jonathan (NYC)
The reality is, until actual voters vote, there is very little to report except what the candidates say and what might happen in the future.
MEH (Ashland, OR)
Unfortunately, the American electorate has not given progressives a decisive enough Congressional majority to adequately test a progressive program. Bill Clinton was hamstrung by the GOP, and after the very close passage of health care, Obama has had to lead from executive orders. That Trump and Sanders have arisen to challenge any and all establishment politics is not surprising. Things are really not that bad today compared with WW II and Nam, but every fourth year we seem to want them perfect--but we do not vote a federal government capable of perfecting a social net, or solutions to income disparity, global warming, and our multi-cultural challenges.
Jimmy (Greenville, North Carolina)
Who will drop out first? Trump or Bernie?
Just Me (Planet Earth)
To be honest, I hate to say this, Sanders. The DNC might consider him a hindrance to HRC. Hopefully he stays; he must give Hillary a run for her Wall Street money, considering the DNC has rigged the system to favor her.
rosehouse (MA)
Hilary Clinton.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
I'm afraid Trump is too stubbornly narcissistic and wrapped up in his own fantasy world to drop out until he loses in Iowa, New Hampshire, and the next several states.
Paul Hennig (Kenmore, NY)
Sanders is the only candidate with the vision, determination and guts to do what it will take to fix this country. True, he has little experience in foreign affairs, but he has the sense to listen to those who do. Sense, probably the foremost requirement for the office. Donald Rumsfelt a very experienced man, but totally lacking in sense and look where he took us
Judy (Louisiana)
Bernie is like your friendly vacuum cleaner salesman knocking on your front door and Donald will be too busy building his wall which was approved by every single member of Congress......
Sue (Cleveland)
I understand that the media has an obligation to cover the Democrat primary but I do hope everyone understands that Hillary has the nomination wrapped up.
Just Me (Planet Earth)
@ Sue I agree, such a sad and pathetic phenomenon that the DNC would do such a thing. Sanders has more to offer than Clinton.
rosehouse (MA)
Sorry, no one can point a gun to force me to vote which candidate the party wants.
J. (Ohio)
John Kasich is often described as "a moderate." Although he is not part of the extreme radical fringe that seems to make up more and more of the Republican Party, he is no moderate. When Gov. Kasich made an appointment to the Ohio State Medical Board, the man he appointed has no medical background or qualifications, but he is President of Ohio Right to Life. Likewise, some of his appointments to the Ohio State Board of Education have included creationists and those who favor censorship of works by mainstream writers like Toni Morrison. As for his claims that he balanced the state budget, that he did - but did so by clawing back money for state use that cities, townships, and public schools had depended on for years. As a result, local needs are either increasingly unmet or must be met by increased local taxes.
Marylee (MA)
What's so frightening is that all the GOP candidates actually are the same. Because Trump is so bombastic the others may seem better by comparison. All their records are discriminatory and plans regressive.
JH (San Francisco)
After Kasich came out and defended the murder of a child at the playground by Ohio's cops I have lost all respect for him.

There's no way I will ever vote for him.
terri415 (ohio)
Every word is true. I think he just looks measured beside Mr. Trump. I think even JEB! Is a better option.
Sai (Chennai)
As a foreigner I have wondered why politicians and the media give so much importance to two very very small states with nearly 100% white populations. Why do they believe that voters in swing states like OH, FL even care about who won the support of evangelical voters in Iowa and 'undeclared'(flipflopping to me) voters in NH? New Hampshire and Iowa are great places to visit and the people are nice, but If I was an American I wouldn't be basing my voting decision on who they voted for.
Byron Jones (Memphis, Tennessee)
You're catching on to the folly of American politics.
Mark Schaeffer (Somewhere on Planet Earth)
Welcome to American absurdity dude. We can learn from countries that are doing better than this.
Deus02 (Toronto)

It is a very outdated system. The problems lie with the fact that because so much money is required for a candidate to continue in the process, these states, no matter their size and depending on the outcome of these primaries, will determine if the candidate continues to receive campaign donations which otherwise will either reduce in size or ultimately cease if he or she does poorly in these votes.

The fact remains, especially large donors, want to connect with someone who has the best chance of winning and with whom they can influence, not necessarily the best candidate.
Paul (Phoenix, AZ)
Can we someday put to rest this myth of the "independent voter?

As soon as the independent voter casts his ballot he becomes a partisan, voting for a Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, etc. Granted, Sanders is an independent, yet he is running in the partisan Democratic primary.

Until and unless independents form their own party can we call them what they are: petulant children who don't get enough attention over the fact that they think they are the smartest people in the room.
Todd Fox (Earth)
Because people who actually think for themselves are a threat to our two party, lock-step system which depends on voters who can be counted on to vote the party line and believe every unsupported meme their candidate manufactures.
Paul (Phoenix, AZ)
I guess you missed the part where you are not truly an independent voter if you are voting in partisan elections for partisan candidates.

Today you vote for a democrat. Next year you vote for a republican.

How are you not marching in lock step with the 2 party system?

Why are you people so against forming a true Independent Party?
Lorenzo (Italy)
If Mr. Sanders wins the New Hampshire and isn't the Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party then he owes it to his supporters to run as an independent and thereby block a victory for Mrs. Clinton.
gardener (Ca & NM)
If you want Sanders as president in 2016, I suggest you get off your independent high horse, and vote for him. You apparently know what he supports whether he runs democratic or independent. Senator Sanders has been an independent for years. Get real and get on with it. I, too, was an independent, will further my country by voting for Senator Sanders in the democratic primaries. If Trump, the billionaire running as a false prophet for the poor and lower middle and middle class is elected, we will all "eat cake" due to our following just another corporatist billionaire, and same is true of Clinton, except we might, if we are lucky, get a smudge of frosting on that all too basically same "cake," from Clinton, but not without first serving up our young men and women to war again, making she and her national and international cohorts wealthier yet.
Just Me (Planet Earth)
I doubt the DNC will let him get away with that. They will do anything and everything for HRC.
Dougl1000 (NV)
Well he's not going to do that because he's not a lunatic.
Lew (VT)
One reason Hillary Clinton is so despised is that she runs a most deceptive campaign about her views, as many of these are taken from Bernie Sanders’ long-standing positions on important issues; eg. on reining in Wall Street corruption and greed; on civil rights for gays; on poverty, income inequality and the minimum wage; on immigration; on an awareness of feminist issues while repeatedly covering for Bill’s sexual offenses, etc. Every time Hillary Clinton sees that a Sanders message reflecting one of his long-held beliefs resonates with voters, she takes the spotlight saying ‘me, me, me’ and adopting Sanders’ position - in diluted form no less - as if it were her own from the beginning; and the media faithfully report these twitterings, ignoring the fact that the real advocate is Bernie Sanders. As one of many examples of this tactic is her real position on gay marriage versus the one she wants voters to believe she has as a candidate running against Sanders. Here is a link to a video with her statement at 5:40-6:40. The video is most informative in contrasting Bernie Sanders with the real Hillary Clinton and I encourage readers to view it in its entirety. . She tries to exploit the gullibility of low information voters, changing her positions on important issues in order to win votes. Hillary Clinton should withdraw from the presidential race; she’s no less dishonest than any of the Republican candidates.
Fred (Up North)
The NH "undeclareds" or independents are interesting to watch but what will be really interesting is what these voters nationwide will do in November, 2016.
How many will decide, "a plague on both your houses" and stay home?
tony.daysog (Alameda, CA)
I'm not sure voters in Iowa and NH are going to vote for Trump. Yes, as the polls show, he is incredibly popular. How could he not be so, after decades in the limelight. But I don't see this popularity as translating into votes. He'll probably come in fourth or, at best, third in both states, after Rubio, Cruz, Bush and Christie. The basic question about Trump's candidacy is whether this is a guy who can bring a new wave of voters to the booth, much in the way Obama in '08 brought out the young and African Americans who did not otherwise vote. The answer: it is not rocket science: no, because he has no get out the vote apparatus like what Obama had in '08. When he places third or fourth, you got to wonder if all that fulminating was worth it to the Trump brand. Candidates like Bush etc should start thinking about the next chapter, of a Republican primary season in 2016 where a Trump is a second tier candidate.
gardener (Ca & NM)
My thought is that Clinton appeals to the democratic voters who are still comfortable enough in this economy to remain in a state of denial of that which is yet to come in this country if we don't vote for Senator Sanders, and actively stand by him if he voted into the presidency. We have the numbers to make this happen, vote out the current congress, we have the numbers to make this happen, and eventually take to the streets together in mass protest, with BLM, with others, together. This is a long haul proposition, and it wont be easy.
FDNY Mom (New York City)
Dear NYT,

Please stick to journalism and not commentary--it's the reason I want to read you paper.

By sticking to journalism instead of commentary--you would have more articles on Bernie Sanders and more importantly the issues.

By sticking to journalism-you would be asking and following up with tougher questions to alll of the candidates of both parties. Ask them deliberate, HARD BALL, pointed questions on exactly what their policies would be, how these policies would be paid for by tax payers, and where the candidate really stand on issues and who would be best served their stance.

In other words-get the truth.

By practicing journalism- the NYT would be reporting on the true issues facing Americans.

Please NYT go back to journalism.
Dave Holzman (Lexington MA)
"They believe that his Cuban roots could help attract Hispanic voters who are crucial to winning the presidency..."

Baloney. Hispanic voters are a reliable Democratic constituency, and they are not going to help the GOPers no matter how much the eventual nominee panders on immigration.

Americans are fed up with too much immigration. That's why blue state Oregon voted two to one to kill drivers licenses for illegal immigrants despite being outspent TEN TO ONE by proponents of licenses. the Dems would have a much better chance at beating Trump if they promise to reduce legal immigration, and to get rid of birthright citizenship and chain migration, and to push for a national, mandatory, E-Verify, even if they promise to legalize all the illegal immigrants currently in the US.
Ella (Washington State)
Anti-immigration is a foolish stance.
We are about to face a demographic crisis similar to China's (created by the one-child policy in their case, the Baby Boom in ours).

Among other taxes, undocumented immigrants pay into social security about $1.6bn per year that they will never withdraw.

If conservatives were genuinely worried about the trust staying solvent, they would forget about scapegoating immigrants. But they're not, it's just a racist dog-whistle.
Diane Sophrin (Montpelier, Vermont)
Seems clear to me who's exhibiting "desperation" - not the candidate who continues to rise in the polls (if we can only get to read the polls unencumbered by the stunning media bias). Nope, Bernie isn't the desperate one - he's reaching out to his ever-expanding base with determination, conviction and true passion.
It's HRC who must be shivering in her pants suit! Why else would she be (temporarily of course) appropriating Senator Sander's well-articulated platform positions one after another, as if she were trying on costumes for a New Year's Eve shindig? Speaking of shindigs, quite the picture on yesterday's front page of her and Bill at another glitzty shindig with an old buddy awhile back!
Clinton's desperation is expressed loud and clear through every bias-drenched article you print, dear New York Times. Your role in this wholesale manipulation of our electoral process will come to haunt you, I fear. Do you really think your well-educated readers can't see it? I, for one, will continue to inform friends and family accessing only your paper edition of what is really going on. It is shockingly unethical that you are not offering real election coverage to that portion of the voting population not well versed in the web.
Carol lee (Minnesota)
I like the top photo with Bernie. It could be a Norman Rockwell painting. Makes you think that we Americans could save ourselves yet.
jpc maryland (Olney Maryland)
Aside from agreeing with many of the comments that the NYT articles always contain an anti-Sanders slant, I would like to point out another inanity of today's article. The article quotes a Mr. Crossan, a conservative, who says he plans to vote in the Democratic primary for Sanders to help derail Clinton's chances at the nomination. He is quoted as if this is somehow significant. Yes the authors do say "a few mischief makers" but what is the point if Mr Crossan vote is one of 600,000. Total nonsense. Yes it possible that some Democrats may indeed vote in the Republican primary out of fear of Trump. That is understandable. But the notion that any conservatives, facing a large choice of Republican candidates, will take the effort to vote in the Democratic primary is simply preposterous. When Mr. Healy and Mr. Flegenheimer find their second conservative NH voter following Mr. Crossan's example, perhaps they could write about a new groundswell that will determine the election.
Gary Horsman (Montreal, Canada)
This article is simply a cross-section of the New Hampshire independent primary voter. Spoilers make up a small percentage, of course. But the article is not citing Mister Crossan as a major factor, but rather as an example of the broad diversity of voters who are motivated by factors both mainstream and trivial. They're not a monolith. In all fairness, I think that was point being made.
mikenh (Nashua, N.H.)
The growing amont of unaffiliated independent voters indicates how broken our electorate has become.
People that refuse to think as adults because they hold a childish view of the "perfect" candidate who will magically solve all of the world woes.
So every election cycle we find these arrested voters pinning their hopes on a hero, whether it be bombastic realty show divas like Donald Trump or a political cypher like Bernie Sanders.
Meanwhile the rest of us who think as adults and would like to see some progress in our country with candidates who think in real world terms have to put their hopes on hold again because the "deciders" are still dreaming of rainbows and unicorns.
Zejee (New York)
No. We aren't dreaming of "rainbows and unicorns." We are demanding attention to our issues -- issues that once were at the forefront of the Democratic Party.
HRaven (NJ)
Go Bernie!
Glen (Texas)
Finally!! An article about voters other than Republicans "likely" to vote in primary caucus/elections. It has ever been the undeclared, independent, haven't-decided-which-one-yet voter who drops the decisive ballot into the box in modern American Presidential elections. But the media ignores them because there is no flame to fan, button to push, percentage to go up or down, no "bleed" to lead with. Just because they decide who the President is doesn't mean they're not boring.
adlibruj (new york)
Is the country ready for Bernie Sanders? Maybe the billionaires are already salivating at that thought, since they know they can control how people think. They'd come up again with something like "Morning in America" and the people will swallow it completely and, as usual "their" candidate will lead us. Again.
DR (New England)
What on earth are you talking about?
avrds (Montana)
To all those who say Sanders can't win:

Sanders beats Trump 51 to 38, according to Quinnipiac (as opposed to only 47 to 41 for Clinton, and Trump hasn't yet started his real attacks).

If you want to win in November, NH Democrats, and beat Trump, Sanders is your candidate.

And with Sanders, America wins, not Wall Street.
MikeC (New Hope PA)
And you assume Trump will not hideously attack Sanders full force?
fran soyer (ny)
Wake up.

If you are a Republican, you are going to tell a pollster you support Sanders, because you would rather face him than Hillary.

Also, Sanders gets no negative coverage from Republican leaning news outlets, because they want him to beat Hillary.

This is so obvious. If you think Fox is going to let a candidate advocating breaking up banks and the military sail through to November without destroying him, you are not thinking it through.

Think it through !
Kevin R (Brooklyn)
Fran, I think the exact opposite is true. Republicans absolutely want to face Hillary.

She will get DESTROYED in a general election. Never has there been a politician with more scandals under their belt -- well, except for her husband, Bill.

The only possible method of attack against Bernie is the socialist card. This has already been pulled numerous times and it's actually a great insult to our country to assume that it would work.
Jim H (Orlando, Fl)
Seems to be a lot of convoluted thinking up North. Makes me wonder if we didn't get better nominees in the old days when the party bosses picked the nominees after they bribed the delegates with wine, women and song.
Gavin (New York)
The writing is on the wall democrats- support Secretary Clinton at your own peril. Independents overwhelmingly support Senator Sanders and it would be in democrats best interest to start paying attention to this. Many of us will simply not show up to vote for Secretary Clinton in the general or may choose to write-in Sanders (as I will do).
janny (boston)
Gavin - then you may like Pres. Cruz or Trump - I don't and will vote for the D nominee.
Marylee (MA)
Anyone not voting democratic in the November election will see the end of Social Security and more Citizens United judges on the Supreme Court.
Sheila Ramon (Jerusalem)
I like Bernie Sanders. I think he's an honest, passionate politician who genuinely cares about the American people. Too bad he's gonna lose to Trump.
gardener (Ca & NM)
Donald Trump is precisely, through history of actions, that which he declares, erroneously, that he will stand for, as is Clinton. My vote is for Senator Sanders and in the long haul, to get the smallest concessions during his presidency, due to the present congress, it will be a huge battle. So, lets vote out the present congress. We have the numbers to do it if we will vote, and stand behind Senator Sanders through every political means available to us, during his presidency. And if this should come to taking to the streets in mass protests, lets be prepared to do that, together !
betty sher (Pittsboro, N.C.)
Hopefully, the 'independent' voters in this race will see the TRUE TRUMP - his slogan will be replaced by MAKE AMERICA HATE AGAIN! He has ALMOST succeeded with his 'too many' rallies, appearances and silence from the GOP.
WiltonTraveler (Wilton Manors, FL)
How is it that two such atypical states, one of which has the craziest primary system devised by human kind, hold such undue influence? Frankly, I don't care who wins the primary in either state, just who has enough delegates on the floor of the convention to win the nomination (which for the Republicans will cause a lot of problems).
First, only NH has a primary in which all registered voters can vote. The Iowa caucuses are NOT a primary vote.
Second, as for NH being atypical: What is typical? New York? Oklahoma? Mississippi? Florida? Oh you mean mostly white? Did you know there are 57 languages spoken in the public schools in Manchester? While signs in both Spanish and English are a "new" and sometimes controversial phenomenon in many parts of the country, in NH, all signs were in both French (Canadian) and English until recently. It was a bilingual state when I was growing up n the 1950s. And there are two NHs. The North Country is very rural and the southern part of the state more suburban Boston. Despite being one of the "wealthiest," healthiest and most educated states in the country, poverty is rampant, with a majority of kids in the city schools qualifying for free lunch.
Third, our small size makes it easy for voters to get up close and personal with candidates, and often. You won't get that in Florida.
JoeB (Sacramento, Calif.)
The Democratic Party should get a more race and culturally diverse pair of states to host the first primaries. Having states that are almost all white go first is wrong. It should have been abandoned when Rosa Parks broke the racial barrier on buses. It distorts the process.
Ladislav Nemec (Big Bear, CA)
Big difference between Trump and Sanders. Trump has REAL chance to become our president, Sanders has none. Hillary may not become our president but she has a fair chance.

That is an opinion of a very old man from California.
Resident farmer (Kauai)
Being very old and hailing from California does not, thankfully, qualify one to make political predictions; I'm thinking that you likely had it wrong about Obama as well.

Feel the Bern!
Kevin R (Brooklyn)
So because you're a very old man from California, we are supposed to believe your unfounded claim that Samders has zero chance?

What facts and figures do you base this on?
CWH (Colorado)
The thought of Trump as president is awful. He is not presidential.
terri (USA)
This comment section reads like a vote for Bernie ad, sorry but I am voting for Hillary.
Resident farmer (Kauai)
So sorry to hear that you prefer the candidate whose stance on issues evolves each time her opponent states his policy and earns another bump in the polls. Give me a ship with a destination and a will to get there, not a ship floundering around whichever way the winds take her. In the end, if elected, HRC will head straight for the "port" which afforded her the most campaign funds, Wall Street.
Just Me (Planet Earth)
@ terri What a pity to know that you have not given Sanders the chance to explain himself. Let me ask you: can you name me three things that HRC has done to help you and the middle class? And yes, outside taking your monetary campaign donations.
Zach Buchheit (St. Louis, MO)
@Michael Thomas - I disagree. I think it's possible to be independent and well informed. I call myself an independent because I approach every election with an open mind toward voting for candidates from more than one party. I also consider myself well informed. I've decided who I'll vote for this time, but I still consider myself independent, just not undeclared. In short, undeclared does not equal independent.
JoeB (Sacramento, Calif.)
Since New Hampshire is his neighboring state, you would expect Bernie Sanders to have a landslide here. Name recognition has been established, its easy to drive across from Vermont, so his supporters should be there constantly working the voters. He has been campaigning there since before he declared his candidacy. He has no excuse not to get a ton of the independents and registered Democrats.

His one concern is that people might wonder about a candidate who has been telling everyone he was an independent for decades suddenly switched to be a Democrat just so he could get votes in this primary. Why is he still listed as an independent on Senate votes if he has changed his party allegiance to meet the New Hampshire state requirement that a candidate be a Democrat if they are on the ballot? That is quite a flip flop from a guy who criticizes another candidate for evolving on the issues.
Resident farmer (Kauai)
It seems that you are confusing "flip-flopping" on issues (an HRC specialty) with doing what you have to within the rules to win the greatest amount of votes in a primary. Bernie does not alter his views every time another candidate makes an utterance that somehow earns them a bump in the polls.
Charlotte Ritchie (Larkspur, CA)
Bernie Sanders has been caucusing with Democrats, serving on Democratic committees in the Senate, heading one of those committees, and campaigning for Democrats, ever since he became a member of Congress in 1992. He was one of the founders of the Progressive Democratic Caucus. He has every right and reason to run as a Democrat, though what's pathetic is the way he has been treated by the DNC.
john yoksh (<br/>)
Affluenza: disease of aberrant behavior caused by excessive exposure to viral Reaganomics. Republican Rx, bleed the patient, apply more leaches. See esp. Trumpism. Democratic Rx Clintonian, continue to observe patient, take temperature and report monthly. Rx Sandersism, raise upper tax rates prn, close gaping loopholes, nurture modern work based economy with emphasis on education, health, and clean energy. Staunch hemorrhage of political interest spending. Exercise enthusiasm to control symptoms of fear.
David Godinez (Kansas City, MO)
All righty then, obviously the thing to do is to completely ignore the results of this primary because they are meaningless, and move on.
Barb Campbell (Asheville, NC)
Republicans are working hard to get independents and Democrats to vote for Bernie Sanders, including writing comments in the media pretending to be Democrats who dislike Hillary.

Sorry. I've followed Hillary's career and have listened to her carefully. She may not be as idealistic as Bernie Sanders about the ability to make the United States do a U-turn, but her realism, political savvy, and network make it possible for her to make changes in the right direction. Sanders wouldn't be able to accomplish much, other than to vent frustration, which seems to be his main attraction.
CL (Boulder, CO)
Sorry. Hillary Clinton may be realistic, politically savvy and have a good network, but her accomplishments are nil.
Signed, A Democrat.
Just Me (Planet Earth)
@ Barb " I've followed Hillary's career and have listened to her carefully." Then you clearly got the wrong impression. If you think that Hillary is "fighting for us," which is be the way a most erroneous campaign slogan, you are fooling yourself. Check the list on her campaign donations on and also different donors to the Clinton Foundation. HRC does NOT fight for you and definitely not the middle class.
Marylee (MA)
Hillary will not allow the republicans to eliminate Social security, their long term goal. That and the Supreme Court are reasons to vote for any democrat.
K (St Paul)
Hillary has fallen into the Trump trap by betraying his support and intern has fueled his campaign by giving the media great stories the sell subscriptions while giving him more free exposure. Let these two destroy each other characters all the while raising revenue for the media. Bernie Sanders is the leader, in my opinion, standing up for and voicing the major concerns of all in a respectful manor.
Diane Sophrin (Montpelier, Vermont)
Seems clear to me who's exhibiting "desperation".... and it's not the candidate who continues to rise in the polls (if we can only get to read the polls unencumbered by the stunning media bias). Nope, Bernie isn't the desperate one - he's reaching out to his ever-expanding base with determination, conviction and true passion.
It's HRC who must be shivering in her pants suit! Why else would she be (temporarily of course) appropriating Senator Sander's well-articulated platform positions one after another, as if she were trying on costumes for a New Year's Eve shindig? Speaking of shindigs, quite the picture on yesterday's front page of her and Bill at another glitzty shindig with an old buddy awhile back!
Clinton's desperation is expressed loud and clear through every bias-drenched article you print, dear New York Times. Your role in this wholesale manipulation of our electoral process will come to haunt you, I fear.
Do you really think your well-educated readers can't see it? Can't read between your esteemed lines? And by the way, I continue to inform friends and family accessing only your paper edition of what is really going on. It is shockingly unethical that you are not offering real election coverage to that portion of the voting population not well versed in the web.
Is this really the same NYTimes of the Pentagon Papers fame?
lrb945 (overland park, ks)
wow. even when you actually acknowledge Bernie Sanders you just have to refer to him as "desperate", or the usual "unelectable". it is not very becoming to a newspaper of your stature. not very subtle, either.
JH (San Francisco)
There is a LARGE segment of Sanders voters who will vote for Trump if Sanders is not the nominee.

And will NEVER vote for Clinton even if she's the nominee.

Finally a competitive 2 party election!
mikenh (Nashua, N.H.)
And you wonder why our public discourse is in shambles when you have Sanders supporters behave like petulant three years old and go against their "beliefs " by allowing a Trump or some some other GOP extremist get elected.
Mike H. (DFW, Texas)
Exactly. I don't like Sanders, but I'd vote for him over anyone but Trump simply because he doesn't take his paychecks from large corporations.

His views on immigration are borderline insane and disgust me, but he's STILL better than Clinton and toadies like Bush and Rubio.
Just Me (Planet Earth)
@ JH Great assessment, and I am one of them! No more Hillary and her Wall Street donors.
Vermonters and a rapidly-growing number of other Sanders supporters recognize that he is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate. Who wouldn't want to see Sanders' vision for the U.S. become reality? The farmer in the "Rock" ad,
is no actor, but an actual farmer in my neighboring town. His obvious trust in and admiration for Bernie is typical of Sanders' supporters.
sleeve (West Chester PA)
" Sanders supporters recognize that he is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate"
Because we have never had any white male presidents before?
Margaret (Cambridge, MA)
sleeve: If you consider outside appearances only, you are part of the problem. Pursuit of some spurious "diversity" should not come into such an important decision.
Bill erickson (vancouver)
It's great that political leaders are recognizing a powerful independent bloc in New Hampshire. If only every other state primary would follow their example. It should be appalling to us all that so many states still deny people the right to partake in the election process because they refuse to pigeon-hole themselves into one of only two ideologies that the system apparently acknowledges. I just don't see how any state can disenfranchise a group of people because they choose to think for themselves.
As this article tacitly points out, we are completely acquiescent to the political whims of a dominant class.
Bob Swift (Moss Beach, CA)
When, oh when will the electorate come to realize that only by eliminating the electoral college system and determining the president by popular vote will we be able to circumvent gerrymandering and the manipulation of votes by the wealthiest. most powerful political machines?
Jerry (SC)
I can't see two thirds of the states voting out their interests to allow large population states to dictate. The idea of a republic is to not allow the majority to exercise complete control of the minority. Changing the constitution is intentionally difficult, and not likely to happen.

The states themselves could change the "winner take all" to proportional electors (Maine and Nebraska i.e.) if wanted, but democratic strongholds (CA and NY i.e.) would never do it.
jefflz (san francisco)
Sanders is to be admired. But I can see the McCarthy Era-styled attacks as I write this comment. The biggest question: can he sustain an all-out, gloves-off barrage insisting that Sanders=Socialism/Communism (no difference for most Americans)? This is his point of vulnerability and those who want to see him win the nomination cannot just shrug this issue off. Wishful thinking will not carry the day and the early polls have seen none of this kind of assault as a factor. There will be literally billions of dollars ready to pursue this smear of Sanders to the bitter end. Far more vicious than any Benghazi Benghazi nonsense could possible be
David Gregory (Deep Red South)
McCarthy era may resonate with the AARP crowd, but not with younger voters. The AARP crowd skews Republican at the voting booth and is not a concern.

Bernie has energized a large number of younger voting age citizens who do not show up on polls as they lack landline phones and have not voted in enough elections to be included in most "likely voter" polling. However, their votes count as much as any other and they are boing registered and organized right now in plain sight. Even as the media ignores the movement.
To vote based on the illusion that we can predict the outcome of the general election is just wrong. We have to nominate the best candidate and I think Sanders is the one.
Gavin (New York)
How are the attacks on socialism any different than Obama being called a nazi muslim socialist communist etc? I think you and many democrats underestimate how much hatred is directed towards the Clintons. Entire swathes of this country will show up to ensure a Clinton never sits in the Oval office again.
Vizitei Yuri (Columbia, Missouri)
We have to hope that a sane and thoughtful group of voters will prevent both of these populists from getting to power. Trump and Sanders are two sides of the same coin - intolerant, zealous, intuitive at pointing out the problems but simplistic and ignorant of the possible solutions. Both use false "authenticity" to get those who would rather not think for themselves to parrot their illogical arguments and intolerant claims.
Siobhan (New York)
The powers that be have done their work well if you now see Trump and Sanders as two sides of the same coin.
Vizitei Yuri (Columbia, Missouri)
SIobhan - I would have to say that a much more convincing case can be made that the populist propaganda is hitting its mark if the people don't see Sanders and Trump as two sides of the same coin.
John (Ohio)
"A Trump candidacy could well win the Presidency, the Senate, and maybe even the House for the Democrats. Even districts that are 55% GOP might not be safe with Trump leading the ticket." -- comment by John Townsend, Mexico

This is a prime reason for voters in states allowing crossover votes in primaries to vote only for Trump or Sanders. For more than 12 years a majority of polled Americans -- often more than 70% -- have responded that the country is on the wrong track. Having the most polarizing nominee atop the Republican ticket would drive up progressive and moderate turnout in the general election.

Getting the country back on track would best be served by a general election between Trump and Sanders. Second best: Trump and Clinton.
Mel Farrell (New York)
I read and reread the report, confirming the still major effort to marginalize Sanders.

The Times has been relentless in this effort. The idea of the playing field being leveled for the poor and the middle class, is anathema in our one party system, the party of the .01%ters, who run both the Republican and Democratic candidates, believing that one or the other will be approved by an electorate whose perception is so beautifully managed, they still believe they are thinking independently.

This was so effective in the Obama campaign, they have no doubt it will be equally effective this time as well.

Sanders represents a last chance for our dying democracy, so my advice to all, is this - Think and act independently, elect Sanders, and live in nation that saw the bleak future ahead and stopped it cold.
Caleb (Illinois)
I agree completely. Just yesterday, The Times did a slam piece on Sanders campaign chief Jeff Weaver.
Jeremy (Northern California)
Completely agree. This kind of thing is to be expected at Faux, but I had higher hopes for the Times...
Conley pettimore (The tight spot)
Dear Mel, While Sanders poses as an independent his voting record disproves the notion. Further, he is running as a Democrat and will need the Democrat money, think tank, organization, and dirty trick department should he be the the Democrat candidate. Thus, he will owe favors and allegiance to the Democrat party. Nearly all of his appointments will be awarded to Democrat power brokers, just as Obama did. Sanders has spent decades in Washington and thus it is highly improbable for him to he an honest politician. As for one candidate being able to save or ruin the country, well, it just is not true. But, a few hundred million stupid and gullible voters can and are screwing things up pretty badly. Having said all that, Trump would be a loud mouth disaster and Clinton would be a silent disaster so Sanders would probably get my vote among those three. In a perfect world I would vote for Fiorina but the good old boy networks on the GOP and media groups like the Times have efficiently suffocated her chances. The Times and their ilk are pushing for a Trump president because it would ensure four years of idiocy or they are hoping for a Clinton victory because she pays lip service progressive ideas while ensuring billions of dollars of profit to progressive Wall Street types.
Andrew (New York, NY)
As someone who lives in an ATM state (New York, where candidates come for money and then ignore us in the general election), I am over the emphasis on the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary. The media has blown their significance so far out of proportion in relation to their electoral weight that one should wonder if the results should really be taken seriously. I think the true electability of a candidate should be measured by their performance in an electoral vote-rich state (NY??) early in the process, and not once the media has determined a winner. Worse case scenario, they all spend the money they raised in New York IN New York.
Zoot (North of Boston)
Well, at least there's a naked admission of envy from Andrew.

Please tell me how you'd replicate the retail electioneering in Iowa and NH? In NY, you have to write enormous checks just to get into a room with HRC or the other candidates. Ordinary citizens are left to stand in the cold with a crowd of 10,00 to hear a canned speech and watch the candidate spend 10 minutes with the lucky few along the rope line.

Come to one of those states and spend a little time in a living room with 30-40 others who've thought about the issues and have questions that the candidate will have to answer extemporaneously. It's too bad it's so restricted, but I for one am not willing to abandon that direct unscripted contact just to satisfy a New Yorker's eternal need to be the center of the universe.
caitlyn (missouri)
the problem with starting the nomination process in an electorally rich state, such as new york, is that most of these states have incredibly expensive media markets. starting off there would ensure that only well funded candidates could run. that could lead to big money dominating elections even more than it already does.
BC (N. Cal)
As long as the cash that's raised in California gets spent in California I'd be fine with that.

No wait, that would mean we would have to endure the endless season.
Never mind.
Tony (New York)
New Hampshire will put the crown on Hillary. The voting machines are just the facades put in place by the DNC and the Times to pretend this is an election. The fix is in, and Hillary will be coronated by Democrats.
Gerald (NH)
A lifetime subscription to the NYT says you're wrong.
David Gregory (Deep Red South)
I am an independent and support Bernie Sanders. Not interested in Republican Lite, like Hillary Clinton.

Quoting Harry Trumann:
"The first rule in my book is that we have to stick by the liberal principles of the Democratic Party. We are not going to get anywhere by trimming or appeasing...

The record the Democratic Party has made in the last 20 years is the greatest political asset any party ever had in the history of the world. We would be foolish to throw it away. There is nothing our enemies would like better and nothing that would do more to help them win an election.

...When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the Fair Deal, and says he really doesn't believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don't want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.

But when a Democratic candidate goes out and explains what the New Deal and fair Deal really are--when he stands up like a man and puts the issues before the people--then Democrats can win, even in places where they have never won before. It has been proven time and again."

Bernie will win New Hampshire and maybe Iowa.
And then lose in the general election. Good Job all around.
David Gregory (Deep Red South)
The latest polling shows Bernie beats Republicans- including Trump by bigger margins than Hillary.

If you get away from NY, you might find she is not well liked or trusted- and not just by Republicans.
Bella (The City Different)
We know Republicans do not like HRC. What the DNC and the NYT cannot grasp is the large number of Democrats that do not like her either. I have never heard a Democrat have a negative reaction towards Bernie, except they are not convinced he can win. HRC solicits a lot of negative reactions from Democrats. Reading comments in the NYT substantiates this. In depth reporting on candidates side by side is still lacking from the NYT. We need responsible and credible reporting, not just mindless stories or endless poll numbers. Give your readers a credible article that will really get the discussion going. I am still hopeful and optimistic that it could happen.
Impedimentus (Nuuk)
These are desperate times and hopefully the independent voters of New Hampshire know this.

If New Hampshire independents really care about the decimation of the middle class, the corruption of Congress by the super wealthy, a Supreme Court that has become the Supreme Corporate Court, climate change that will rapidly change life on the planet, indeed the very well being of future generations, then they will support the "desperate" Bernie Sanders. To do otherwise is to abandon all hope.
Bella (The City Different)
This election cycle continues to be the weirdest ever. No wonder NH voters cannot figure out who to vote for or why. Although I cannot agree with a lot of what Sanders is about, he is the only one that I can honestly say speaks from the heart. He has passion about our country and is not afraid to have strong opinions. I feel the others perform scripted lip service. His supporters are real Americans, not PAC's or big corporate money. That speaks volumes to me.
Lennerd (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Bella, you got that right! Bernie is that very rare politician that "walks" his "talk."

I have never voted Republican, but even Obama, who in 2008 talked like he was channelling FDR, didn't walk like that and lost Democrats like me; but we have no other place to turn, so they can afford, mostly, to "lose" us: we'll never vote for the opposition.

Did Wall Street pay for its excesses? Did Bush and Cheney pay for their mistakes? Did we get single payer? Did we get Gitmo closed? Did we stop the madness of the national security state and all-surveillance all the time? Did we stop drone strikes where the POTUS and his military-security advisors act as cop, judge, jury, and executioner for citizens of the US and foreign countries without due process of law? I could go on and on.

But with Bernie, if he continues to gain momentum and wins the election, his past behavior is the best predictor of his future behavior. We may actually see a president walk his talk. That would be a most refreshing current in current affairs since 1972 when I first voted in a presidential election.

The real issue is the Congress. Bernie's talking his talk against the venal, mendacious dissemblers in that body would also be worth buying a ring-side seat!
Warren Bobrow (Morristown, NJ)
What is the Republican party stance on the legalization and taxation of Cannabis? What is Hillary Clinton's stance? What is Bernie Sanders's stance?

These are questions that people, like myself- who actually vote- are interested in.. instead of just complaining about how bad things are. I've had a tough time, but things are definitely looking better for me since the oligarchs left the white house. Quite frankly, I would like to know where they stand on this measure.
Because I will look very closely at their response in my vote.
esp (Illinois)
Give me a break. YOU are interested in cannabis when there are major issues such as income inequality, stagnant wage growth, a war here and a war there, and YOU are interested in cannabis?
Todd Fox (Earth)
Because legalized pot is the most important issue we're facing as a nation right now?
David (Brooklyn, NY)
I don't know about the other two but Sanders wants to completely remove marijuana from the federal goverment's schedule of dangerous drugs so it would no longer be be a federal issue. (Right now it's under schedule 1 along with heroin!) Then states can choose to legalize or not without interference.
Timshel (New York)
I took my own poll and found that the Independents I spoke to feel that all the free campaign ads the NY Times has run for Hillary Clinton in the guise of news articles hasn't changed their minds about voting for Senator Sanders.

It is not too late for the NY Times to recover some of its credibility by trying much harder to be fair in its political reporting and allowing readers to comment on all articles, not just a carefully limited few. I continue to subscribe to the NY Times because I can read the comments under "Readers' Picks."
Nfahr (TUCSON, AZ)
Me, too! The NYT readers are an intelligent lot for the most part and "Reader's Picks" are the most interesting section of the NY Times! (This is the first commenter I've ever read who seems to enjoy Reader's Picks as much as I do!)
DP (Los Angeles)
Every 4 years I'm reminded by how ridiculous the primary process is. By allowing low populous states with minimal ethnic or socioeconomic variability to hold the early primaries, we allow extremists to flourish. The more mainstream politicians have to conform to the views of these extremists to remain relevant in the early primaries--thus giving these low populous states outside influence in American politics. Why can't we allow New York, California, and Texas to hold the first primaries and be done with all this non-sense?
jkw (NY)
You realize, of course, that primaries are intra-party affairs and not part of the "official" electoral process?
TSK (MIdwest)
Independents will pick the next president because the loyal party voters will not be able to carry the election. The problem for a mainstream politician like Hillary is that independent voters this year are more independent and demanding than ever and not ready to listen to a "let's stay the course and trust me" message while the loyal Dem voters want to hear "let's stay the course."

This could be a wild finish and I would not bet any money right now.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
Too bad that most crossover voting is motivated by desire to undermine the slate of the party most disliked by the voter.
Nick K (Reno)
Stop the Trumpistas! "Listen to the cool-headed arguments that Bernie brings to the table" should be the beating drums in New Hampshire...
bruce (ny)
Here's hoping New Hampshirites vote local and not loco.
Dick Purcell (Leadville, CO)
This article addresses the despicably irresponsible shallowness and failure of the New York Times political/election news-and-opinion team better than it describes New Hampshire.

“Some political analysts attributed Mr. Trump’s high numbers to his well-known name,” the article says. “They tend to go where the action is,” it quotes somebody as saying.

HA! For half a year now, at the NYT the action has been the shallows of antics of Trump. Every day. Count the number of headlines in the NYT blaring PR for the name of Trump compared to any other candidate, you’ll get a Trump lead of 10 to 1 or higher. In the NYT, compare Trump headline PR to headline appearances of Sanders, the PR for Trump beats that for Sanders by more than 50 to 1.

That’s the NYT ratio of shallow (Trump) to substance (Sanders): over 50 to 1.

The place where NYT readers can best see substance about our politics-election matter is the readers’ Comment corner. Check the reader outrage reflected in Comments responding to NYT mistreatment of Sanders in Taking Note on December 9.

This article’s final line says “I don’t want Bernie Sanders to be president” -- as if it were quoting somebody in NH. No, that’s the position expressed by the Bernie Sanders substance blackout of the NYT.

There’s a line in the article saying “More often, though, undeclared moderates have begun to reckon with their responsibility.” Do you think it is possible that this could happen at the NYT?
mr. mxyzptlk (Woolwich South Jersey)
Not likely. The Times is the Hillary Clinton of the news industry.
Nfahr (TUCSON, AZ)
Ever since the NYT believed Judith Miller and her sources and was pro-Iraq war, I have lost faith in its powers that be. And as I am a Bernie Sanders backer 100%, I have one more reason to doubt the NYT which has subtly and not-so-subtly either ignored or denigrated ("desperate?") Bernie. However, my great pleasure is to read NYT Reader's Comments......thank God for so many Bernie supporters, and so many trenchant complaints to the NYT about its anti-Bernie coverage. Go, Readers! We can turn the tide along with New Hampshire. It's quite startling how many commenters are Bernie supporters!
Go Bernie!
Kalidan (NY)
Independent as in: "we have clear guiding values and principles that I live by, and I carefully evaluate the slate of candidates. Regardless of their party affiliations, I vote for the candidate who proclaims those values I hold dear."

Or, Independent as in: "I couldn't care less;" or Independent as in, "let's see what happens, I maintain the right to not participate, crib when things go wrong and blame someone, and never make a commitment to anything, or agree to take responsibility for my choices."

Sadly, I think the latter group far supersedes the former in number. And for this reason, regardless of whom they vote for, the fact that they will decide the future of this country - is a negative outcome for democracy.
Todd Fox (Earth)
I could not disagree more with your assessment of Non-affiliated voters. My experience is that they're well read, well educated and well informed. They refuse to blindly support one particular party and demand accountability.
rollie (west village, nyc)
Reading ALL of this stuff for months, and the thoughts of commenting people, the only logical conclusion is also the glaring answer to why the country seems careening out past Pluto; our candidates are determined by these small , rural, insignificant (sorry all you nice people) states, who receive more in federal tAx dollars than they pay, and then complain the most about 'big' govt. the primaries, therefore, should be changed to all at once, say March 21, or 2 dates, say add April 21, or the most populous , payer states first like NY and California. Texas could be part of it as well if they'd quit threading to leave the union. This would be more representative, much fairer, end the insane length of the interminable campaign, and focus on issues much more relevant to our majority urban country. I love corn as much as the next guy, but it's not an issue if an ear of corn is 25 or 50 cents at the farmers market in Union Square, compared to deporting 11 million people, or ending help for needy fellow citizens. In these most populous states, these issues, along with climate change, crumbling infrastructure, and corporate greed would get more deserved attention. Our country has too many crossroad issues to be doing things the old way. As rapidly as things have changed to cell phones and screaming from landlines and rabbit ears, things need to change to serious discussions by candidates of life threading issues that confront us NOW.
Reva (New York City)
In the best of all possible worlds, I would love Bernie Sanders to win the election.. It would say that voters are thinking about the issues, not succombing to fear or shiny surfaces. But this election will he about voting for the least dangerous, and if Sanders isn't viable I'll go with a less than ideal Clinton presidency. You don't get someone without warts, and I think Clinton is workable: she's experienced, competent, would stand up for many liberal values (thanks to the Sanders campaign), and I think would listen to her constituency- if there were enough protesters saying don't send ground troops, I think she wouldn't.
avrds (Montana)
But during the primary, Reva, I hope you will vote for the best of all possible worlds. If you do, you might be surprised how well Sanders will do!
Todd Fox (Earth)
After the coronation Bernie won't matter at all to Clinton.
Just Me (Planet Earth)
@ Reva I don't consider being the first lady of Arkansas, US, the later NY senator, and Sec of State accomplishments. HRC held those positions, what she did is another matter entirely. "She's experienced, competent?" In what? Have you forgotten her colossal failure of a foreign policy in the M.E? What has she done(bills/policy wise) to reduce the dwindling middle class population? She's been in office for many years, but has accomplished little, if anything at all.
Barb Campbell (Asheville, NC)
Apparently, staffers for Bernie Sanders are commenting on this article. Yes, he has a shot at winning New Hampshire. Perhaps he has a very long shot at winning the Democratic nomination. But, he has NO chance at winning the general election. Imagine the average American voter choosing a Socialist? Ohio and Florida are crucial states in the general. Both states have many center-right voters who will NOT vote for Sanders regardless of the Republican nominee. On the other hand, Hillary is viewed to be more moderate than Sanders and is likely to attract center-right voters if one of the more extreme Republicans becomes the nominee.

Voting for Bernie Sanders in the primaries strengthens the Republicans in the long run.

And yes, I agree that the results of the New Hampshire primary are given way too much emphasis in view of all the idiosyncracies of the race in that state.
H Prough (Knoxville)
Staffers? Doubtful. This is pretty standard fare for the comments section so far this election, if you've been following along.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
This just goes to show why having the first two, most important primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire, all the time, is such a hideously undemocratic and idiotic idea. Oh I know they love it, because those two states get a huge amount of political power out of it, completely undeservedly.

Iowa's entire population is 3.1 million, less than any of the top ten cities' in the nation. New Hampshire's population is 1.3 million, less than my high school graduating class. Ha not really, but less than nearly all other states. Neither state is particularly important in its exports, its economy, its largest cities, its cultural relevance, or anything really.

Racially it looks even worse, NH is 94% white, Iowa is 92.1%, and both states are approximately 107% Christian.

And so in these rural, unimportant states, a handful of voters who are unaffiliated control the entire national presidential selection every year, because any contender who doesn't come in first place in either state is out of the running, always.

It's a horribly unjust system and it's led to a lot of mediocre presidents. We should have rotating primaries where it's a different set of ten states on the first primary day every year. But then that'd be democratic and fair, and our political parties loathe those concepts.

So if these handfuls of independents do go for the fascist, racist Trump, thus destroying our nation permanently, I guess we'll deserve it for letting them have control.
Ed (Princeton)
Independents have been the key to each of the last four presidential elections. Given that 80% of voters are party loyalists, all the money spent on campaigns is aimed at persuading the other 20% in six battleground states. These are the voters who decide the outcomes and they are the reason campaigns still matter. Victory goes to the candidate who captures the center.
Toutes (Toutesville)
I endured a few minutes of a Trump stream during his visit to NH just the other day. He was of course, blisteringly obnoxious and plying the 4th grade level readership as that is his chosen strategy. But I was glad that I did it, because I realized that the audience was not responsive to the corrosive bluster. Of course there were boisterous yes men egging it on, because of course, the actor on the stage needs the feedback. If I read that hushed backdraft correctly, particularly as the blusterer sought to roast Sanders, I believe that the independents and undecideds are not convinced. They may even be turned off by the inflammatory rhetoric. As a prior commenter predicted, there may be some surprises for the pollsters and political machines after the final tally up there.
JW (Palo Alto, CA)
I hope there will be surprises. The last thing the US needs if Trump, Cruz, or Rubio anywhere near the Oval Office.
We need to have open travel back and forth between the US and Iran and Cuba. It is time to end the special treatment of Cubans when they enter the US, while Mexicans or anyone who "looks" Mexican is sent back regardless of the drug lords and violence they face at home. The US must never single out one religion for exclusion. It would start a return to the policies of restrictive colleges, businesses, and communities that blocked entry to those of selected racial or religious groups.
njglea (Seattle)
Too much emphasis is given to voters in the first "primary states". 2016 is a year of change and my money is on Rodham-Clinton/Sanders!
esp (Illinois)
Other way around maybe. Or maybe Sanders/Warren, better choice
DTM (Maine)
I am, once again, reminded of the ridiculous flaw of having the same small population state garner all of the candidate's attention and having much much more power/voice in the primary for the US (not N.H.!) presidential election than our democracy alleges.

Time to rotate first primary, and caucus, I suppose--or how about the first three primaries using a random method. Let other Americans in other states and regions, with other demographics in terms of ethnicity (two very white states), age (two of the oldest states), rural/urban/suburban (two of the most rural), regional issues,, etc. It is wrong that people from the same two states vote first, thereby deciding for the rest of us who we will be able to vote for.
DSS (Ottawa)
Since there is very little respect left for the Federal Government, thanks to the T-Party folks, anything can happen. Reagan could be elected on a right in vote.
Anne (New York City)
Anyone can draw the same conclusion from this article: The voters of America are an ignorant bunch, who vote on whim or what they think is the candidate's personality. Not a single person quoted said anything about policies other than abortion. We are a sad excuse for a democracy.
Seb Williams (Orlando, FL)
Why is this on the left side of the home page rather than over on the right under the "opinion" heading?

Sen. Sanders has been polling well ahead of Mrs. Clinton in New Hampshire for half the year expressly because he is thrashing her with independent voters. Yet what passes for news in the Times these days declares him "desperate to broaden his appeal beyond the left".

Considering he's polling so well with these Independent voters in New Hampshire, and considering this article claimed to have interviewed "two dozen" such voters, it's curious that the only Sanders-supporting voter you decided to cite is a self-described conservative that's voting against Mrs. Clinton. A citizen with a critical mind and a healthy amount of media suspicion might wonder about the intent behind such cherry-picking. Apparently the Times doesn't think there's many citizens that fit that description, though, as they continue to vigorously push the envelope for Her Royal Highness.
Ultraliberal (New Jersy)
It really makes no difference as to how Independents vote, in the final analysis the candidate who appears the strongest on foreign policy will be our next President, at this time it's between Trump & Christie, & in spite of Bridge-Gate, Christe will become the First Italian President.IF Trump had showed some class he would have won going away.The public is leaning towards a strong man who they feel will confront the Russians & China who loom as the greatest threat to security.Hillary would have a chance if she would show some of the grit of a Margret Thatcher, which she cannot do without losing the Obama supporters.
Dear Editors,
I know my comment has strayed from the essence of this meaningless article,but it might create some passion from your readers.
Todd Fox (Earth)
God help us all.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
Sorry but Christie is too overweight to win the general election, no matter what, and Trump is just a little too ignorant, racist, and fascist.
Ultraliberal (New Jersy)
Hillary is my choice, but,she cannot win unless she takes a page from the Republican War Hawks, who want the total annihilation of these terrorist groups. We are a country living in fear, & we long for strong Leadership. Obama's popularity has dropped below 50%, & will drop still further if we suffer another atrocity, like the one in California.Each time this happens we get closer to a Republican Conservative President & a Conservative majority in the
Supreme Court, As Ted Fox said, God Help us.
Gerald (NH)
I am an undeclared New Hampshire voter. I hold both parties responsible for much of the mess we find ourselves in today, including our warmongering, economic inequality, and woeful health and public realm infrastructure. The Republicans contributed by intent, the Democrats by neglect.

Because I'm independent and critical of both major parties it will be an easy choice for me in the New Hampshire primary on February 9. There is only one candidate who has carved out a separate political space with integrity and honesty: Bernie Sanders. He is completely forthright about the fact that a President cannot change much single-handedly and that a clean sweep through all tiers of government is needed to bring this tired old nation back to life and shepherd it where it belongs among the other advanced nations. Sanders is a breath of fresh air and during his entire lifetime has held dear the welfare of ordinary Americans. It's been a lonely but fantastic commitment of intelligence and energy for our benefit. Let's give him the wheel for a while.
Vizitei Yuri (Columbia, Missouri)
You seem pretty "decided" to me. the fact that the "decision" equals Sanders aligns you with the angry populists who support Sanders and Trump. We can hope that the quiet, thoughtful truly independent voters who think on their own and don't simply repeat the dogma will win out .
Just Me (Planet Earth)
@ Vizitei Yuri Are you saying that I should be happy and satisfied with an incompetent government? They have passed bills and laws that negatively effect the middle class . Of course we are frustrated! So the obvious choice this election is whether we continue doing the insane thing and elect the same puppet politicians of Wall Street or elect the likes Sanders/Trump who will put back politicians and their place and get Wall Street out of DC!
Nfahr (TUCSON, AZ)
What a post! Yes, he has held dear the welfare of ordinarily Americans.
Continue your wonderful descriptions of this man's record and maybe you'll
persuade others. Well done. GO BERNIE! (I am a 80 year old white woman and have never in my life wanted anyone to take the wheel more than I do Bernie!.......I contribute monthly and then some, and write in the NYT comments frequently, as I want to do my part to spread the word. )
KarlQ (Fancy Gap, VA)
I hate the irrational nature of elections based on media hype. We need a team builder/leader type. The job is far too big for "The One", any ONE. The only rational candidate based on personal life story, experience, principles and scientific rationality demonstrated in handling literally thousands of life/death calls in a team leadership position, based on scientific facts, based on principles that made our country great, is Dr Ben Carson.

Yet all the focus is on blowhards that cannot be trusted to deliver on their promises! Much worse, they all seem committed to destroying each other! When it is over, how can any of the assemble a team? How can 49% of the people not feel cheated/disrespected? for Dr Ben? #BC2DC16
Jimmy (Greenville, North Carolina)
Trump and Sanders are irrelevant. Just in the race to give the politicos some material.
ExPeter C (Bear Territory)
The smashing of both political establishments in New Hampshire would be a dream come true.
Michael Thomas (Sawyer, MI)
'Independent voters' is a euphemism for uninformed voters.
How can one follow the news, and not yet decide, which side of the fence one is committed to?
Lau (Penang, Malaysia)
You are equating independent (i.e. no party affiliation) with uninformed (indecisive) voter. I am a bona fide independent, but I sure know very well for whom I would vote next year.
Todd Fox (Earth)
Thank you Lau. I was wondering why so many people here seem to think that non-affiliated voters are idiots. Now I understand where the confusion is coming from.
Michael Thomas (Sawyer, MI)
I take that as another vote for 'whomever the Republican Party nominee is'.
Siobhan (New York)
This article sets up the idea that the futures of both Trump and Sanders could hinge on Independents in the NH electorate.

It also spells out the intentions of Independents who plan to vote in the Republican primary: 34% for Trump, 16% for Rubio, and 7% for Bush, Christie, and Kasich.

But nowhere does it clarify what Independents who plan to vote in the Democratic primary say they'll do.

One can only assume that this information is missing because it shows a strong leaning towards Sanders.

If Clinton were leading, it would be in the first--and last--paragraphs.
Warren Bobrow (Morristown, NJ)
flawed journalism? They'll discuss this article in J-School for years to come.
Bill Appledorf (British Columbia)
Sounds like the NY Times is trying to talk NH independents into voting in the Republican primary in hopes NH Democrats will nominate Hillary Clinton.
quantumtangles (NYC)
The great news is that no one in the USA gave a hoot about the election in Canada, but many Canadians do care about the US election. What does that tell you about liberal Canadians? They all want Bernie Sandernista for Pres.
David S. (Illinois)
If I had to classify myself politically, I'm probably part of that nearly extinct species once known as a Rockefeller Republican.

I reckon I agree with Bernie Sanders less than any candidate. And a Sanders presidency would likely hurt my pocketbook.

Yet, if an election were today, I'd probably vote for the guy.

The Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-(Clinton) era of corporate cronyism and plutocracy has to end for the sake of the republic. I of course recognize this doesn't stop the equally if not more heinous issues in Congress, but hey, it's a start.

When Mike Judge released the film Idiocracy about ten years ago, I laughed hysterically. Now I cry, because we seem, in a day and age where low-information voters dominate the electorate, to be heading down that path. Strange as it seems to me in many ways, Sanders may be our last best chance to reverse that trend.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
I agree with everything you say, but I don't think Sanders can reverse that trend. We'd need people to apply to be parents, taking courses first and proving that they had the intellectual ability and maturity to be good parents before they were allowed to conceive. We won't do that and so the most stupid people will continue to have the most children, and Idiocracy is our unavoidable fate.
Richard Green (San Francisco)
I also used to call myself a Rockefeller Republican -- center right on economic issues and fairly liberal on social issues. That's why I am now a registered
Democrat and supporting Hillary Clinton.
Sage (California)
Good for you! You care about your country!
Anthony G (Providence)
It's a credit to Bernie Sanders that he's within striking distance by running a positive campaign. He won't win the nomination, but he built a lot of support and got his message out there. I doubt that would have been the case if he took the low road.
Wizarat (Moorestown, NJ)
Thank you New Hampshire voters/ independent thinkers who refuse to follow machine politics and a choice of either/or.

We will not see it in many States as it is bad for Party Bosses. Deals for safe seats and quid pro quo are made in the back rooms of Political bosses if nothing Trump has ruined the day for them though. He may be bad for the country, but may help revamp the political parties for future.
Adil (DC)
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are representatives of two extremes in the eyes of the establishment. they will never allow either to win.
JoanZee (U.S.)
Bernie Sanders IS NOT AN EXTREME CANDIDATE...if any one on the Democrat side is, it is Hillary Rodham Clinton (a former Republican until Bill Clinton became president, then she "converted?"...
Bernie Sanders ENTERED this Democrat race because he wanted TO GET SOME U.S.A. ISSUES BROUGHT TO FRONT...Bernie is an independent, described in this race by DWS, Democrat Socialist because DWS and DNC have done ALL IN THEIR POWER to make this a one person race...
Oh yes, this isn't "street legal" but has Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton or Debbie Waserman Schulz (DNC) done ANYTHING THAT IS STREET LEGAL in 30 years?
Conley pettimore (The tight spot)
dear Joan, Clinton has always been a Democrat. She grew up wealthy, went to exclusive schools. Courted the rich and gave them direct access to government, etc etc. The tried and true Democrat policy has been to act as Clinton has, create their own oligarchy and attack those who have done exactly the same thing but call themselves Republican.
Impedimentus (Nuuk)
Why does the New York Times continue to use negative emotional labels for Bernie Sanders? Desperate, grumpy, socialist ... Most of your readers see right through these attempts to denigrate Sen. Sanders. Where is the objective reporting that built the Times' reputation, a reputation that it is in danger of losing?
Warren Bobrow (Morristown, NJ)
Like our Star Ledger (formerly in Newark, New Jersey) who actually endorsed Chris Christie for governor.. Try as we may to ignore it, they did.
Can't go back and say they didn't..

New York Times... please act your age!
Blue Heron (Philadelphia)
I we didn't know better (and we do), one might conclude the NYT continues this HRC is inevitable nonsense just to whip up/mobilize Bernie Sanders troops. But we know this newspaper is out of touch, spending too much time listening to and quoting the same handful on insider DNC strategists/consultants--and liking the sounds of their own editorial voices far too much.
Mark Portier (New Paltz NY)
It has been lost. Every one of these articles is like an epitaph.
Blue Heron (Philadelphia)
Independents will decide everything in the upcoming election. They will come out and vote in record numbers. And they will send a message to both parties that they're equally bankrupt morally as well as ethically. That's why the current Dem and Republican front runners are toast and also why front page NYT story today re: Clintons and Trumps is such a charade. Trump may be "telling it like it is" about Bill and Hillary Clinton (and he is) but every time he opens his obnoxious "reality show" mouth, a majority of the electorate are also reminded of how thoroughly messed up our social, economic, ethical and moral--not just political--solar systems have become. We need to learn our lessons and take back this country before all of the business as usual suspects win elections next year and we find ourselves right back where we started.
Sharon (Miami Beach)
I am registered with NPA (no party affiliation) and have been for years. I have never felt compelled to register with one party or the other even though Florida, where I live, has a closed primary. However, this year I registered as a Democrat solely so I could vote for Bernie in the primary. If he wins the nomination (unlikely, but one must keep hope alive), I will certainly and enthusiastically vote for him. In fact, for the first time in my life, I made a campaign contribution. This is a year of firsts for me, courtesy of Bernie.

Should Mrs. Clinton win the Democratic primary, my vote will either go to the Republican nominee or a 3rd party or write-in candidate. I hardly think I am alone in this mindset, and the DNC would be wise to stop their Clinton favoritism and pay attention.
W.A. Spitzer (Faywood)
Think about appointments to the Supreme Court before you decide how to vote.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
Dear Sharon,
That's all well and good, but Florida's primary does not matter. Only Iowa and New Hampshire have primaries that matter, the nominees get chosen by those two primaries alone, and all following primaries are completely unimportant.
Zejee (New York)
Yes. I am an independent and I will never vote for Hillary. I'll write in a vote for Sanders.
Vcliburn (NYC)
I fully understand and appreciate the doubtful cynicism that many people have toward a Trump Presidential candidacy. Most of us know by now that Trump's politically incorrect message…however crude and unpolished as it may be…resonates truth with many sincere & well-meaning voters. But whether you agree with Trump or not, he represents a BOLD and refreshing departure from what we've been hearing for so long and from so many politicians...on both sides of the aisle, no doubt!

If Trump ultimately drops out...and if one of the other candidates emerges as the standard-bearer for the GOP (e.g., Rubio, Fiorina), then that person must be ready, willing and able to continue Trump's cogent message on ILLEGAL immigration, border security, etc., without backing down from the knee-jerk, “politically correct media bullies”, nay-sayers and Hollywood pop-culture.

It seems that the mainstream media’s goal is to dictate HOW and WHAT you should think, rather than to encourage you (as true journalists & reporters should do) to think independently and for yourself.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
Well just keep in mind Trump lies all the time and has no policies which could possibly work.
Vcliburn (NYC)
Dan...if we all took your advice to heart by applying it across the board in a genuinely fair, impartial & "arm's-length" manner, we'd surely be a better nation for it! Now, how do we do that? Simply substitute the names of each of the candidates into your statement...from both sides of the aisle...and see what we come up with.

Sadly, after that I think we'd have to start from scratch! I applaud your intellectual honesty and arm's-length critical thinking ability!
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
Heh, thanks for the reply Vcliburn, and it seems my initial diatribe was deemed too vitriolic to post after all. Nonetheless, yes, pretty much all the candidates lie a lot, still some of them do have policies which make sense, while folks like Trump and Cruz do not.
ClosetTheorist (Colorado)
I'm voting for war, a can't-fail investment strategy in this country. With that in mind, any candidate will do. Less important than which candidate to choose is whether to buy Raytheon, Lockheed, or all military contractor stocks. War is big $$$ !
Tom (California)
Sanders and Trump have something in common. Both are fed up... Sanders with greedy billionaires, tax loopholes for over-compensated CEOs who offshore American jobs, legalized bribery of our government, serial polluters, war profiteers, corrupt Supreme Court "Justices", Anti-American Congressional "Representatives", and Wall Street thieves who go unpunished. While Trump is fed up with poor brown people trying to work and make their lives better...

Trump is now mainstream Republican... Sanders used to be mainstream Democrat, until the moderate Republicans took over the party about 25 years ago.
W.A. Spitzer (Faywood)
"Sanders used to be mainstream Democrat, until the moderate Republicans took over the party about 25 years ago.".....About the same time the Dixiecrats took over the Republican Party?
KarlQ (Fancy Gap, VA)
I'm with George Washington:
It is un-American to lock yourself into a party!
The federal Constitution makes no provisions for political parties. We are free to make alliances if we wish, but they should be on issues and principles, not "team loyalty"!
Our loyalty should be to the nation, not a faction.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
Sure, but there's no reason for Iowa and New Hampshire to choose every national primary ever. They're the only primaries that really matter, in two tiny, unimportant states, and that's undemocratic.
JoeB (Sacramento, Calif.)
If you are not active in a party then your primary role in the Presidential election will be to pick from a list that others created for you. That is considerably less of a choice than being involved in putting the list together. Being enrolled in a party because that was your parent's party isn't much of a choice either. Decide what you believe and support candidates you feel will move the government in that direction. There is nothing glorious about being non committal.
Jesse (Burlington VT) be a Liberal these days. No one loves your front-runner (Hillary) and independents will not elect a socialist--in fact The Bern can't win a single southern state and is slated to be an asterisk in election history--think Nader. Maybe it's time to get behind O'Mally?
Zejee (New York)
I am an independent and I will vote for Bernie. He is like the Democrats of old, for the people.
Dirk (Connecticut)
Interesting point about the southern states and agree with the overall assessment.....
But can you name a single hardcore "southern state" (not VA or NC) that President Obama carried? I suspect Hillary will also carry none in the general election.
Candidate Obama realized that It's the electoral map that is the key.
Lau (Penang, Malaysia)
If nobody like a front runner, how can that person be a front runner?
Debra (Formerly From Nyc)
I hate what the DNC is doing to crown Queen Hillary.

Oh, she'll be an effective President (although no Obama). However, this is not a coronation. That goes for Jeb, too. I hate what Trump is saying but am glad that he's there because otherwise we would have had Jeb Bush, frontrunner, especially after the attack in San Bernadino.

I have decided to vote for Bernie Sanders in my state's primary. Hillary should NOT have a coronation with her Saturday debates. We will need her standing strong against Trump and the Republicans but let her WORK for it, just like Sanders and O'Malley are.

Put the debates on in PRIME TIME.
esp (Illinois)
I agree except for the part that she should win the nomination.
sapienti sat (west philly)
Bernie Sanders is going to surprise a lot of people, people.
JoeB (Sacramento, Calif.)
Name recognition well established, a crowd of supporters coming over the state border to help get out the vote....he should have a landslide in this election. There is no excuse.
Upstate New York (NY)
One can only hope!
John Q Public (Omaha)
I agree. Despite the mainstream medias best efforts to defeat him by ignoring and belittling him, the people have had enough of this corrupt political oligarchy that American democracy has morphed into. Wealthy Americans who studiously avoid paying their fare share of taxes had better get ready for the storm that is about to come their way.
Ruth Meyer (NYC)
The only candidate who can beat Trump is Bernie Sanders. He is our ONLY hope to clean up the deeply ingrained corruption that runs throughout Congress, the banks, corporations and of course, the mainstream media pandering to all of them. We are at our lowest ebb, even lower than the Nixon years. We were promised so much by Obama who delivered handsomely to his benefactors and through the electorate under the bus. Americans must stop tolerating political lies as normal. They are very dangerous.
Marylee (MA)
Obama was stalled by the do nothing Congress.
ACJ (Chicago, IL)
I wonder how many Independents will vote for Trump just to keep this traveling circus going.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
Seems horrible that they would toy with the extermination of humanity just for some entertainment.
media2 (DC)
That Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are not controlled by party leadership is vital. In a debate between the two, Sanders' respectful approach could elicit the same from Trump. Our country would then have a debate worth having – in the uncontrolled disinfectant of sunlight.
W.A. Spitzer (Faywood)
"That Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are not controlled by party leadership is vital.".....Meaning that neither one could possibly be elected President.
Ronn (Seoul)
Goodness, The Times tries to tar Sanders with Trump, in print?
Will the paper use Hillary as feathers I wonder?
LeoRegius (San Francisco Bay Area)
Our two party system has resulted in a cycle.

One party gains power and then, 4 or 8 years later when the electorate has become dissatisfied, the other party is voted into office. Another 4 or 8 years pass, the two parties exchange roles again and so it continues.

The only constant in this cycle is that big money interests maintain their infiltration of government. They see Bernie Sanders as a huge and credible threat who must to be derailed so as to maintain the status quo.

Their worst nightmare is Bernie in the Oval Office enlightening all Americans as to what is really going on.
Toutes (Toutesville)
The false dichotomy. If Sanders loses the nomination, let's hope he runs for President as an independent. Then we shall have the decks cleared, for a Clinton-Trump-Sanders run-off. I think the Bern will peeling off the nice gloves at that point. He is doing this for the future of our democracy. The other two are doing this because they can.
JoanZee (U.S.)
Bernie has already made the choice of not "running third party" because it would assuredly enable Hillary Clinton (and or D. Trump) the win...Bernie is going to do it the sane way, present the WINNING STRATEGY, sign on the right people...and he will be assured his win is HIS WIN...
Bernie Sanders 2016! I'm an Independent FORCED TO VOTE in the consummating election...with the GOP and DNC in control!
DSS (Ottawa)
Independent in NH means free to vote for the best candidate to do the job without party interference. However, since this election is about who is the best clown in town, anything can happen.
Chuck Mella (Mellaville)
I hear some serious issues being discussed by the Democrats. The Republicans, not so much.
jmichalb (Portland, OR)
Thanks for the anecdotes but do you have any recent polling data to share on the current candidates? Asking somebody something on the street fluffs out the article but is completely useless to someone who is trying to gain perspective on developing voter positions in New Hampshire.
Bev (New York)
If the polling is done using only land lines, they are missing many voters
tom (midwest)
It is not the number of eligible voters, but rather the number that actually turn out and vote. New Hampshire does fairly well (up to 50% vote). Iowa? About 16-18% make the decision.
John (Princeton)
But isn't the Iowa process different. It is just the 'precinct captains" reporting (Didn't Richard Daley design the system?) who they like. For the Iowa result it wouldn't matter if anyone showed up to vote.
tom (midwest)
A caucus system in Iowa.
Dave K (Cleveland, OH)
This isn't news in New Hampshire. Back when I was living there in 2000, there were a lot of discussions about whether to support Bill Bradley (running against Al Gore on the Democratic side) or John McCain (running against George W Bush on the Republican side). Most made the same decision I made: Not-Bush was more important.

I've thought about creating a bumper sticker: "Don't Blame Me - I'm From New Hampshire".
JoanZee (U.S.)
As an independent myself, in the 2000 election, I voted Al Gore (I am also an environmentalist) - going to bed at 1a.m. Al Gore was ahead almost 300 points, awaking two hours later, learning of the LOST ballot trucks in the swamps and also that Jeb Bush and followers had enabled a MISCOUNT to give those lost ballots to George W. Bush - I AM STILL DISBELIEVING that Jeb Bush has the face to return for another Presidency claim for the B.U.S.H. ne'er do wells!
Christine McMorrow (Waltham, MA)
"Russ Miles, an independent from Rochester, said he agreed more with Mr. Trump than with other candidates on major issues like immigration, though he was uncomfortable with the billionaire’s temperament."

He agrees with "Trump's position on immigration"???? What is that, aside from, "make them all go home"?

What struck me most in this article was how many intended to cast their vote based on a negative political calculus--not supporting a candidate, but voting against another.

When this is the case, let's face it: New Hampshire is meaningless. You have an overcrowded field versus a narrower one, a crossover vote to boot, and a lot of negative power voting. I think the results will give pundits fits.

Nothing will become even remotely significant until the field is winnowed. this is the oddest election I've ever seen in my lifetime. But if the craziness of it all gets people to get out and vote, so be it.

It would be nice to get people to become truly interested in politics again, and to realize, their lives depend on their choices.

When is the last time that happened?
sherry (Virginia)
"It would be nice to get people to become truly interested in politics again, and to realize, their lives depend on their choices.

When is the last time that happened?"

2008. I worked the polls that very emotional day. The optimism and belief were overwhelming. Unfortunately, things haven't worked out the way they anticipated because putting all your hopes on one person fails in a democracy.
Christian (Newburgh NY)
Very true! Putting ones faith in an untested senator whether it was Kenndy(60) Obama (08) is bound to be disheartening.
KarlQ (Fancy Gap, VA)
We need a team leader to form a rational, principled team. Not a politician or a blowhard, and certainly not a liar or creature bought and paid-for by the rich.
The only rational choice is Dr Ben Carson, but the powers that be slander him in the media, both on the left and right.
The current system is built to fail... Building up a "king" then squishing him/her like a bug.
Kevin (philly)
It depends on what type of independent voter you are. Independent because you are too racist and ignorant even for Republicans- vote Trump. Independent because you are tired of the status quo of inequality and a backsliding American society- vote Sanders.
Joshua Bauman (Darby Township, PA)
By George, I think you've got it!
JoanZee (U.S.)
This Independent is voting SANDERS and helping his race along with lots of us "little Americans"...Bernie Sanders, I have supported you MANY YEARS!
Toutes (Toutesville)
Bravo Kevin, well put. Sharp and pointed too!
Heather (Miami Beach)
Ah, the same story every election. First, we have to hear about the dense politicians and their astounding ignorance. Then, far worse, we hear about the terrifying independent voters who hold the future of the country in their hands despite being undecided between two polar opposites the night before the election. Shame on the Cruzes, the Trumps, the Rand Pauls of the world. But mostly shame on the independent undecided voter.
JoanZee (U.S.)
Independent voters are not "guessing" what to vote - they have voted, in my case 50 years - and nothing Kruz, Trump, Bush? would sway me dropping my Independent Status as it hopefully makes many UNPROBABLE CANDIDATES SQUIRM as they find out "what side the Independents are on"...
Todd Fox (Earth)
Shame on the Independent voter? For what?
We are simply the voters who refuse to give our allegiance to a particular party. The parties cannot count on our support - they must earn it. I personally believe that the endless battle between the two political machines has corrupted the system by deliberately feeding the polarity that is killing this nation.
Will Wilkin (New England)
The crises facing our country are not defined by capitalist v. socialist, or liberal v. conservative, but rather corporatist v. populist, or even globalist v. patriotic. Bernie Sanders understands the need to bring back our republic, our democracy and decency and patriotism. He understands that our trade policy and our government have been hijacked by an oligarchy who have completely staked their fortune and loyalties on globalized banks and corporations with zero loyalty to our country and our national interest. Their takeover of Washington is extremely radical, and the America we once knew and loved is already "finished," but could be taken back by the citizens under inspiration of a leader like Bernie Sanders, who is independent of the globalized financial oligarchy now running Washington. HRC and most of the Republicans and much of the Democrats are all part of that purchased corrupt establishment puppetry. The socialist aspects of Bernie's program have become necessary due to the obscene concentration of power and wealth to the very top of the economy (the 1%), but it is his rejection of the Free Trade treaties that will really bring back our industries and our sovereignty. I feel quite CONSERVATIVE supporting Bernie Sanders.
What me worry (nyc)
YUP.. Put the dem back in democracy.. Vote for Bernie.
sherry (Virginia)
But without a Congress to work with, he can do little. We have to find that Congress for him (and for us). That work begins the day after the NH primary. Finding the right people to run and keeping the few right people who are already there won't be easy.
M. (Seattle, WA)
Because the GOP majority Congress will fall right in line with Bernie's plan to spend $18 trillion dollars. Lol.
jefflz (san francisco)
I refuse to believe that a majority of voters for either party in any state (of consciousness) is ready to chose a filthy-mouthed, hateful bigot who is dangerously ignorant of world affairs, and a complete business fraud to be their next presidential candidate. Donald Trump's behavior in running for the most important office in the land is an insult to all Americans. I refuse to believe that there are enough low-information voters in New Hampshire to give the nod to Trump- the residents have too much love for their state to defile its good name.
Leave Capitalism Alone (Long Island NY)
Is HRC the gold standard for seeking the Presidency?
J (C)
"filthy-mouthed, hateful bigot who is dangerously ignorant of world affairs" describes a whole lot of people in this country.
bsebird (<br/>)
Oh my, I hope you are right! But so many of those interviewed seem to be basing their choice on non-issues or policies. I got no sense that they are looking beyond whether they "like" the candidate or the personality. The ones who like Trump are sadly looking for simplistic solutions in a complex world. Which person could best handle that complexity?! Not the Donald, nor most of the others who are simply ego-driven ideologues.
Ecobuilder (Nevada)
With the U.S. economy leading as the number one concern for most Americans, cost-prohibitive American health care, and gross income inequality that has risen to shameful and devastating affects for most Americans, it's time to change who we elect. First we need Senator Sanders as President. Then we need to clean and rebuild the horrifically greedy and corrupt House and Senate.
Nick Metrowsky (Longmont, Colorado)
Have you noticed that all the candidates, except Mr. Sanders, are playing the fear and terrorism card? Most polls show Americans don't feel safe? This was done on purpose, to further silence Mr. Sanders and his message. However, even though some say it is a "throw away vote"; I will vote for Mr. Sanders in the primary, and if he makes it, the national election. Ms. Clinton, is no different than the field of GOP candidates; an extension of the oligarchy.
Debra (Formerly From Nyc)
The news media wants to promote fear, saying that "Americans are nervous." They show snowstorms on the weather reports as if we have never had snow in winter before. Fear sells. And the Republicans are loving it.
Catdancer (Rochester, NY)
We need both simultaneously. If we elect President Sanders and a GOP Congress, he will be able to accomplish little.
John from Westport (Connecticut)
Politics is too complicated for most simple minded sound-bite Americans to grasp. This fact is supported by the pitiful ~42% turnout in 2014. Most Americans think it's the POTUS that will fix the economy, solve the middle east issues, fix the highways, provide healthcare... Simple minded Americans believe the election year sound-bite rhetoric of "I'm going to make American great again" or "Take back America". When lazy simple minded Americans really understand how the three branches of govt work, they will participate in greater numbers and make truly informed decisions rather than 'anybody but X'. The NYT should conduct a poll in every primary state asking prospective voters what the 3 branches of govt are and how their vote is represented in govt. I think the results would be shocking.
Karen L. (Illinois)
Not to mention state and local elections. We, here in IL, are hostage to the warring factions in Springfield, and like D.C., nothing gets done. Still trying to figure out why my hard-earned taxpaying dollars are paying the salaries of all these bozos who do NOTHING.
wolf201 (Prescott, Arizona)
I agree. I keep telling people that the most important elections are for the Senate and House. These are the people we need to pay attention to.
Todd Fox (Earth)
Imagine the hullabaloo if we required not a photo ID but a simple quiz about how our government works before allowing someone to qualify to vote.
John Townsend (Mexico)
Behold Trump’s all or nothing, no holds barred fling at self destruction and dragging his immediate world down with him with a despotic and utter disregard of them as individuals … what an amazing spectacle! How is this possible? It’s possible because of the glaring incompetence and dangerousness of each and every GOP candidate. A Trump candidacy could well win the Presidency, the Senate, and maybe even the House for the Democrats. Even districts that are 55% GOP might not be safe with Trump leading the ticket.
What me worry (nyc)
Someone explain to me how the other GOP frontrunners are different from the big D. Anit- healthcare for all, anit-abortion, certainly wnat to build a big wall btwn the us and Mexico-- I usggest they use as a model the attractive and very long and enduring Great Wall of China made of recyclable materials.

American are also anti-taxation... and broadly anti-government -- altho most of us could not do very well w/o it.
Bev (New York)
Anyone who read yesterday's excellent piece in the Times about how the super rich and their cabal of tax lawyers keep from paying their fair share of taxes should realize the Berni Sanders is the only candidate who is not owned by Wall Street AND who has the interests of middle class and poor people as his top priority.
DSS (Ottawa)
There are voters who want people in government that entertain them, and there are voters that want change. Unfortunately, we will probably elect someone who pledges to do nothing.
linda5 (New England)
Bernie has done nothing as a senator to change " how the super rich and their cabal of tax lawyers keep from paying their fair share of taxes".
He's one of the 101 most powerful men in the US and he hasn't done a thing.
Why do you think he'll change?
MNimmigrant (St. Paul)
. . . and how does the President control the legislative and judicial branch? Our laws and now the Supreme Court (Citizens United) support the rich. We saw President Barack Obama stymied time and again by the legislative branch. We the voters need to be more involved in our democracy! Bernie Sanders or anyone else can be effective only if we the voters hand him a supportive legislature.
esp (Illinois)
Janet Doyle needs to make a real statement and vote for Bernie. He is the one to run the country. She can make a statement regarding Trump if she wants (of course) but Trump will NEVER win the general election.
New Hampshire is a non-factor.
William (Wisconsin)
Honestly now....would you buy a used car from Donald Trump?
Lorenzo (Italy)
I would actually be more wary of buying a used car from Mrs. Clinton than from Trump, especially in the case where she would make a huge profit from the sale. Trump might not care so much about the money and profit and might be more interested in selling HIS car whereas Madame Clinton would care only for what profit it would bring to her.
Maro (Massachusetts)
Why do I worry that this is the beginning of the New York Times' spin on why a decisive Sanders victory in New Hampshire isn't relevant to the later primary elections?
Christian (Newburgh NY)
You got that right. NYT has been bought by the Hillary(soon to be convicted) camp. NYT "The news that is paid for" newspaper
Allan (Austin)
The media, including, alas, The Times, have never taken Bernie seriously. I hope they get a nasty awakening in a month or so. Hillary represents the same compromised politics of the past, the politics that led us to the verge of a irreparable schism in our democracy. The only serious hope for change is in the Vermont senator.
quantumhunter (Honolulu)
Hillary and the NYTimes are the establishment - arm in arm and in lock step. Go Bernie!
Barbara Miles (Vermont)
The two-party system sets up the race to be focused on either/or oppositions. That's why Bernie has always run (and been elected) as an Independent, a Progressive, and now as a Democratic Socialist. And that is also why he doesn't like attack ads. He wants solutions that depend on people coming together to solve problems. Participatory democracy, not blaming democracy. Here's hoping the Independents of New Hampshire realize this. And here's hoping they get the help of an independent media that gives coverage to issues and solutions, not to reality-TV drama.
Todd Fox (Earth)
Good comment.

I wonder what will happen if Bernie loses the Democratic primary. Will he run as an Independent? What a wonderful thing it would be for this nation, polarized by our two party system, if a third viable party and candidate rose in this election.
Leave Capitalism Alone (Long Island NY)
Sanders isn't talking about participatory democracy. He's calling for mob rule and the confiscation of wealth from those he deems unworthy.
G McNabb (San Martin, Ca.)
Todd, "There you go again..." This happened with Perrot, and the opposing liberal won, and with Nader causing the conservative to win. No, the Supreme Court is much too important. And Bernie has already declared that he will not run as an independent. He will abide by the results of the primaries. We are riding two horses in this election. We must form an unbeatable coalition for the liberal philosophy to bring America back from the precipice. Bernie or Hillary, they both represent a win for guaranteeing a more liberal Supreme Court.
Richard Conn Henry (Baltimore)
My inner Anarchist wants a Bernie versus Donald general election. New Hampshire, please save me from myself!
SR (Bronx, NY)
I want exactly that, though mostly so that Bernie can cakewalk his way to a win. The people who see Bernie got the Dem nod will get an infusion of hope, and those who look at him and then at Trump will give the Bigoted Blowhard an infusion of nope.
Bev (New York)
That would be the best choice to have. The megalomaniac guy who inherited millions or the guy who has been fighting for the poor and middle class for decades. Go Bernie!
What me worry (nyc)
this is the perfect storm... maybe Congress will grow up..maybe Americans will mature a little bit.
Atlant Schmidt (Nashua, NH)
"Mr. Sanders, desperate to broaden his appeal beyond the left, has taken pains to court the undeclared, ..."

If I may quote a somewhat-famous Republican, "There you go again". Is this a story or an op-ed? Senator Sanders isn't "desperate" to broaden his appeal beyond the left, he already demonstrably *HAS* appeal far beyond the left. In his home state of Vermont, he is routinely elected with more than 70% of the vote and in Vermont, I assure you that includes a great many Republican voters. Here in New Hampshire, you can personally encounter quite a few Republicans who will support Senator Sanders in the General Election even though our state primary rules prevent them from supporting him in the Democratic Presidential Primary.

You'll never quit trying to skew the race, will you, NYTimes?
CAF (Seattle)
I just continue to be Shocked and Awed by the sheer dishonesty of the New York Times as far as the primary is concerned. They'll print anything they think will get Hillary the nomination. Even if it is a cheap and desperate attempt to paint a completely false picture.
quantumhunter (Honolulu)
yeah. there are about 5 republicans in vermont. Look around Bennington.
JW Mathews (Cincinnati, OH)
New Hampshire remains a beacon of light in a democracy gone awry. Open primaries should be the rule for ALL states and the caucus nonsense should be done away with entirely.

Better yet would be a national primary for all parties where voters choose one party and vote in its primary. This primary should be on the second Sunday of September with the general election on the second Sunday of November. Spending caps should be in place and robot calls prohibited. Pipe dream to be sure, but one worth working towards.
Keith (TN)
I think it would be better if the national primary was a jungle primary, which cuts the parties out of a lot of power, which they have way too much of now.
Kevin Hill (Miami)
SCOTUS rules in 1976 that spending caps are unconstitutional in federal races.

Now, the robot call, on the other hand, ARE bannable by Congress. In fact, there is specific exemption for political robocalls in the law, and they could get rid of those tomorrow.

Also there is nothing in the constitution to stop your proposal to move elections in the way you propose.

Good ideas.
Kevin R (Brooklyn)
Just to note -- since the article fails to mention -- that Bernie Sanders has been consistently leading Clinton in most recent polls, by as many as 14 points (major recent CBS/YouGov poll from Dec 20)

Despite a fairly commanding lead, we have you saying "Sanders is desperate" (to win the appeal of conservatives in NH)

Actually, I think it's Hillary Clinton's campaign that's desperate. They've been sending 3 emails every single day, practically begging for $1 donations ---anything to pad their number of donations to make it look like they are succeeding in raising money, compared to Sen. Sanders, who has already announced he will break the record for most donations at this stage in any campaign in history (nearly 2.5 million)

here is Clinton's campaign email from yesterday:

"The fact is, we have the most supporters in this race by a wide margin. So it's surprising that Bernie Sanders has more people contributing to his campaign than we do.

We can’t afford for Hillary to lose this nomination."

The email ends with a request for a $1 donation, and even tries to rationalize how asking for $1 can benefit her canoaign (it really costs almost $1 to process and acquire a single donation!)

Now that's desperation.
Marie (NYC)
..."The fact is, we have the most supporters in this race by a wide margin. So it's surprising that Bernie Sanders has more people contributing to his campaign than we do.

They Just Don't Get It.
What me worry (nyc)
i unsubscribed from "The Feed" from Huma (her name first on the d) and the Hill.. there's a Dr. Seuss book here.
Michael Thomas (Sawyer, MI)
Kevin R.
Thank you. I learned something today.
I never understood that the 'game' behind asking for $1 donations, was to create a false sense of populism.
The number of ways in which the public is deceived is endless given the skills of public relations geniuses.

Jeffrey Waingrow (Sheffield, MA)
I understand that with such a divided Republican field, Alfred E. Neuman is considering announcing his candidacy. Anyone else hear that?
Sharon5101 (Rockaway Beach Ny)
Alfred E Neuman declares his candidacy for the Presidency every 4 years.
Susan (New York, NY)
So Mr. Crossan may vote for Mr. Sanders, if only to make Mrs. Clinton sweat.
“I don’t want Bernie Sanders to be president,” he said, “but I’ll vote for him anyway.”
The stupid is strong in this country. This comment illustrates it.
Bates (MA)
Susan -- Even stupid people do the right things from time to time.
PRRH (Tucson, AZ)
The last thing we need is voters who lean Democratic, protecting the Republican Party from their candidate folly. Let then self-destruct on their own.
Mr. Robin P Little (Conway, SC)

Every 4 years these same stories and arguments. How about this: how New Hampshire votes doesn't necessarily mean anything about how the rest of the country will vote in their primaries and caucuses, and it has almost nothing to do with who will chosen as the eventual party nominee at the conventions.
Wallace (NY)
New Hampshire will test whether millennials vote. They are vocal and enthusiastic, in rallies and on social media, but do they actually vote? If Sanders win, we will have the answer.

Trump's supporters are equally vocal and omnipresent in rallies and on twitter, but will they actually vote for Trump?
Socrates (Downtown Verona, NJ)
It will be refreshing to see some citizens actually vote after an insidious American year of 0.1%-ers voting cash and yellow journalists voting quilled swill.

Could this actually be a functioning democracy after all ?

That would require an informed electorate, of course -- a very, very tall order.

Get on the journalistic case, NYT and help make democracy happen !
MIMA (heartsny)
40% of the electorate in New Hampshire is independent. Telling.
Does that give candidates more of a chance to win based on substance?
Let's hope so. More interesting to watch the results then compared to straight party predictions. Competition is not a bad thing - not even for Donald Trump. But he would not want anyone to believe that and has tons of money to support his campaign. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to believe that money determines an election? That it truly would be just substance regardless of money or which party generally ruled?
Charlie (NJ)
About the same % of Americans are independents. No different than New Hampshire. I'm one of them. And while I've tended to vote for one party in most elections I prefer to remain independent rather than declaring some form of loyalty or allegiance. Neither party gets my vote of support before all the issues are on the table from the candidates.
See also