MaryAnn Martinez* confirms that four presidential candidates are threatening to skip the Nevada caucuses if they keep playing chicken with New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the candidates are Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum, and Huntsman. In the last caucus poll (taken before the Perry collapse and Cain surge, and before Palin exited the race for real), the combined support of these candidates added up to 13 points -- around half as much support as Perry, slightly more than half as much support as Romney.
That's no way to do a boycott! In 2008, Democrats shut down the Florida and Michigan primaries when Obama, Edwards, and Clinton pulled out of them. (In Michigan, only Clinton and Kucinich even left their names on the ballot.) We're all assuming that New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner will not move his primary to December, but Republicans aren't giving him the support he needs -- maybe it's just fatigue at how this crap happens every four years, revealing the essential maturity of the people who select the presidential.
Moreover: What's the downside of a Bachmann-Santorum-Gingrich-Huntsman boycott? As I wrote this, Huntsman made an announcement:
Next Tuesday, Governor Huntsman will boycott the Nevada presidential debate, and instead hold a 'First-in-the-Nation' Town Hall Meeting in New Hampshire, to discuss his bold plans to create jobs and reform America's foreign policy for the 21st Century.
If next Tuesday's debate lacks Huntsman, Gingrich, Santorum and Bachmann, the downside will be... what, exactly? More questions for the frontrunners and Ron Paul? Less stunt preening and joking from candidates who haven't shown traction? I'm liking this boycott so far.
*This is a great local Las Vegas news name.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.