Huntsman Tells AlterNet His Plan to Win the GOP Nomination
I just encountered Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor, in the war room of Talk Radio News, as he completed an interview with Jeff Santos, a Boston radio talk show host.
Let's assume that Huntsman does much better in New Hampshire than originally expected, as polls are suggesting today. How on earth will he win over the Tea Party crowd who are presumed to be the key to winning the nomination? I reminded him that, he had just told Santos, in response to a question about climate change, "I believe in science." (A tenet of Tea Party ideology is the rejection of evidence of the human role in creating climate change.)
"By building a broader Republican coalition," he replied.
In South Carolina, the next big primary contest, Huntsman explained, it's an open primary, meaning you don't have to come to the polls as a registered Republican.
So, that means he expects independents -- and maybe even people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 -- to turn out to vote for him?
In order to win in the general election, he explained, the Republican nominee will have to pull votes from people who previously voted for Barack Obama. "That just the way the math works," he said.
The takeaway? Huntsman's path to the nomination lies in focusing his efforts in states with open primaries.
Things are beginning to get interesting.