Please don’t shoot my neighbors — the few, the proud, New York Republicans — even if they are a bit louder or less genteel than the native New Hampshirites….as they tramp across your lawns.
I suppose national polls are artificial in their way. And certainly any image mediated by Chris Matthews is suspect. But the national polls are useful to the extent that they measure the way the candidate’s image and ideas are getting across to a wide range of American voters. Obviously we prefer more ideas/policy, and less pure image. But even there — the utility of TV is that it often lets viewers see deeper into the candidate’s character than any one-off scripted meeting in a high school gym, with all that patina of authenticity, does.
As many have said before me, neither Iowa nor New Hampshire, for different reasons, is terribly representative of anything but (some of) their neighboring states. And all of that fun retail politics — well very few Americans are going to have the chance to answer the door and get to meet the candidate. Even if they do, one expects most pols to be reasonably charming (or compelling, at least) in person; that’s an entrance requirement for the profession, (except in New York, of course, where none of ours are).
I dunno — to me it seems clear that the ability to appeal to a wide audience over time is a better indicator of who voters will respond to in an election, than the ability to organize the especially committed in states that conduct these quadrennial exercises.
Ideally your candidate can do both — as Hillary has been doing. The gap in our guys performance is what suggests trouble ahead.