Voters decide which party primary to vote in and non-Republicans might try to stop Trump
One of the hardest thing for many in Britain to understand is that each state in the US operates its primaries differently. Iowa has it caucuses where the party choices are determined in 1,600 precinct meeting across the state. The organisation of these is carried out by the parties.
In New Hampshire where the first full primary takes place voters can decide at the polling station which election to take part in. They can cast their ballot in the Republican one where Trump (see above) continues to dominate or the Democratic one where Bernie Sanders has been running strong.
This is from a National Journal article raising the possibility that Democratic voters might switch to the Republicans to impede the controversial real estate billionaire.
“..UnÂlike many states where only memÂbers reÂgistered in a party well ahead of time can vote in that primary, New HampÂshire perÂmits â€œunÂdeclaredâ€ voters to reÂgister in a party on the day of the elecÂtionâ€”and then switch back to unÂdeclared as they leave the polling place.
â€œYouâ€™re a free agent that day,â€ says UniÂversity of New HampÂshire politÂicÂal sciÂentÂist Dante Scala. â€œEsÂsenÂtially reÂgister as a ReÂpubÂlicÂan or a DemoÂcrat for 15 minutes.â€
In addition independent and undeclared voters are able to vote in the the Republican primary.
In terms of TV audiences for the debates this White House Race is attracting more public interest than ever before at this stage. Donald Trump has become a polarising figure particularly as a result of his comments on Muslim immigration. My guess is that we’ll ssee record levels of cross over voting than in New Hampshire.
The knock on effect is fewer voters will take part in the Democratic contest and that might hurt Hillary.
The question is which of the GOP contenders stands to benefit most. If the objective is to stop Trump then it will be the Republican opponent who looks best able to win. The polls will play a big part.