“Never Trump” Republicans in New Hampshire have started a messaging campaign aimed at targeting right-leaning Independents, encouraging them to vote in the February 11 Democratic primary, and not in the Republican primary, which Trump is expected to win. 
The campaign, as NHJournal reported Sunday, includes calls and text messages to right-leaning Independents, but it does not mention or endorse specific candidates by name. Instead, it encourages the Independent voters to cast their ballot in the Democratic race and to support moderate candidates rather than the progressives.
“We’re trying to save the nation from a choice between Trumpism and socialism,” Bill Kristol, the founder of the Weekly Standard conservative magazine and one of the most prominent Republicans associated with the Never Trump movement, told the NHJournal. 
“We’re not asking people to vote for candidates they don’t like in order to mess up the other party, as some Trump operatives are doing when they tell people to vote for Sanders,” Kristol added, per the report. “We’re reminding conscientious Americans who want a good alternative to Donald Trump that they can help increase the chances of having such an alternative in November by participating in the Democratic nominating contest over the next weeks and months.”
In New Hampshire, party primaries are open to members of the party and people who are not associated with a party who wish to participate. Non-affiliated voters choose the ballot they would like when they arrive at polling stations.
The idea, Kristol said, was to encourage support of a moderate Democrat to avoid a race between Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Trump in November, which would give Republicans unhappy with the 45th president a moderate Democrat they could support in the general election.
As The Washington Examiner reported on February 4, President Trump’s re-election campaign has focused on New Hampshire following his loss in the state to Hillary Clinton in 2016. The president is planning to hold a “Keep America Great” Rally in the state on Monday, the day before he’ll likely win the state’s Republican primary. 
The same day, Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend a “Cops for Trump” rally in Portsmouth, The Washington Examiner said. Second lady Karen Pence spoke at an event in the state on Thursday.
Other candidates on the Republican Party’s primary ballot in New Hampshire include former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who is currently campaigning in the state, and former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, who announced he had suspended his bid for the Republican nomination after a loss in state’s Republican caucus last week.
“I admire what Bill Weld is doing, and hope he gets as many Republican votes in the New Hampshire primary as possible,” Kristol, who did not return a Business Insider request a comment, said according to the report. “But if you’re a New Hampshire independent, and if you don’t want the nation to be subject to a Trump/Sanders choice, I suspect you can make the most difference by voting for a reasonable Democrat of your choice in the Democratic primary.”
“I’m happy to have joined with some others to help remind New Hampshire independents, who might be accustomed to voting in the Republican primary, that this year, they may be able to make more of a difference by voting for a responsible and electable candidate in the Democratic primary,” Kristol told NHJournal.
The president has previously criticized Kristol, calling him a “loser” in 2016. Trump has in general attacked Republicans he views as “Never Trumpers,” regardless of whether they’ve identified themselves as such.
According to a WBZ/Boston Globe/Suffolk poll released Saturday, Sanders is relatively popular among New Hampshire Independents, with 26% of respondents saying they preferred the Vermont lawmaker. In that poll, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was in second place among Independent voters with 24%.
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