The New Hampshire 2016 presidential primary has certainly reshaped the race for both the Democrats and Republicans. What can we take away from the results that gives us clues about how the race will shape in the coming weeks leading up to the South Carolina primary, the Nevada caucus, and the March 1st SEC primary states?
1.) It’s a 5-man race at this point, or perhaps a three-man race: Donald Trump vs. Ted Cruz vs. John Kasich/Jeb Bush/Marco Rubio. Trump is staking out the populist wing, Cruz the conservative wing, and Kasich, Bush, and Rubio will certainly be fighting to be the establishment wing standard-bearer. A knife fight is almost assured in the palmetto state for the South Carolina primary on February 20th between Trump and Cruz, and Kasich, Bush, and Rubio.
Cruz has the ground game field advantage, Trump has the Big Mo after NH, Jeb Bush has the finances to be competitive, and Rubio needs to have a solid debate on Saturday to try and recover his lost “Marcomentum.” With Kasich coming in at the No. 2 spot in NH, he could be a wildcard if he begins to amass more donations and establish more of a ground game in SC.
2.) Christie and Fiorina are done. They won’t get into the debate on Saturday and donations will dry up very quickly. While they have both influenced and brought much to the campaign trail, its really hard seeing any path for them at this point.
3.) Carson – While we do love Ben Carson, its hard to see how a 4th place finish in IA and 8th place finish in NH propels his campaign further. He also said yesterday that he wouldn’t mind being a VP choice – something I’m sure will not reassure his followers.
He says he will continue his campaign and will probably have a 5% minimum lock on the SC electorate, which might inch into Cruz’s support. But on the flip side, Cruz may want Carson to stay in through SC so Carson does not endorse someone else; an endorsement from Carson may be worth more than his actual final tally in SC.
4.) Hillary was “Berned” – no ifs, ands, or buts. It’s amazing to think that a socialist won the Democrat primary – the first time this has ever happened in the history of the United States.
Regardless of what the political pundits say, Hillary can recover as she has plenty of resources to stay in the game. The south is good voting territory for her and she’s already laid out a strong ground game there. No one expected her to win NH anyway.
5.) In an amazing feat, former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore increased his vote count by an amazing 1,000%! He went from 12 total votes in IA to 125 total votes in NH, but he’s #StillStanding.
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