Donald Trump (35%) and Bernie Sanders (about 60% to Clinton’s 38%) have won their respective primary races in the State of New Hampshire tonight. Both performed slightly better than expected based on the polls, debate performances and our expections.
No sign of changes in their rhetoric as they head to South Carolina and Nevada for the next primaries on 20 and 23 February respectively.
But the real story is Governor John Kasich of Ohio, who has stepped into a contender role by earning a solid second place in New Hampshire.
Kasich worked very hard in New Hampshire, abandoning the Iowa caucuses to focus his limited resources. His strong second place position, above the other popular contenders, pushes him forward in the primaries, likely with support from the RNC and perhaps with some generous donations to the Super PAC’s that support him.
In my opinion this is a fortunate development for the Republican Party. The addition of a sitting governor to the top contender list adds credibility and gravitas, makig the primary a real race with real choices.
I’ve always thought senators to be poor choices for President, never having experienced a leadership role with the responsibility and resource management that a governor experiences.
While Cruz and Rubio are philosophically on point, their experience levels are easily questioned. Kasich has been a successful governor in Ohio. The choice between a billionaire with unquestioned abilites, a conservative and philosophically correct senator and a successful, capable and reasonable governor means that anyone who wins has defeated a legitimate competitive field.
My support thus far has gone to Trump. But he has alredy shown he can beat Cruz and Rubio (I’m thinking freshman senators are a soft target…). If he wins with Kasich as a genuine competitor, he has truly earned the right to be President.
At midnight with 88% reporting, the Republican primary results:
- Trump 35.2%
- Kasich 15.9%
- Cruz 11.5%
- Bush 11.0%
- Rubio 10.5%
- Christie 7.4%
- Fiorina 4.1%
- Carson 2.1%
The Democratic Primary results:
- Sanders 59.7%
- Clinton 37.6%
Per our preditions yesterday:
We thought Trumps margin would by 10-15%, he won by 18% so not too bad (but not too difficult a prediction given the polls).
We predicted a 15-20% margin for Bernie Sanders, looks like it will be closer to 22%, so not too far off. Again, this was expected, Sanders is a Vermont Senator, well known in New Hampshire with plenty of support from his nearby home state. Hillary Clinton’s chances were truncated from the start.
We predicted Cruz in second place, but were hoping for a good show by Kasich. We predict wrong but got our wish, Kasich took second.
We predicted a fall for Rubio but anticipated a fourth place finish. His debate failure had more impact (actually had enough time for the true impact to manifest), and he fell to fifth.
In Rubio’s concession speech, he took responsibility for his bad debate and said it would not happen again. But if you recall, in an earlier debate, he was stepped on my Trump to great effect. I’m predicting his campaign will decline from here.
Bush was predicted at fifth but pulled fourth because of Rubio’s failure, but actually did better. Only a 0.3% behind Cruz, this is essentially a dead heat for 3rd place.
Christie’s surge was better than expect, Fiorina was about was I expected and Carson’s performance was much worse.
Christie is headed to New Jersey to evaluate his chances. He is likely done. In my opinion, Carson should do the same. Fiorina needs to think about it as well.