Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What to Expect Heading Into the New Hampshire Primary (VIDEO)

Be sure to stay with the entire Charles Krauthammer segment at the clip. I only disagree with him on Hillary Clinton, who I think took a shellacking by coming in a virtual tie with Bernie Sanders (and where Dr. K claims she won the state, only to be corrected by Megyn Kelly).

Other than that, it's an outstanding analysis.

And see also, at the Washington Post, "Here’s what to expect in the New Hampshire Republican primary":

CONCORD, N.H. — Sen. Ted Cruz defeated Donald Trump in Iowa on Monday night, but he faces a strikingly different set of challenges in trying to replicate that victory in New Hampshire’s primary next week. He has a lesser organization here, has spent less time here, and can’t count on such a large evangelical electorate.

History provides a clear warning. In 2008 and 2012, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum won the Iowa Republican caucuses with heavy support from evangelicals. Both then arrived here lacking a strong organization, lost this state, and failed to become the GOP nominees.

With the Republican Party’s focus on Iowa now complete, the spotlight on ethanol and evangelicals is out. Now begins an eight-day sprint that in many ways will be entirely different because New Hampshire’s voters reflect a very different side of the GOP. They’re socially moderate and fiscally frugal, and use a primary voting system that allows greater participation by independent-minded voters who revel in upsetting the conventional wisdom.

It’s why a handful of GOP “establishment” candidates who did poorly in Iowa think they’ll perform better here.

“New Hampshire voters reset elections. That’s what you all do. … The reset starts here tonight,” former Florida governor Jeb Bush defiantly told about 300 supporters at Manchester’s Alpine Club on Monday night.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told a crowd in Hopkinton Monday night that Iowa “has passed the ball to you.” The field would soon be thinned. “You all,” he said, “are going to decide it.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich told an audience of about 200 at the Bow Elementary School on Sunday that “You come here, and you look and you poke, once in a while you smell and you try to decide, is this our leader? Whether I win or not, I believe in this process. I believe that folks in New Hampshire are the best screeners that America can have to recommend to the country.”

Wayne Lesperance, a professor of political science at New England College in Henniker, N.H., said that “New Hampshire has gone differently than Iowa in six of the last nine elections on the Republican side, so the idea that one follows the other’s lead just doesn’t bear out.”

And yet, Iowa and New Hampshire share more in common this cycle, thanks to Donald Trump. He has held a double-digit lead over his GOP opponents here for more than 30 weeks and dominates the headlines — just as he did in Iowa before losing to Cruz there on Monday...
Trump's up 25 points in the recent Franklin-Pierce/Boston Globe poll, and we'll see new surveys out this week, perhaps as soon as later today. Both Cruz and Rubio will get a boost in the Granite state coming out of Iowa, but not that much and Trump can mitigate any potential decline by doing what he always does: making some news.

Most of all, though, he needs to keep up with the gracious tone he displayed in his Iowa concession, and he needs to talk policy. And importantly, Trump can't blow off the voters. He can't take them for granted, acting with epic hubris and skipping debates, or what not.

John McCain didn't even contest Iowa in 2008, and he won New Hampshire after a long slog through the state on a shoestring. Keep your eyes on Trump and Rubio this week. For some reason I don't expect Cruz's longhorn Texas style to play as well up in the Northeast.

In any case, more at the link.