Now It’s On To ….
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
There were three separate results from the New Hampshire primary last night depending on where you were sitting politically. They were different if you were a Republican, a Democrat, or Michael Bloomberg. All three were shook up. Much will clearly change now, after February 20, and after Super Tuesday. Everyone agrees that there is unlikely to be a clear nominee for either party very soon.
On the Republican side, for Marco Rubio, there just was not enough time for him to recover from his Saturday night debate fiasco. He probably will stick around a bit longer but as it is likely that his money will now dry up so too will his campaign; baring a miracle in South Carolina. Meanwhile John Kasich’s second place finish will make him the other challenger to Jeb Bush for the party establishment vote, if he can get a large enough infusion of money to keep going. As for Cruz, he needs to start attacking Trump as Christie moves out and as the contests move south, or else he will not be able to sustain himself even with the money. Trump’s large victory was still only 35% of the vote. If, however, he starts crowding 40% soon, it may be very tough for whomever is second to stop his inevitable nomination.
Finally, Christie has done his magic, but now it is time to go back to New Jersey until his term expires at the end of 2017. Having thrown his all into New Hampshire and having probably mortally wounded Rubio, he can contemplate what might have been and consider how he can remain a player in his party going forward. Meanwhile, despite their pledges to the contrary, Fiorina and Carson also need to fold their tents.
On the Democratic side Hillary is in much deeper trouble than she might want to admit. The exit polls are far more telling than the actual huge margin that Bernie piled up against her last night. If she does not remake her image and do so very fast—and it may be too late already—than baring Bloomberg running we could be looking at a contest between an unelectable Goldwater versus an unelectable McGovern in November.
Finally, for Michael Bloomberg, this was the result that he has said would bring him into the race. If Trump and Bernie continue to lead, Bloomberg will jump in to the sweepstakes as he has already promised; the all bets are off.