Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Thoughts On New Hampshire

Last night was an earthquake for both the Democrat and Republican parties as two outsiders swept to victory in the persons of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald J. Trump in the New Hampshire presidential primaries.
I will just comment for the Democrats, there is no question that one Hillary Clinton is in trouble. She should win the nomination because of her dominance of the superdelegates. But make no mistake, Sen. Sanders and his brand of democratic socialism is finding an audience. There is no doubt that Sen. Sanders can and will win some more states. He will move Mrs. Clinton further to the left and the Democrat party as a whole that way. There is a civil war in the Democrat party and that can not be glossed over.
But this is Right View From The Left Coast and I will make extended thoughts on the Republican race.
And I will do so regarding each of the eight candidates that seriously competed in New Hampshire starting with the winner of the New Hampshire GOP primary.

Donald J. Trump.
No question he won and won big. But make no mistake about it. in this case he got a lot of his 35% support from the undeclared or independent voters. Having said that, there is no question that Mr. Trump is the Pat Buchanan with money of this election cycle. He is saying that everything needs to be blown up in Washington and he is the one that can do it. Never mind that he offers little difference between himself and either of the two Democrats running for president. he is against the eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll GOP establishment. And that is enough for about 30 to 35% of the GOP vote. Mr. Trump now has 17 delegates as the result of second place in Iowa and first in New Hampshire. Remember that 84% of the delegates are distributed by a form of proportional representation depending on the state. Only 16% will be from winner-take-all states. It will be important come convention time.

John Kasich.
Basically Gov. Kasich finished a distant second and that will do nothing to help him get more money and or endorsements. Gov Kasich will not win in South Carolina. I don't see anywhere he has any opening. He will try to hang on, but without a miracle in South Carolina and Nevada, where does he win on Super Tuesday? But he can keep going on until Super Tuesday and hope to accumulate more than the three delegates he got on Tuesday.

Ted Cruz.
Sen. Cruz ended up having a good night. No, really. He spent little time and money in New Hampshire and still managed a third place finish and two delegates. Adding to the eight that he won in Iowa and he is in second place with a total of 10 delegates. Sen. Cruz is probably going to finish in the top three in South Carolina and could win or come in second in Nevada. He is going to be battling Mr. Trump for the conservative and or anti-establishment GOP vote.

Jeb! Bush.
Mr. Bush should really stop already and get out of the race. But, alas, he will not and continue the delusion that he will somehow wrest the nomination. Even if this race ends up in a brokered convention, I do not think the establishment will force another and weakest of the Bush's down the throats of a GOP electorate that will keep people home. But last night, he and the Right To Rise super PAC spent $35,000,000 for a forth place finish and two delegates. Mr. Bush has the money to go through to Super Tuesday but he does not have the support of the GOP voters. This election cycle it is simple. The GOP voters are repeating a mantra. No More Bushes. And even without Donald Trump in this race, Mr. Bush would barely expand his extremely limited support.

Marco Rubio.
Clearly the disappointment of the night. No doubt that Chris Crispy's, er Christie's, interrogation of him proved effective in this past Saturday's debate. No doubt that some voters were turned off by Sen. Rubio falling into Gov. Christies trap. Some may think that he is part of the establishment when he has spent his career against the establishment. Yes, save for the Gang of Eight so-called comprehensive immigration "reform". I still support Sen. Rubio as the best hope against either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. He is a conservative. And rather than run away from a bad performance, he owned it. Very big props for that. But he got no delegates and makes his path to Super Tuesday harder, it is not impossible. Look for Mr. Bush and Sen. Rubio to be duking it out in the next debate.

Chris Christie.
A loser and also one that staked his whole campaign on New Hampshire and finished in sixth place, no delegates. It appears that Gov. Christie is about to exit the race as reported by Politico. If that is the case, his only contribution would be to have thrown Marco Rubio off of his game. Maybe that is a good thing but as noted, timing is everything. We shall see if that is a long-lasting blow Gov. Christie delievered.

Carly Fiorina.
She got screwed, plain and simple. She was not given a slot in this past Saturday's presidential debate and should have. Lack of exposure on such a stage probably relegated her to this poor finish. Could she have done better if she was allowed to debate? Probably. While Mrs. Fiorina is still in the race, it is on life support and may change any day now.

Dr. Ben Carson.
I do not know if he is running a real campaign or trying to get some kind of book deal. The good doctor should not have run for president but a lot of people convinced him to do so and he has. But he finished a dismal two percent and really should think about exiting the race.

A broader thought that I had is that conservatives were the big loser in all of this. Mr. Trump is not running as a limited government constitutionalist but as a populist strongman. Gov. Kasich keeps prating on about taking care of the poor and not exactly opposed to Obamacare. It is clear that Gov. Kasich is running for the compassionate conservative vote and that will not fly with many GOP voters this time around. One can put Mr. Bush in that category as well. of the remaining contenders, only Sens. Cruz and Rubio seem to have a clue about limited government. As I write this, National Review just released this editorial lamenting the same thing.
One thing is for sure.
This battle has not ended in New Hampshire and it does look like a serious one for the immediate future. And this is why delegates matter this time around.

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