Wednesday, February 10, 2016
New Hampshire's Lessons
What does New Hampshire tell us about the likely future course of the US presidential nominations? Nothing. Seriously. There will be no lack of important commentary on Rubio's struggle to finish third, and how that means he is falling back/still very much in the race. How Sanders' win is 2008 again for Hillary/is no real concern to Hillary. How Trump is clearly headed for the Republican nomination/is still a joker leading a pack ready to devour him.
Iowa and New Hampshire are fascinating states, and their early primaries give some actual voting figures to a race that has had to rely on polls since last summer. Momentum in those states has traditionally allowed candidates to move ahead with more funding into the sunlit uplands of the south and west. But the reality is that these lily-white states are not very representative of the immense diversity that is America's demographic, and while providing excitement they have not fundamentally changed the contours of the nomination race. These remain a likely Clinton win for the Democrats, after which her real struggle, to convince a divided America of her credentials for the presidency, begins. And a Trump/Cruz/Rubio fight for the Republican nomination, with Trump and Cruz vying for the loony vote whilst Rubio seeks to stack up the Establishment. Current wisdom is that Rubio would be much the most dangerous candidate in a Clinton fight, but if there is any takeaway from these early votes it is that Trump is no longer a joke. He's a serious - and currently front-running - contender who could yet upset all previous political calculations.