Fight For Relevancy Continues After Trump, Sanders Win

New Hampshire

The morning after Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders easily snatched victory in New Hampshire, jostling for the other spots continue. What is known is that the billionaire businessman from nearby New York had no problems holding onto his monumental lead prior to Tuesday’s election, winning 35 percent of the vote. The runner-up, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, had a solid second-place showing but still was 19 points down at 16 percent. That was in line with many of the post-Iowa polls that showed Trump with large leads of under 20 percent but smaller than the 20-26 chasms he had prior to his Iowa loss.

It didn’t matter, though, as the muddling of who got third through fifth, coupled with the surprise outcome from Kasich, shows that there is not a clear consensus candidate to go against Trump.

As Kasich cruised to his own version of victory, calling it a win for running a positive campaign, the Iowa surprise, Marco Rubio, failed to coalesce support as the favorite to battle the conservative Ted Cruz or populist Trump. He is currently nestled in fifth, at 11 percent, just a couple thousands votes under his former mentor Jeb Bush. Cruz, meanwhile, couldn’t do much with his caucus win the week prior and had to settle for third at 12 percent.

Bush’s positive showing kept his chances alive, barely, as he heads to South Carolina for the Feb. 20 primary. He will have more of his family in tow this time, as former President George W. Bush will be on hand to stump for Jeb and has already cut an ad supporting his brother.

Kasich, who spent most of his resources in New Hampshire, will now have to shift his moderate message to reflect his conservative background to appeal to Palmetto State voters and Nevada caucusgoers to try and remain relevant in a race that is increasingly beneficial for Trump.

The populist New York businessman, who has never run for public office, has benefited from a divided establishment contingency. His numbers have not risen above 40 percent in any of the state primary polls and his first-place showing would have been symptomatic of a Pat Buchanan campaign in 1996 if the three governors (Kasich, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie) were one candidate.

Expected Loss For Clinton, But Bad Just The Same

On the Democratic side, the primary result was an expected, but damaging blow to Hillary Clinton, who barely beat Sanders in Iowa the previous week. While Sanders was expected to win, just like Trump, Clinton’s 22-point loss shows that enthusiasm for her campaign among certain key demographics are just not there.

The good news for the former Secretary of State is that Nevada, sight of the Democrat’s next selection contest on Feb. 20, is friendlier to her moderate progressive positions. On Sanders side, the southern primaries will be vital for him to continue his campaign as he has been unable to draw much support from minority and older voters, key voting blocs in the Democratic primary south of the Mason-Dixon.

The loss also signaled a tiring of the Clinton family in New Hampshire, where Bill Clinton started his momentum to win the 1992 nomination, and presidency, and where Hillary beat back a surging Barack Obama in 2008 before eventually losing to the then-Illinois senator.

Trump clearly enjoyed his win, just as much as Sanders, speaking in an unorthodox—for him—tone in thanking his family and opponents before quickly returning to his typical fiery rhetoric about making America great again.

“Wow, wow, wow,” Trump said. “We are going to make America great again!”

Sanders spoke about the huge turnout and how it will help him continue his democratic socialist message throughout the nation.

“Tonight, we have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California,” he said. “They are throwing everything at me except the kitchen sink and I have the feeling that the kitchen sink is coming pretty soon as well.”

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