February 10

Top Five Takeaways from New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Aftermath

Just like the Iowa Caucus a week ago, everyone knew there would be some major changes after last night’s primary in New Hampshire. Despite weeks and weeks of campaigning, once the numbers came in, there would have to be some sort of reaction. Here are the major shakeups for this year’s primary race:

1) Last week, we saw Senator Marco Rubio catch a winning pass in Iowa, and everyone joked that placing third was the new first. This was because he had expected to do so much worse in Iowa, so third was truly a victory. But then, Rubio fumbled. With a great debate track record, when it seemed Rubio could not be caught off guard and had literally better debate preparation than any one on stage, Rubio lost his edge. Leading into the first primary, Rubio tripped up in the debate, and the result was a fifth place finish in New Hampshire, a state he would have thought to get second or even first. He acknowledged this on Twitter, and blamed himself for letting his voters down right before election day. He wrote, “Our disappointment tonight is not on you. It’s on me. I did not do well on Saturday night. So listen to this, that will never happen again.” Rubio gained an edge, lost it in New Hampshire, and now will have to work extra hard if he wants it back in South Carolina.

2) For Donald Trump, he could breathe a great sigh of relief yesterday. There is no doubt that Trump blazed into this election cycle at an all out sprint, blowing every single American’s mind, whether in a positive or negative way. He promised that he was a natural winner, a born leader, and that losing was just not in his vocabulary. The polls reiterated this confidence, and he never once had to give-up the coveted center stage podium at any debate. Really, he was so confident that he went head to head with Fox News, and dipped on the debate right before the Iowa Caucus. If that is not self assurance, then what is?

Then, right under his nose, Senator Ted Cruz pulled the first place spot from him in the first election of the primary. While Cruz may have played dirty politics, this was a shock to the business mogul, and to his followers. How could he have let someone else win? He lost when he promised he would not, and he had to work extra hard to regain his voter’s faith in him. When the whole nation thought nothing would stop him, Cruz did.

But Trump did not give up, and if anything, pushed it harder and faster on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. The result, a huge win ahead of Governor Kasich, securing 10 delegates. More importantly, he reassured everyone that he was not all talk, and that there were people that would actually vote for him, instead of just say they were going to vote for him. Hours till the results came in, even then media stations were stating that Trump may lose again. He turned that right on its head, however, after last night. Moving into South Carolina, Trump can again act with extra confidence, and this time, he has the win to back it up.

3) The Cruz voters saw last night like Rubio saw Iowa, that third is the new first. Dana Loesch and other conservative talk show hosts reassured their listeners that New Hampshire is full of moderate and establishment Republicans, so this victory for Trump not only makes sense, but is not important for the final nomination. Cruz tweeted to his followers, “The real winner is the grassroots who propelled us to a victory in Iowa and a far stronger outcome in New Hampshire than anyone predicted.” When it comes to politics, third really is just as good as first, and Cruz could not have been more happy and confident as travels to South Carolina.

4) After Iowa, we saw two more candidates drop out of the race: Governor Huckabee and Senator Santorum. In a state that they would appeal to most, their poor placement was enough for them to suspend their race. In fact, Hucakbee won the Iowa Caucus in 2008, and Santorum won the Iowa Caucus in 2012. Their values and beliefs appealed most to the type of voter in Iowa, and after the results this year, they knew it was time to suspend their campaign.

Today, the same happened for Governor Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina. The two candidates were actually very similar in their hawkish foreign policy, desire for strong national defense, and dedication to economic growth. All of these platforms are exactly what the New Hampshire Republican looks for, and because of this, both candidates spent extra lip and face time in the granite state. Placing below fifth, however, was enough to show them that maybe their run needs to wait four years. Both candidates are young, and timing is everything in a presidential campaign. Most likely, they still have their eyes on the Oval Office, but know that this will not be their year. New Hampshire solidified that, so the Republican primary lost two more candidates.

5) There is still a chance for Governor Kasich and Jeb Bush. Kasich popped up to second place yesterday, even when his debate podium seemed to be the furthest from the center. A president has never won without winning Ohio, and Kasich is an extremely popular governor from this state. While his campaign has not received tons of attention, and while more right leaning Republicans detest his moderate views, eyes will now turn to him and his potential to seal the nomination. For Bush, his campaign thus far has been a total shocker. From such a powerhouse family and with so much money, it seemed impossible that he could in anyway be doing as poorly as he has been. His fourth place, however, shows a glimmer of hope, especially as he heads to Bush loving states. For these two governors, their campaigns have received an extra boost after New Hampshire, and the race is not over for them yet.

Now, as we head to South Carolina, campaigns will build off of the first caucus and the first primary. Continue to expect the unexpected, in what seems to be the most exciting election in years.

Written by Claire Hardwick

Founder of Elephant News