Posted on February 9, 2016
Here are some quick thoughts about tonight’s primary election:
- Hillary Clinton got 39% of the vote tonight. She also got 39% in 2008. She was a loser tonight. She won 8 years ago. The difference? In 2008, she beat Barack Obama and John Edwards. Tonight, she got crushed by one Bernie Sanders. Hillary’s ceiling in New Hampshire looks to be about 40%.
- Donald Trump assembled the old Pat Buchanan coalition that beat Bob Dole in 1996 and garnered around 39% against H.W. Bush in 1992. Buchanan was anti-trade, anti-political correctness, pro-gun, anti-immigrant and anti-establishment. Sounds like Donald Trump to me.
- Chris Christie will not be invited to any Marco Rubio family parties. No matter how you slice it, the New Jersey Governor destroyed the Florida Senator in the debate. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right. But there it was. And it killed Rubio’s momentum and might have killed his campaign.
- John Kasich gave the best speech I have ever heard a politician give. He didn’t place first, but he kept hope alive by far outdistancing the rest of the field (after Trump, of course). Kasich won by being the adult in the room. He will have problems in the South, but should clean up in the North, where all the electoral votes are. If I were him, I would stick around a while. If I were a very wealthy person who cared about the future of the country, I would write Kasich a big check.
- John Weaver trumped Mike Murphy. Those two worked together on the old McCain campaign which surprised W in New Hampshire in 2000. Weaver weaved his magic for Kasich while Murphy was running Jeb’s Super Pac.
- The rest of the field better figure out what Ted Cruz is doing with micro-targeting. He is either going to finish in third or fourth tonight and he spent no money and has limited appeal in New England. He is doing something right to get his voters to the polls. The other campaigns should take a moment and figure out what it is.
- There is not an establishment wing vs. non-establishment wing. Instead, there are three lanes. The Governors vs. the Senators vs. the Total Outsiders. Kasich is winning the Governor lane (Christie is going to drop out and Jeb better start proving that he get somebody to vote for him). Cruz is now winning the battle of the Senators. Trump is the last outsider standing (Carson and Fiorina should probably just call it quits).
- If I were Kasich, I wouldn’t bother with South Carolina. Let Jeb fight it out with Cruz and Trump, and pick up the pieces after they all claw each other to death.