Skip to main content

3 Critical Lessons from the New Hampshire Primaries (Updated)

The polls finally got one right, Sanders beat Hillary in the Democrat race by 22 points; while longtime front-runner Donald Trump scored his first election win by trumping John Kasich in New Hampshire by 19 points. Rendering the primary results for both parties in New Hampshire, predictably mundane. However, as the races shift gears to Nevada and then South Carolina there are three critical lessons that can be learned from the New Hampshire primary.
Sanders has Staying Power

With Bernie Sanders losing Iowa by the slimmest of margins, and beating Hillary Clinton decisively in New Hampshire Tuesday. Sanders has shown that his socialist message has staying power. Especially when one considers that following Iowa Hillary poured a lot of resources, time, and energy into New Hampshire in the hopes of narrowing the massive gap between herself and Sanders. Only to lose decisively in a state she won in 2008 while running against the unstoppable rising star that was current President Barack Obama.

In fact, I think that from what we have seen both in New Hampshire, and Iowa, the Democrat Party leadership and the media pundits are wrong. Hillary is in a lot more trouble than they want to admit, especially since, unlike in the Republican Primary, all Democrat Party primaries have electoral votes awarded on a proportional basis. Meaning that Bernie Sanders and his eight figure war chest can afford to lose a few states while still maintaining a legitimate shot at winning the Democrat party candidacy.

This is because, even though New Hampshire is a strongly left leaning state given its location in the North East. It remains, in contrast to its neighboring states, one of the more moderate blue states in the North East and the union. Meaning that with a narrow Sanders win in right leaning Iowa, and a major Sanders win in moderately blue New Hampshire. The socialist Sanders is revealing a massive and fatal flaw in Hillary's campaign, not just within New Hampshire, but nationally as the primary moves on to Nevada and South Carolina.

Namely that Sanders has positioned himself well as the voice of change that will restore true progressive principles to Washington, and no longer allow the Washington elite from either party to ignore the will of the people. Meanwhile, Hillary has consistently attempted to align herself with the Democrat party establishment and the status quo. Even remarking about how wonderful a Supreme Court Justice Barack Obama would make, if only Hillary was allowed to appoint the current President and Hillary endorser.

This is the real reason that Hillary Clinton is not doing well among not just young voters aged 18 to 25 as the media tries to portray it, but among Democrat voters ages 18-64. Since a majority of Americans currently feel disenfranchised by Washington and the political establishment, and so across the country the average Democrat doesn't want more of the same, they want drastic change. A critical and powerful sentiment currently present among all Americans, that Hillary has failed to grasp and Sanders has capitalized on heavily.

This means that no change of scenery or change in the makeup of the Democrat electorate, as the race shifts to Nevada and South Carolina, is going to make a difference for Hillary. Unless she drastically changes the fundamental message of her campaign. If not, the message of change currently being peddled by Bernie Sanders is going to allow Sanders to continue to catch lightning in a bottle. As an energized Democrat electorate hungry for change, as all Americans are, flock to the only Democrat candidate currently offering an alternative to the current state of government in Washington.

A hunger, momentum, and enthusiasm for change that may just propel Sanders, as it did Barack Obama with his campaign of hope and change in 2008, to a decisive win of the Democrat party candidacy, over the then and now Democrat establishment darling, Hillary Clinton.

Either way, the results from Iowa and New Hampshire demonstrate that Bernie Sanders currently has substantial political traction and capital within the Democrat electorate nationally. Political capital, that if Bernie Sanders leverages effectively, may just be enough to unseat the heavily favored Hillary Clinton and once more deny her a chance at the White House, and if not Sanders currently has enough political capital to give Hillary Clinton one hell of a run for her money.

Trump is No Conservative, Cruz Impresses

In a state where Donald Trump won with 35.3% of the vote, John Kasich came in second with 15.8% of the vote, and Jeb Bush came in fourth with 11.0% of the vote. It was clear that the Republican electorate that voted in the party's New Hampshire Primary Tuesday consisted heavily of moderate establishment supporting Republicans, and was lacking heavily in conservatives and libertarians.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump, current Republican establishment favorite and the only Republican who has been a die hard Democrat all his life until 2015, won handily in New Hampshire. Especially after Saturday's debate where Donald Trump stated that a single payer healthcare solution was the only common sense solution to prevent Americans from dying on the streets, and Trump having to shoot them out on 5th Avenue to put them out of their misery.

Yet, while the New Hampshire primary results demonstrated clearly that Donald Trump is not a conservative. The strong showing by true conservative Texas Senator Ted Cruz in Tuesday's primary, was eye opening. Since by Cruz coming in third with 11.7% of the vote, behind John Kasich who poured all his resources solely into New Hampshire. Cruz was able to once again prove the media wrong. Since for weeks now the media has been stating how unlikable Cruz is, how damaging he would be to the Republican Party because of his narrow appeal to hard line Constitutional Americans.

Yet, by Ted Cruz demonstrating that he can finish ahead of establishment candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, and win crucial electoral votes in the blue state of New Hampshire, he has effectively dispelled the myth that he has no national appeal to those Americans outside of his hard line conservative base. An omen that bodes well for Cruz's chances, as the race now shifts from the blue state of New Hampshire, to Nevada, and the deep red state of South Carolina.

Who Lives On and Who is Dead?

John Kasich may have come in second in New Hampshire with 15.8% of the vote, but he still finished over 19 points behind first place winner Donald Trump. Meaning that Kasich's campaign for the Republican candidacy is effectively over. Given that Kasich poured all of his time, energy, and resources into winning New Hampshire not only to fall woefully short, but to come in second just 4 points ahead of Iowa winner Ted Cruz.

Also, despite a strong showing by Chris Christie in the ABC Republican debate this past Saturday, in which Christie effectively quelled the massive amount of momentum that Marco Rubio had coming out of Iowa, and may or may not have dealt the fatal and decisive blow to Rubio's campaign. Christie was unable to establish himself as a candidate worth voting for, finishing sixth behind Rubio and capturing only 7.4% of the vote Tuesday, picking up no delegates. Meaning that Christie's campaign, while not official over, is effectively dead in the water.

In fact, by Christie focusing solely on dealing devastating blows to Rubio, instead of also establishing himself as a candidate worth voting for, he may have in fact hindered his own chances in New Hampshire and nationally in the Republican race. Since Christie's narrow focus allowed Jeb Bush, the third Republican establishment candidate alongside Rubio and Christie, to pick up many of the votes that Rubio lost in his encounter with the New Jersey Governor. Since while Christie was overly preoccupied with effectively demolishing Rubio, Bush was able to slide past Christie in the polls, by making an effective case during the debate for his candidacy as the moderate Republican establishment candidate.

A series of events that effectively ended Christie's campaign, while breathing new life into Jeb Bush's irrelevant campaign, at a crucial time when the race is beginning to shift to South Carolina. A state that the Bush family has historically done very well in.
Another surprise out of  New Hampshire was how poorly Dr. Ben Carson performed Tuesday; finishing in 8th with only 2.3% of the vote. Despite a previously strong showing in Iowa, especially considering that Iowa voters at the time of the Iowa Caucuses did not even know if Dr. Carson was still in the race.

All in all, the results of the New Hampshire primary effectively ended the Republican campaigns of John Kasich, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, and Dr. Ben Carson. While also dealing substantial damage to the quickly rising Marco Rubio, who has now been left in a free fall and may not be able to recover. Meanwhile, aside from Trump and Cruz, the results of New Hampshire were also positive for Jeb Bush, effectively resurrecting his campaign and allowing him to now set his sights on the Bush friendly state of South Carolina.

Update: Yesterday, both Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina officially announced the end of their bids for the Republican Party candidacy.

Think Aboot It.