New Hampshire Results: What to Watch For This Evening

 

shutterstock_370485401Here’s an abbreviated version of my earlier argument about how the New Hampshire primary will be spun and what to look for to keep up with the media mavens manipulating the message.

Most eyes will be on Rubio, who won the post-Iowa spin but stumbled during Saturday’s debate (which reminds me of Cruz’s stumbles immediately preceding Iowa, which should provide hope for Rubio supporters). This is fair, because this is Rubio’s moment to overperform.

Where are Trump’s numbers? If he underperforms the polls as he did in Iowa, look for some “trouble ahead” stories.

Who’s third place? Hard as it is to understand at first glance, Rubio needs Cruz to come in third so the race narrows after New Hampshire. Rubio has some structural advantages after Super Tuesday and, therefore, needs to eliminate Christie, Kasich, and Bush before South Carolina.

Does Rubio overperform? The most recent RCP average has Rubio in second with 14 percent: if he hits 20 when the votes are actually counted, #Marcomentum is for real. If he can’t get more than a point or two ahead of his nearest rival (especially if it’s Cruz) he’ll have a hard time with the spin.

Good luck to all of the candidates this evening!

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  1. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    Austin Murrey: Rubio needs Cruz to come in third so the race narrows after New Hampshire

    Is there any finish that becoming worrisome for Cruz?  Or at least below expectations?

    I figure he’s going to get a bounce out of South Carolina anyway, but there must be a below expectations point for him.

    • #1
  2. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    To vote in the NH Republican primary, you must already be registered Republican.

    Some percentage of voters intending to vote for any candidate may find that they are not registered Republican. My guess is that this will be higher for Trump than any other candidate. Thus, Trump should underperform unless outweighed by other factors.

    Trump 24%

    Rubio 19%

    Cruz 18%

    If Rubio does better than that and Kasich takes the 4th spot,  then Bush and Christie should drop.

    • #2
  3. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Quinn the Eskimo:

    Austin Murrey: Rubio needs Cruz to come in third so the race narrows after New Hampshire

    Is there any finish that becoming worrisome for Cruz? Or at least below expectations?

    I figure he’s going to get a bounce out of South Carolina anyway, but there must be a below expectations point for him.

    If he’s dead last he’s got a problem, but I doubt that’ll happen – he should probably finish in the third-sixth scrum with Kasich, Bush and Christie. Obviously doing better is more preferable but no one expects him to place second or first in New Hampshire at this point.

    If he places several (i.e. 4+) points behind someone with no organization outside New Hampshire there’s an issue.

    ctlaw: Cruz 18%

    I’d be astonished if Cruz hit 18%. That’d be far outperforming his polls with much better opposition than he faced in Iowa (part of that opposition is baked into New Hampshire’s demographics, part of it is because of the way some campaigns are trying to pull a McCain this year).

    • #3
  4. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Turnout is going to play big. Bush and Cruz are reported to have great ground games. I never hear about Rubio’s or Kasich’s ground game. I’m assuming they both have a decent game given the time and money they’ve spent here. The only one who has really proven beyond a doubt they know how to get voters out is Cruz. Obviously Rubio did well in Iowa, far above expectations, but how much of that was his organization? Hard to tell. I expect Cruz and Bush to both outperform their poll numbers. That probably means there will be a massive pile-up with 2-5 place finishers being less than 6 points apart. I think Christie is going to crash at around 4%. My guess:

    Trump: 27%

    Cruz: 18%

    Kasich: 16%

    Rubio: 16%

    Bush: 13%

    Fiorina: 5%

    Christie: 4%

    Carson: 2%

    (101% because of rounding)

    • #4
  5. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    God help us if Kasich beats Rubio.

    • #5
  6. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    Austin Murrey: God help us if Kasich beats Rubio.

    It would not be the first time this primary season I wondered whether I am in the right party.

    • #6
  7. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Kasich is guaranteed at least third because he will pull all the independents who are basically democrats. If you are a centrist dem and Hillary and Bernie are your choices, especially since it seems the more moderate choice in Hillary has no chance of winning, you will go running to democrat lite Kasich. If this were a closed primary Kasich would be polling down by Christie.

    • #7
  8. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    BThompson:Kasich is guaranteed at least third because he will pull all the independents who are basically democrats. If you are a centrist dem and Hillary and Bernie are your choices, especially since it seems the more moderate choice in Hillary has no chance of winning, you will go running to democrat lite Kasich. If this were a closed primary Kasich would be polling down by Christie.

    It’s semi-open. Undeclareds can vote in either primary. Members of one party, however, can’t vote in the primary of another and can’t do a same day registration change. Thus my thoughts that Trump’s support amongt conservative Democrats would not translate in the primary are consistent with your thoughts about Kasich.

    • #8
  9. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    If I might add to the discussion of numbers, Rich Lowry at National Review says we should be looking at Trump compared to Buchanan’s 27 percent in 1996 and Kasich against the 17 percent Huntsman got in 2012 as points of comparison.

    Although a lot of this discussion makes we wonder where New Hampshire got its reputation as just a libertarian state.  Looking at the kind of candidates who have done well there in recent years, one begins to think that it all comes from the license plate.

    • #9
  10. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    I’m revising my prediction. The debate seems to have done more damage to Rubio than I thought, and benefitted Bush more than I thought. So, I’m going with:

    Trump: 27%

    Kasich: 19%

    Bush: 17%

    Cruz: 14%

    Rubio: 11%

    Fiorina: 5%

    Christie: 4%

    Carson: 2%

    • #10
  11. Brian McMenomy Inactive
    Brian McMenomy
    @BrianMcMenomy

    If Trump drops below 25%, that will be the story.  It would be an “underperform” like in Iowa.  I think Kasich & Rubio will battle for 2nd, with Cruz a bit behind.

    If I have to predict…

    Trump 24%

    Kasich & Rubio 16% each

    Cruz 13%

    Bush 10%

    Christie 9%

    Fiorina 6%

    Carson 5%

    Other 1%

    • #11
  12. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Nothing like a late breaking main feed promotion!

    It’s worth noting a recent post-Iowa Emerson poll from New Hampshire because they were, by far, the closest to the actual Iowa results:

    Trump: 31%

    Bush: 16%

    Kasich: 13%

    Rubio: 12%

    Cruz: 11%

    Fiorina: 7%

    Christie: 6%

    Carson: 3%

    This poll means chaos if it’s predictive.

    Emerson were way off in Iowa in the trailing candidates but they accurately pegged Rubio’s support at 22% and that was the huge story of the night.

    If the results above are predictive it’s bad for both Rubio and Cruz although worse for Rubio because the common wisdom is he’s going for a 3-2-1 strategy to head into Super Tuesday/the SEC Primary.

    Kasich and Bush have staked everything on New Hampshire so this shouldn’t be a disaster for Rubio but the narrative will change to the robot talking point and he’ll be hammered with that throughout the remainder of the primary by both the media and his rivals even if he never trips up again.

    Cruz will weather fifth badly since fifth place is not where you want to be no matter what your strategy is but by all reports he has a much stronger base of support in South Carolina and his team are pulling for a win there.

    If Bush comes in second he’ll move to South Carolina and probably pull voters away from Rubio because the same structural advantages that help Marco in the back end of the primary help Bush too and Bush has a lot of cash to call on.

    • #12
  13. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    If Trump is below 30% (which I really, truly, hope he will), then that is the story by itself. If you poll at 40%, and come out with 30%, it means you are nowhere near as great as promised.

    None of us believe Kasich is a viable national Republican candidate. Most of us could vote for Cruz OR Rubio. Trump is the guy we want to be labeled as a LOSER.

    • #13
  14. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Emerson is the only one showing anything like this kind of surge by Bush. I have a hard time believing it. Many more polls have shown strength for Kasich. If 2-4 are Kasich, Rubio, Bush it’s still chaos because Jeb was always staying in. If Bush gets fifth behind Cruz maybe Rubio can rebound in SC. Otherwise this will be a mess until 3/15 and Trump is the beneficiary.

    • #14
  15. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    BTW, this process is utterly broken and idiotic. If we come out of NH with Trump, Cruz, Bush, and Kasich looking like the Strong horses we should all just go stick our heads in the oven.

    • #15
  16. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Austin Murrey:God help us if Kasich beats Rubio.

    He is the one most likely to surpass him for second.  *shudder*

    • #16
  17. Brian McMenomy Inactive
    Brian McMenomy
    @BrianMcMenomy

    I must confess, I’m steeling myself for Rubio to have a bit of a bad night, but we should all keep in perspective the small # of delegates up for grabs tonight.  If Trump is below 30%, I can live with whatever else happens; that result would confirm his support may be wide, but it’s a millimeter deep.

    • #17
  18. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    BThompson:BTW, this process is utterly broken and idiotic. If we come out of NH with Trump, Cruz, Bush, and Kasich looking like the Strong horses we should all just go stick our heads in the oven.

    Trump and Cruz are strong horses as much as some might wish it otherwise. They have the ability and organization to go the distance even if they can’t win the primary.

    I’ve been adamantly opposed to Jeb Bush’s candidacy not because I dislike Jeb Bush (although he’s proven to be a spectacularly bad candidate on the stump – who attacks their mother to win votes?) but because I believe his last name is a huge, huge liability in the general election.

    If Kasich does well because he’s personally thanked everyone who lives in New Hampshire for letting him be in their state and people love flattery. If New Hampshirites really do prize their place as the first primary (and I hear that although is it really true?) Kasich’s been outrageously deferential to the point of supplication and that sort of thing works.

    Kasich would need big money donors and establishment Republicans to ditch Bush and Rubio and build him an organization overnight and I just don’t see it happening – he might get inexplicable airtime in the debates but he’s the most humorless, scolding Republican in the race and considering Cruz’s habit of flubbing jokes that’s saying something.

    • #18
  19. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    If NH extends the Kasich or Bush candidacies, then there’s only one answer.

    140225-nuke-it

    • #19
  20. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    None of the four I mentioned are strong horses. They would all lose the general, probably even to Sanders.

    • #20
  21. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    BThompson:None of the four I mentioned are strong horses. They would all lose the general, probably even to Sanders.

    There’s a long ways to go until the general election and the Democrats are so far self-immolating in the immediate future.

    Hillary is reportedly thinking of canning her campaign staff even though structurally she should win the nomination in a walk which tells you a lot about her internal polling results.

    Bernie can’t get traction with the African American vote.

    I get caught up prognosticating too (my opposition to Bush’s candidacy is based almost entirely about foretelling the future) but don’t tell yourself a certain candidate can’t win or another is a sure-fire victor.

    Remember always the wisdom of H.L. Mencken: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    • #21
  22. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    New Hampshire continues to have a problem correcting its system that encourages out-of-state college students to vote. It really hurts Republicans. Every four years after an election, I hope the state will fix this problem, and it never seems able to do so.

    • #22
  23. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Austin Murrey:God help us if Kasich beats Rubio.

    I think this is a fairly likely situation. I also think there’s a distinct possibility of a 4 way tie for second, which might be an even worse case scenario. How will they spin a 1-2% difference between 2nd and 5th?

    • #23
  24. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Quinn the Eskimo:If I might add to the discussion of numbers, Rich Lowry at National Review says we should be looking at Trump compared to Buchanan’s 27 percent in 1996 and Kasich against the 17 percent Huntsman got in 2012 as points of comparison.

    Although a lot of this discussion makes we wonder where New Hampshire got its reputation as just a libertarian state. Looking at the kind of candidates who have done well there in recent years, one begins to think that it all comes from the license plate.

    I think it was a libertarian state in the 90’s and then as often happens it’s success attracts arch-liberals and they ruin everything.

    • #24
  25. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Mike H: How will they spin a 1-2% difference between 2nd and 5th?

    “Comeback kid” for Kasich & “not dead yet” for Bush I’d wager.

    But it depends an awful lot who’s 2nd and who’s 5th.

    • #25
  26. Frozen Chosen Inactive
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    Bush is the biggest potential problem for Rubio.  If he finishes in the top 4 above 10% than he carries on and drains votes from Marco.

    Kasich will fade fast even if he finishes second tonight.

    Hopefully Christie will drop out after tonight.  The guy is a flat out liar and a bully to boot.

    • #26
  27. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    Austin Murrey:Trump: 31%

    Bush: 16%

    Kasich: 13%

    This doesn’t look like the result of a poll in a party that I feel I belong to.

    • #27
  28. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Austin Murrey:

    Mike H: How will they spin a 1-2% difference between 2nd and 5th?

    “Comeback kid” for Kasich…

    You mean “Comeback son of a mailman.”

    • #28
  29. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Quinn the Eskimo:

    Austin Murrey:Trump: 31%

    Bush: 16%

    Kasich: 13%

    This doesn’t look like the result of a poll in a party that I feel I belong to.

    Well feel good if you don’t live New Hampshire.

    If you do I’d consider moving. Part of the problem you see in the GOP is that our “leadership,” if I may use the word, is that it really is sort of stumbling around while state-level regional parties move forward.

    South Carolina’s GOP and New Hampshire’s GOP wouldn’t act the same even if they were forced to live in the same building because they serve two different states. A national primary, if it were held today, wouldn’t register Bush or Kasich any longer.

    Trump would probably still win however.

    • #29
  30. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Actually, the primary process is probably our ally against Trump. Trump may lead all national polls by a lot, but the Ground Game matters in primaries – and he does not have one.

    So by the time it becomes more national, Trump should be deflated.

    • #30

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