Trump’s “stunning” win in New Hampshire (so says a media that thinks a months-long polling advantage is surprising) may be a bigger deal than it at first appears. “But Alabama Liberal, you just said Bernie’s win was no big deal?” That’s right, but that’s because the state is Bernie’s backyard, lilly-white, and he’s not polling well in a single upcoming state except Vermont. The opposite is true for Trump.
He has a hefty lead in South Carolina, and it’s doubtful that such a huge win in New Hampshire would dampen that enthusiasm. I mean, this is a guy who’s built his whole campaign around winning, and now he can actually say he won. Plus, the “SEC Primary” states on March 1st are favorable to him. He could very well do a clean-sweep of the ten March 1st states, or at least get 7 or 8 of them. If he did that, that is a very good position to be in, and most of the other candidates (with party backing) would kill each other’s mothers to have it. [If Jeb keeps dragging poor Barbara Bush to all his events then he might very well do it for them.]
Right now, the “establishment” candidates are still in a state of flux. Once sure-thing Jeb Bush has been reduced to having his mother campaign for him, and begging for claps. John Kasich enjoyed a strong showing in New Hampshire—where he has built his entire campaign around—but has an admittedly weak ground game in the South with little natural appeal there. And Chris Christie may already be out of the race.
Trump’s natural opponents of “no experience” Carson and Fiorina are all but down for the count, and Ben Carson may skip South Carolina to go get cotton candy. Trump’s new feud with Ted Cruz actually has most of the party siding with Trump, since everybody hates Ted Cruz. While his strongest opponent for the overall nomination has always been Rubio, that may no longer be true as Rubio recently had a debate meltdown and a stunningly weak showing in New Hampshire. Plus, I’ve maintained doubts that a party base that makes a point of saying how much it hates immigrats would really go for Rubio, who has not been able to live down a failed naturalization bill in recent months.
All of this is really good news for Trump, who is emerging from New Hampshire as the strongest candidate standing, and only room to grow in the future. Not to mention the little-talked-about statistic that New Hampshire has historically been a great predictor of the GOP race, as no Republican nominee in history has done worse than 2nd place there or South Carolina. “President Donald Trump” makes me shiver, but it might not be as crazy as people have been thinking.