Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Bring on the Predictions: We’re in the Granite State

My Iowa assessment worked out pretty well and so I should be coming into New Hampshire feeling confident, or at least more confident than some of the candidates (looking at you, Governor Big Mouth).  Alas, I think there is is a lot of uncertainty in the Granite State.  The Democratic contest is an easy call; the state’s blue voters will feel the Bern and Senator Sanders will walk away from New Hampshire with a victory just north of 15 percentage points over Hillary Clinton.

For the Republicans, the outcome is less clear.  Even accounting for the dropouts of Huckabee, Paul, and Santorum, there are still a whole lot of choices available to New Hampshire Republican voters, a group who are less religious and more moderate than Iowa Republicans.  New Hampshire primary voters are traditionally last-minute deciders and most polls show that even as we head into election day, 30% of them remain undecided.  The same New Hampshire polls show that Trump is holding his lead, though it’s shrunk since Iowa.  I think that Trump will hold on among New Hampshire voters, but it won’t be a 20 point victory.  He’ll win first by 5-7 points, though I won’t be surprised if the win is more narrow or even if Trump comes in second.

A Trump victory clears the way for Kasich in second place, and I think that’s where he will land, by a few points anyway.  

Conventional wisdom is that Rubio’s Saturday debate disaster won’t cost him much but I think it will cost him second place,  and he’ll slot in third, but just barely behind Kasich.  Bush and Cruz will be next, both in the low double digits, not much apart from one another.  Christie comes in sixth with the high single digits.  This may cause him to pack it up and return to New Jersey; it will surely cause the money to dry up.

Speaking of dried up, Fiorina and Carson are done as of tonight.  The chance that they hold on to get South Carolina seems pretty slim given the fact that both are out of cash.

That’s how I think it will shape up.  What you got, New Hampshire?

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