Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Last night's election results

The polls were right in historically unpredictable New Hampshire.  Trump's supporters turned up at the polls and Sanders overwhelmed Clinton.

The Republicans now move on to South Carolina, a state that will be a big test of how the candidates will fare in the South, where many states will be contested on March 1.  The big questions are how Trump capitalize on his win in New Hampshire and whether he has the ground game and infrastructure to do so, and whether Cruz's extreme right wing views and his evangelical support can take hold broadly in this more conservative region with, some may say, many closet right wing racists.

Trump will need to spend more money to build his staff and infrastructure there quickly.  Relative to other candidates, especially Rubio and Bush, he has spent his own money sparingly to date.  He obviously has relied on social media and the press to give him extensive free exposure.  Believe it or not,  some would question whether Trump has the liquidity to substantially support his campaign as much as he suggests.  Outside reports have stated his net worth at $4 billion and he has claimed it is a least $10 billion in various reports.  Whichever is right, like most aggressive real estate developers, his assets may mostly be tied up in his not so liquid business.  That has been the case in the past and there is no reason to think that anything is different now.  His political campaign is said to have damaged his business brand and the economy may be stalling.  Can he ramp up spending as much as almost everyone thinks he can, or as much as he says he can?

That said, the scene at Trump's victory speech was just golden publicity.  On the stage with this thrice married man who looked so awkward and lonely when going to church in Iowa, were most of his family good looking family being completely supportive.  He was mostly thankful rather than boastful, but he couldn't help himself on the latter point completely.  Words aside, the appearance of that family support was almost stunning when compared to Trump's lone wolf persona.

Rubio was obviously the big loser among the Republicans.  Only Christie thought Christie had a chance to stay in this race.  While Bush stayed solidly in the race, South Carolina, where W will join him on the campaign trail, will be a big test for him.  Kasich likely has little support in the South, so he will be hoping to raise enough money to be able to compete adequately when the campaign moves to the mid-west.

For the Democrats, South Carolina must be a starting point for Clinton's appeal to a diverse voting base.  She needs to get her campaign house in order and stress issues, not focusing on transparent appeals to various voter groups as if they can be manipulated.  Whether Sanders can build support in the South beyond white liberals and youth is not known.  If he can even be close in South Carolina that would be a huge positive.

Enough for now.

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