What to Think of New Hampshire?

The New Hampshire Republican primary last night had some poignant results, some of which might be lost on those delirious over a Trump win. New Hampshire was Trump territory: allowing independents to vote as Republicans, a state described by some as one of the least evangelical in the nation. The state motto is “Live free or die.” As more than one commentator tweeted last night, after the Trump triumph, New Hampshire voters chose the “or die” part.

Democrats, faced with the choice of an outright socialist and a covert one with possible criminal charges hanging over her head, revealed their hearts by endorsing the former.

Sanders-Trump

Back to the Republicans.

Yes, Trump outdistanced everyone. Here’s the rest of the story, though. The vote was the death knell for at least three candidacies: Christie, Fiorina, and Carson. If they continue, it will not be because there is any credible hope they can win the nomination. Christie went back to New Jersey afterwards to talk with his people. A formal withdrawal from the race is expected soon.

Reports are that Carson will be talking with Ted Cruz on Thursday. There’s speculation about the reason for that meeting. We’ll see.

Kasich came in second, but this will be the high point of his campaign. He practically lived in New Hampshire for months and couldn’t win. Watch the media; he will be its darling until the South Carolina results later this month, but it won’t matter. He doesn’t have the organization on the ground anywhere else to even hope for a win.

Rubio, after his fifth-place finish, which had to be a major disappointment, in his concession speech acknowledged that his debate performance led to the poor showing. He vowed that won’t happen again, but one has to wonder now if his moment has passed.

Bush has to be disappointed with the result, especially since he spent $35 million on ads, etc., to get his message across. He came in fourth, not exactly inspiring, especially given the fact that Cruz beat him for third, even though he spent only about $800,000 total. Here’s another way of looking at it:

Money Per Vote

For me, Cruz is the one to watch if Trump is to be stopped. Cruz knew from the start that New Hampshire was not winnable, so he didn’t waste his funds on a hapless effort. What’s surprising is that he did so well comparatively, given that he not only spent less than everyone else, but also didn’t spend time either. He held fewer events in New Hampshire than the others. Yet he still came in third.

Why is that significant? He heads into more friendly Cruz territory now, and with the demise of Bush and Rubio–and the burnt-out comet of Kasich—he is now the one man standing. He won Iowa, despite what Trump says. He has a well-organized campaign in all the upcoming states. If his people do as well in South Carolina and throughout the South as they did in Iowa, he could very well emerge with the largest delegate total in the end.

Those who read this blog know I cringe at the thought of a Trump nomination. For those trying to make a comparison between Trump and Ronald Reagan, I have only one reaction: if you can make that comparison, you don’t understand who Reagan was.

On the Democrat side, the curiosity that is Sanders will now wade into states that Clinton people think she has sewed up. It will be interesting to see what happens. And there’s always the real possibility of a criminal indictment. Would even that persuade Hillary to drop her candidacy? Ego probably won’t permit it.

The last thing I want to see is a Trump-Clinton general election. I freely admit that would be the most depressing sight in my lifetime. The bright side is that if it occurs, I will be driven even closer to the Lord for comfort and guidance.

May God have mercy on us all.