As I was saying at the dawn of this day:
Number One and Two were correct, and at this hour Numbers Three, Four and Five are all jostling together at 11 per cent, but with Cruz third and Rubio fifth. On the Democrat side I noted the midnight vote tallies from Dixville Notch, Hart's Location and Millsfield:
And I suggested that that spread might "hold throughout the day". It pretty much did: Bernie 60 per cent, Hillary 38 per cent. And in the northern and western counties of New Hampshire, Mrs Clinton got seriously Berned. Coos County: Sanders 63 per cent, Clinton 35. Grafton: Sanders 65, Clinton 34. Sullivan: Sanders 68, Clinton 30. Carroll: 63, Clinton 36. It took older, moneyed women in the prosperous south-east corner to push Hillary up to 39 per cent. That's really her only constituency: liberal women over 65 making 200 grand a year.
On the Republican side, Trump won yuge: 35 per cent in a nine-man race, and more than twice as many votes as the second-placed Kasich. On the latter, I wrote three weeks ago:
On the "moderate" side of the GOP, the thinking since debate season began is that Rubio is the alternative to Bush, and Christie is the alternative to Rubio. But it could be that Kasich is the alternative to all three of them.
And so it proved. Good for Kasich. But a nightmare for the GOP's Donor-Industrial Complex: Trump has the populist lane, Cruz the conservative, and both are reviled by the so-called "establishment". All New Hampshire had to do was sort out the so-called "moderate" lane by anointing Rubio, and, in a three-way race, he'd eliminate the Trump-Cruz problem. That was the theory.
Instead, Chris Christie's kamikaze mission took out Rubio, and killed his Iowa Rubementum stone dead. As a result, Kasich had a solid second-place finish and Jeb had a marginally less worse than expected fourth-place finish that will keep him and his SuperPac in the game a few states longer. And, until the mod squad consolidates behind one of these guys, the GOP establishment will be stuck with a frontrunner it despises, and a runner-up it despises even more.
Incidentally, Trump's performance was consistent across all demographics and all regions - 38 per cent in the poor, rural north of Coos County, 38 per cent in the prosperous, suburban south-eastern seacoast of Rockingham County. His support was also broad ideologically - conservative, moderate, independent, evangelical. It's hard to see a RINO squish voting for Cruz or a hardcore conservative voting for Kasich, but not difficult to see either of them supporting Trump, as long as they're not repelled by his personality, which seems to be his only ceiling. Apparently, the billionaire didn't realize until about 10pm on Iowa caucus night that there was thing called a "ground game" that candidates are supposed to have - especially in goofy caucus states. So in the week between Iowa and New Hampshire he sent out the kid in the mail room who orders up his "Make America Great Again" hats to place a side-order for a ground game. And it worked so well Trump outperformed the polls.
If he does that in South Carolina, this thing's over.
That said, the real story tonight may be the Democrats' own version of the anti-establishment insurgency. I said last July 10th that Bernie Sanders could win New Hampshire. But I didn't think he'd win this big. Bernie won more votes than Trump and Kasich combined, and, if it weren't for the corrupt sewer of his party's nominating process (with its superdelegates pre-pledged to Clinton, etc), he'd be an even bigger threat to Hillary than he is.
Everyone says, "Oh, that's only because the Granite State is Bernie's backyard." That's rubbish. No one in south-eastern New Hampshire, which is where the population is, follows Vermont politics. Only ten per cent of the state can pick up Vermont TV stations, and only the Connecticut River Valley towns have any sort of bi-state orientation. Bernie didn't win because he lives next door. He won because for a big chunk of the Democrat base - not just utopian millennials and their college professors, but a lot of the same kind of demoralized blue-collar whites Trump appeals to - for a big chunk of that base the Obama-Hillary left isn't left enough.
John Kasich said that if Sanders is the Democrat nominee it'll be a 50-state blowout for the GOP. Yeah, right. I said on the radio with Howie Carr that I thought Trump could beat Hillary, but I'm not so sure about a Trump/Sanders contest. Bernie is promising revolution to the young, and they like it.
~My observations on the Rubio malfunction annoyed some readers. Kenneth Kopke of California writes:
I'm not a Rubio supporter, not even close. But in your assault today on Senator Rubio you have shown yourself to be vile: "Given that someone wrote this line for Marco Rubot and programmed it into his software and then pulled the string at the back and sent him out on stage, you'd think they could have got it right: You "dispense with a fiction" or "dispel a fiction", but you don't "dispel with a fiction". So, at the very least, let's dispel with the fiction Marco Rubio has a competent speechwriter." And you go on, apparently unable to control yourself.
After more than 10 years of being a Steyn fan I'm very much disappointed. I haven't yet crossed you off my daily read list but for the first time I'm having second thoughts.
Kenneth D. Kopke
Santa Maria, California