The GOP is getting nervous, very nervous. In fact, they have gotten to the point that the prevailing thought on the GOP race for the White House is that the establishment candidates MUST win in New Hampshire… or they’re done.
Steve Kornacki: Right now the dynamic in New Hampshire is interesting.
It is the second state that’s going to vote when the primary season starts. Iowa goes first. Right now Iowa’s setting up as, Ted Cruz is the front-runner in Iowa, Trump’s behind him, nobody else really close to them right now. One of those two, it looks like, is well positioned in Iowa.
That sets up New Hampshire as a crucial state for the establishment candidates like Jeb Bush if he’s going to break through, Marco Rubio if he’s going to break through, Chris Christie who “The [New Hampshire] Union Leader” has endorsed.
If they’re going to stop Trump, if they’re going to stop Cruz for that matter, somebody from that establishment wing has got to come out from New Hampshire.
Right now the thing that’s helping Donald Trump the most in New Hampshire is there is no definition in New Hampshire outside of trump leading. Bush’s at about 10%, Rubio at 10%, Christie at 10%, “the union leader” pushing Christie. Bush picked up an endorsement from a top republican the other day.
So somebody has to emerge from that establishment wing and consolidate that vote, then go after Donald Trump and have a shot at winning the state. But right now there is divided opposition and Donald Trump is the biggest beneficiary of that in New Hampshire.
I tend to agree with Kornacki on this, in that, if the GOP establishment has any hope to win the nomination, they MUST win in New Hampshire. However, I think that will be more difficult than they realize because Trump and Cruz together have already locked down 1/3 of New Hampshire’s votes, and Cruz is statistically tied with Rubio and Christie for 2nd place. The establishment won’t win in Iowa and things are looking bleak in New Hampshire… which means things are looking bleak all over for the establishment.