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Ranking the Democratic candidates in N.H.

Darren Thompson for the Boston Globe

The results of the Iowa caucuses were surprising, but they won’t have that much of an impact on the New Hampshire primary. The fundamental dynamics in New Hampshire remain the same as they have for two months:

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders maintain solid leads in their respective primaries. Ted Cruz has consolidated conservatives in New Hampshire. The so-called establishment lane (John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio) is complicated, and the leader changes nearly every week.

Indeed, the greatest impact of the Iowa caucuses is that Rubio is once again leading in the establishment lane. But keeping that lead will be more difficult here than it was in Iowa.


In New Hampshire Rubio has had to quickly assemble a ground game, or hope to coast off his momentum. This will go against other similar candidates who have methodically built their campaigns town by town, even if they don’t have buzz from Iowa. The following rankings are based on recent polling, fundraising, a campaign’s on-the-ground organization and other Globe reporting.

Read the GOP rankings.

1. Bernie Sanders, US senator

There is no reason to believe Sanders doesn’t still have a huge lead here that could be simply insurmountable. The question is whether he can use this to change the national dynamic of the race.

Previous ranking: 1st (January)

2. Hillary Clinton, former US secretary of state

New Hampshire has given the Clintons’ two major presidential comeback victories. But after coming out of Iowa with no momentum, the third time would really be a charm -- one of the biggest comebacks in New Hampshire history. At this point it seems unlikely.

Previous ranking: 2nd (January)

Dropped out since last ranking

Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland: Previous ranking: 3rd (January)

James Pindell can be reached at james.pindell@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell. Click here to subscribe to his daily e-mail update on the 2016 campaign.