The seeds of the New Hampshire primary’s stunning conclusion can be traced back to a single day nearly 22 months ago.
In an unassuming Manchester ballroom, Donald Trump tested the message behind a possible presidential campaign. He railed against the Republican Party’s establishment and insiders to the conservative confab gathered at the Best Western Plus Executive Court Inn. And for the first time, he uttered these words to New Hampshire voters: “We have to make America great again.”
Just minutes away on that mild April afternoon, a little-known senator from neighboring Vermont, Bernie Sanders, held a hastily organized event at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Sanders had driven with a single aide to the Saint Anselm College campus, where hundreds of people showed up to hear him. The room overflowed, and people had to be turned away.
On that day, Sanders and Trump delivered speeches that were starkly different in tone and policy. But they were similar in their economic populism, antiestablishment rhetoric, criticism of money in politics, and, most of all, in tapping into voters’ exasperation with the status quo.
Two years later, the results of the 2016 New Hampshire primary proved these sentiments were not fleeting or a fluke. On Tuesday, Trump and Sanders, presidential candidates, won resounding victories in New Hampshire’s primary as they captured the angry, impatient mood of an electorate ready to rebuke establishment politics.
Where the candidates are:
Clinton: Democratic debate in Wisconsin
Sanders: Democratic debate in Wisconsin
Bush: South Carolina
Carson: South Carolina
Cruz: South Carolina
Gilmore: South Carolina
Kasich: South Carolina
Rubio: South Carolina
Bernie Sanders Intrigues a South Carolina Town That Loves Hillary Clinton, from the NY Times: “Mrs. Clinton has long looked forward to the Feb. 27 Democratic contest in South Carolina, the first state where blacks will make up a dominant part of the primary vote. African-Americans accounted for more than half of the voters in the 2008 Democratic primary, and she has been counting on them as a bulwark, not just in South Carolina but also in the so-called SEC primary in six Southern states on March 1.
But interviews with black voters like Ms. Duley reflect both enormous stores of good will and name recognition that have given Mrs. Clinton an early advantage in this state and a growing awareness that there is an alternative, one that could prove particularly intriguing for young voters.
Ms. Duley enthusiastically supported the presidency of Mrs. Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, in the 1990s, only to abandon Mrs. Clinton in 2008 in her Democratic primary bid against Barack Obama. It was a chance, Ms. Duley said, to make history and elect the nation’s first black president. But Ms. Duley said she had never lost her fondness for Mrs. Clinton.
‘I thought she would have made a good president back then, had he not come along,’ she said.
It is a common theme.”
Bush touts military strength, ‘backbone’ on S.C. campaign trail, from the Charleston Post and Gazette: “Kicking off his campaign Wednesday for the South Carolina GOP presidential primary, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush pitched himself as a candidate with ‘backbone’ who was not beholden to opinion polls.
Currently polling at just 10 percent among South Carolina Republicans and coming off a fourth-place finish in New Hampshire’s primary Tuesday, Bush appealed to his father George H.W. Bush’s ‘peace through strength’ military strategy and said he would lead ‘kind of like my brother (George W. Bush) after 9/11.’
Bush’s first campaign stop Wednesday, in the Bluffton retirement community of Sun City, drew a crowd of hundreds, even with a biting cold wind whipping through the outdoor pavilion.”
Anti-Cruz group launches $1.5 million ad blitz in South Carolina, from Politico: Ted Cruz’s critics are wasting no time hitting him in South Carolina.
American Future Fund, a conservative group that spent heavily against Cruz in Iowa, will begin airing a TV commercial in South Carolina that labels Cruz as ‘weak’ on national security — a damaging label in military-heavy South Carolina. The spot ties Cruz to Bernie Sanders, the liberal insurgent who’s gaining momentum in the Democratic primary, and President Barack Obama. ‘Ted Cruz talks tough on national security. But look at his record. Cruz voted with Bernie Sanders against defense spending,’ the ad says. ‘Cruz sided with Obama to weaken our ability to track terrorists.’”
Who’s polling well in Nevada? Here’s why that’s difficult to answer, from the Las Vegas Sun: “The state’s caucuses are nine days away for the Democrats and 12 for the Republicans, who will square off Feb. 20 in South Carolina before coming to Nevada. What happens here could shape the trajectory of the campaigns. But beyond pundit projections and conventional political wisdom, it’s hard to gauge how Nevada might alter the race — at least due in part to the limited number of polls conducted in the state.
Unlike the run-up to Iowa and New Hampshire, where there were 70 to 100 polls apiece before the states’ respective caucuses and primaries, there were only six polls last year and none this year in Nevada.
The most recent Nevada poll by Gravis Marketing, conducted in late December, showed Trump in the lead, ahead of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by 13 points. On the Democratic side, the same poll showed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ahead of Sanders by 23 points.
The first reason pollsters offer for the dearth of polling — and the conventional explanation — is that what happens in Nevada depends on what happens in Iowa and New Hampshire, so it often doesn’t make sense to make predictions before the contests in those states are finished. Gravis, which conducted four of the five Nevada polls last year, plans to poll again between now and the Nevada caucuses.”
Could Nevada lose first-in-the-West caucus? from the Reno Gazette-Journal: “Nevada’s first-in-the-West status could be in jeopardy barring an abnormally high turnout compared with previous years, according to national reports and in-state experts.
Several reports have stated the theory recently, especially regarding the Republican caucus and a potential move to another state. Turnout for the Republican caucuses was below 45,000 in both 2008 and 2012 compared with about 120,000 for the Democrats in 2008, the last time they had a competitive race.
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Sara Sendek said any decision about the caucuses is far from finalized.”
Bernie Sanders to speak at UNR Saturday, from the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will speak at the University of Nevada, Reno on Saturday.
Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, will be joined by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., at a summit organized by the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, the Center for Community Change and others.
With the New Hampshire primary behind them, Sanders and Hillary Clinton, his rival Democratic presidential candidate, are continuing to plan events ahead of Nevada’s Feb. 20 Democratic caucus.
Clinton will be in Nevada on Saturday and Sunday to rally voters, campaign officials said. Details of the visit were not immediately available.”