Chris Christie could be single-handedly responsible for the political downfall of Marco Rubio. The Times revealed that he basically has no staff outside Iowa and New Hampshire. He is banking on big poll numbers in New Hampshire to jump-start his campaign. But while a candidate can expect a boost from a good showing in New Hampshire, he still needs a state-by-state organization in place in order to take advantage of it. If Chris Christie expects to do well in New Hampshire and then suddenly build up in other states, it simply isn't going to happen. There's no historical precedent for it.
And yet every point that Christie goes up in New Hampshire is one point that could have gone to fellow moderate Marco Rubio. Christie is at 10% now in New Hampshire, partially because of his endorsement by the Manchester Union-Leader. His strong debate performance may increase that. But even if Christie comes in second or third in New Hampshire, he does not have the infrastructure to win.
Meanwhile, Marco Rubio desperately needs to win New Hampshire, but the only way to do that is get all the moderate votes, including the votes going to Christie. That's why Christie may be the undoing of Rubio.
- The American Thinker, eight weeks ago
If you check your calendars, that was long before the Big Man delivered the coup de grace last Saturday night.
And thus, what could have been a photo-finish with Donald Trump that might have driven a stake through the heart of his attempted hostile takeover of the GOP became this:
Trump 35%, KASICH 16%, Cruz 12%, BUSH 11%, Rubio 10%.
And Double-C? He finished sixth at 7%, with no infrastructure beyond New Hampshire.
But then, he pretty much always was. Rubio wasn't....until last night. And thus has the most viable, general-electable candidate in the Republican field - and, yes, not a "moderate" but a conservative, with an admitted flaw here and there - been pointlessly, vengefully, spitefully, and politically suicidally driven from the GOP race, for all intents and purposes. And for what? John Kasich isn't going anywhere. Neither is Jeb!. But now, given this temporary infusion of viability, both these RINO carbunkles will limp on - Bush especially, with over half his "shock & awe" warchest still intact - keeping the field too big and the anti-Trump vote divided.
If the "establishment" lane really fears Trump, why did they send Christie to blow up the candidate with the best chance of stopping him? And doesn't the fact that they did so all the more clearly illustrate that Donald Trump has himself become the "establishment" candidate?
My God, never has the Uhura Protocol - "Be careful what you wish for - you may get it" - been more relevant and applicable than right now.
Case in point:
Boy howdy, that's just a delightful tweak of the Republican "brand," isn't it? And if you think that low-information voters won't slurp that spin right down and carry it with them all the way into the voting booth on November 8th, then you're as ignorant as they are.
But if you're looking for a little green shoot among the wreckage, poking its way determinedly through the ash and debris, Ted Cruz nabbed the "bronze medal" and did much better than expected in what was clearly a "road game" for him in the very much anti-Iowa Granite State. The venues over the next month are much friendlier to him, meaning that for all intents and purposes, we're down to a two man race. And Cruz has the superior ground game and organization, which will hold in good stead on Super Tuesday (the "SEC primary").
If, however, you're looking for a reality check, the "GOP establishment" crazily hates Cruz more than it does Trump - though after the Texas senator has spent the past three years doing everything in his power to personally alienate and make enemies of them, it's admittedly not all that difficult to see why, even though it's still crazy - and will now do everything it can to blow him up as it did Rubio in New Hampshire. And the next contest, South Carolina, with its fifty delegates, is a winner-take-all State.
Or, in other words, slow motion Republicide. And just think: I get to be along to chronicle the ride. If only I was getting paid to endure it.
On the Democrat side, Bernie Sanders vaporized Hillary Clinton 60%-38%, and got short-changed again on delegates, although not as badly as he did in Iowa a week ago. But he's still ahead....for now, anyway.
UPDATE: It is on. Oh, yes. Like Donkey Kong.
Now to wait for the notoriously thin-skinned Trump to Tweet-whine like.....a pussy.
UPDATE II: Is Cruz now the GOP front-runner?
UPDATE III: Some interesting exit poll numbers on the Democrat side:
The [Rodham] campaign was trying to stop the hemorrhage of female voters — especially young women — from its camp in the closing days. Campaigning with [Mrs.] Clinton on Saturday, former [Commissar] of State ["Aunt"] Madeleine Albright thundered, “There’s a special place in hell for [bitches] who don’t help each other!” — a phrase she’s used before, but one that was specifically targeted at younger female voters who were wooed by Sanders. Feminist leader Gloria Steinem also stirred controversy when she suggested last week that younger women were supporting Sanders just so they could meet boys.
Wow. Nothing fratricidally sexist about that comment, was there?
It turns out the [Rodham] campaign’s fears were right. According to exit polls, women made up 55% of the New Hampshire electorate — and they favored Sanders by eleven points....
Democrats fretted early on in [Mrs.] Clinton’s candidacy about her high negatives in polls. Respondents said they didn’t see her as someone who cared about them or someone who could be trusted. Months later, the campaign’s worries are proving correct.
A 34% plurality of voters said whether a candidate is honest and trustworthy mattered most to them — and among those voters, Sanders thumped [Mrs.] Clinton 91% to 5%. [emphasis added]
Nobody trusts her, and she's lost her own gender. What does Hillary Clinton have left where it really counts - voter opinion?
UPDATE IV: And then there were six.