That why New Hampshire is so hard to predict – it’s known for folks making up their minds in the last hours and because you can choose, including Independent voters, which party’s primary to participate in when you walk into the polling precinct. Last -inute polls won’t do any good either because voters there change their minds late and because Super Bowl weekend is not the best time to do a phone poll.
Saturday night’s GOP debate resolved one thing – Marco Rubio isn’t ready for prime time. Chris Christie put on his prosecutor’s suit and destroyed the young senator. Matter of fact, I looked up “talking points” in the dictionary and there was a picture of Rubio. (By the way, someone should remind him that his talking point also is a bit off. If he wins the nomination, he won’t be running against Obama in November, it’ll either be Hillary or Sanders.)
The experts say Trump did just fine but I don’t agree. That thing about bringing back waterboarding
“and worse” can’t help in a primary in New Hampshire (or a general in November). And his “shush” moment with Bush was a bad thing too – even if the audience was full of donors who don’t like him. It didn’t look good on TV. Also, his decision not to campaign in the traditional on-the-ground way customary in New Hampshire was a bad move, though he did hit the ground the last couple of days. And, his calling off an event because of a couple of inches of snow and going home to his elegant apartment in New York can’t play well with the natives. His moment of being the weird uncle at holiday dinner is wearing thin.
Christie helped others more than himself with his Rubio offensive which meant Kasich and Bush didn’t have to go as hard after Rubio. Plus, Bush had his best debate and Kasich was his normally solid self. Carson is still a nice guy and still a bad candidate.
So, what’s gonna happen? Well, if the polls and pundits are to be listened to Trump, will win on the GOP side and Bernie will blow out Hillary on the other side. I’m going to stick to my belief, though, that Trump can’t win a primary or caucus and say he will finish at best second and maybe even third. I’m going to predict (guess) that Kasich wins the primary but in a close vote with either Trump second or Bush. Rubio falls to fourth, Cruz fifth (there are more evangelical voters in New Hampshire than you think ) and the others will be dropping out soon enough.
On the other side, I’m guessing Sanders wins because New Hampshire is a neighborly place but I don’t think he wins by the margins in the polls, more like a 9 point win. And, not to burst the bubble of my friends who are quite strongly supporting Bernie, but I believe he is more, as the Washington Post said in a story the other day, “cunning” than the grandfatherly, curmudgeonly image he puts out. I’m no fan of Mrs. Clinton’s but I also do not think she was making any wink-wink deals behind closed doors while giving those overpriced speeches to Wall Streeters. She’s way too smart for that. Cunning, one might say.