The last presidential debate before the New Hampshire primary had just concluded tonight. To NH voters who tend to decide at the last minute, especially those independent voters the media said would play an important role in the state, the debate was probably helpful to them as they make up their minds as to for whom they will vote on Tuesday next week.
New Hampshire is a politically more moderate state. This is a state where establishment moderate candidates such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kaisch, and Chris Christie might do well in, and must do well in. Frankly, for some of these candidates, this primary race will be critical to whether they can continue to go forward in the race to party nomination. A lot was at stake for these candidates. However, this time around it is not Donald Trump whom they seek to attack and defeat, it is Marco Rubio. This is a battle for the second place, and Marco Rubio is the target. Rubio did well, finished strongly in the third place in Iowa and carried that momentum with him to NH.
As we have seen tonight, Chris Christie came out swinging and ferociously pummeled Marco Rubio, distinguishing himself as an executive who get things done compared to Rubio who is a first-term Senator like Obama who lacks that executive experience. Christie went on the offensive, he had to, otherwise he would have to end his campaign if he does not do well in New Hampshire. The same is true for Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
Here is my predictions and hopes for the Tuesday’s NH Primary:
I expect businessman Donald Trump to do well, likely finishing in the top place given the politically moderate nature of the state. If Trump does well and is in the top spot, it is likely he will continue his campaign for a long time, he will be someone with sustainability.
I hope Marco Rubio to be in the second place in NH. A second place win will keep Rubio’s momentum going, all the way to the Super Tuesday Primaries. A strong third place win wouldn’t be too bad either, but it’s better that he wins the second spot.
I expect Ted Cruz and Chris Christie/Jeb Bush to be in the third-fourth place. But in any event, right now Trump and Rubio and Cruz have more sustainability than other candidates. Others, whoever it is, wins the second or third place will be able to move forward with his campaign. Therefore, it is very likely John Kaisch and/or Christie might drop out after New Hampshire primary if they fail to do well. It’s tricky for Jeb Bush, it will be very embarrassing for him if he doesn’t finish in the top three places. His pride and family name might keep him in the race for a little longer, but should he also fail to capture Nevada and S. Carolina in February, it is safe to say that his luck will be over, he might not be able to continue into March for the Super Tuesday.