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Presidential Horse Race 2016: New Hampshire results -- Marco “Roboto’s” crushing loss overshadows Donald Trump’s impressive win

Ow, ow, ow… Those are the groans emanating from the mouths of the Republican establishment after Tuesday night’s crushing defeat. There must have been a serious ache in their stomachs as they watched the New Hampshire returns roll in.

Not only did “outsider” Donald Trump double-up the next closest finisher, but perhaps the establishment’s weakest primary candidate took the so-called coveted second position to Trump. This means the divided campaign will move on to South Carolina – and likely beyond – and there’s further evidence that a long and Marco Robotodrawn out campaign season is at hand, probably with multiple candidates.

It doesn’t look like they’re even close to deciding on one establishment not-Trump candidate. It’s panic time, folks…though the elites may get behind The Donald himself before too long.

The establishment desperately wanted New Hampshire to be a coronation for their chosen candidate. Only one problem – the voters didn’t go along with it.

Without further delay, here’s a look at New Hampshire’s winners:

Donald Trump – The bombastic celebrity billionaire hedged his entire campaign on combating the nation’s immigration problems and he was right to do so. Trump’s heated rhetoric against illegal immigration – and then Muslim immigration – captured the imagination of New Hampshire’s voters.

Even his lackluster ground game wasn’t enough to stop him in this tiny liberal northeastern state.

Trump’s victory signaled a return to nationalistic populism. Pat Buchanan won with it in 1996 and it’s happening all over again.

Ted Cruz – The principled conservative Iowa winner battled Jeb Bush all evening for third place, a more than respectable showing for a candidate who spent much of his time establishing a national base instead of focusing on a state whose demographics did not favor him.

Cruz didn’t win second place, which is probably somewhat of a disappointment to him personally, but he can still take many positives from Tuesday night’s results.

Secular Socialism (on the Democrat side) – The pundits said a double-digit win for Bernie Sanders would be big, but who could’ve foreseen the final numbers?

Democrat voters are even more extreme than they’ve ever been, heavily favoring a man who’s an unapologetic socialist. How far have we come from the early nineties when Bill Clinton spoke like a moderate only to move left once he was elected?

Now the Democrats don’t even bother with the moderate talk. They’re off the deep-end. And that certainly includes Hillary, too, who offered her own unique kind of delusion during her concession speech.

Pollsters – After the drubbing the pollsters took for getting Iowa wrong, it’s time to give them some credit for predicting New Hampshire (almost) right. Will they get South Carolina right? We’ll know in ten days.

New Hampshire’s Losers:

New Hampshire – The significance placed on this microscopic northeastern state has once and for all proven to be over-the-top. To watch the candidates and pundits grovel over a few thousand votes in order to switch finishing positions was way too much. It was nauseating.

Does it really matter whether Jeb Bush finished in fourth or third in New Hampshire…? Should a year-long campaign end because a group of voters (some of whom might not even be Republicans) in The Granite State didn’t like your candidacy?

The fact is only a few delegates were awarded on Tuesday night. To declare anyone a winner or loser based on New Hampshire results alone is pure fantasy. It’s stupid.

The establishment – For months, Republican leaders recoiled in horror at the thought of Donald Trump headlining the party, but now that it might be happening, they’re warming up to the idea.

As if it wasn’t clear prior to Tuesday night that the “outsiders” have a lock on the race, any doubt should have been dispelled by the New Hampshire results. Republicans don’t want the “old” establishment. They’ve lost. I wonder how long it’s going to take for them to admit it.

Marco Rubio – So much for all the pundits’ gloating over Rubio’s third-place finish in Iowa, where late-deciders went for the Florida senator in a big way.

After a fifth-place finish in New Hampshire – even behind Jeb Bush -- you have to wonder how much longer Rubio can even stay in the race. Looking ahead, there really is no “path to victory” for the robotic Rubio. It just goes to show how one huge debate blunder really can make a difference.

The media/pundits – The same group who made such a big deal out of Marco Rubio’s limp third-place finish in Iowa last week were making hay out of John Kasich gaining second place by a few percentage points over Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush. Who cares? Can Kasich actually grow a campaign overnight because he finished nearly 20 points behind Trump for second? Ludicrous.

Hillary Clinton – Being swamped by a “senile old coot” like Bernie Sanders has to be embarrassing. Her concession speech was nothing short of sickening.

Being involved in politics calls for a certain amount of disconnecting oneself from reality, but Hillary’s so far out she should possibly be committed. A straightjacket may be too kind for her.

The American People – The utter stupidity of the party nominating process was on full display Tuesday night. Why a state like New Hampshire should be given such a prominent role in determining a party nominee is a travesty.

The whole system needs reform. I would be surprised if the parties still allow Iowa and New Hampshire to take the spotlight virtually to themselves in four years. The time has come to trash the nominating process and start again.

These are interesting times. If anyone doubted that 2016 would mark a new day in American politics, their moment of realization came on Tuesday night.

The rules have changed. Heck, the entire game has changed. Throw out the old book and start writing a new one.

If Trump can solve all problems with “great people,” why can’t he build a ground game?

For sure, one of the more perplexing aspects of the 2016 Republican presidential race is national poll leader Donald Trump’s utter refusal to invest any of his vast fortune in traditional political operations to maximize his chances of victory.

The fact he’s managed to come in second in Iowa and now actually win in New Hampshire is even more “impressive” considering he’s way behind in organization. Just think of what could have been accomplished if he actually knew what he was doing in the first two voting states.

The race could be over by now. It’s a scary thought.

Dan Spencer of RedState thinks Trump’s error in judgment on the value of a ground game reveals a serious limitation going forward. “Donald Trump’s failure to build a field organization – recruit volunteers at his Huuuuge rallies, identify voters and then mobilize those voters with an old-fashioned get-out–vote effort, is just as big of a weakness for Trump in New Hampshire as it was in Iowa…

“Trump’s failure to build an effective ground game in New Hampshire, where he had the better part of year to do so, raises questions about his ability to turn out voters in the upcoming states where he will now only have weeks, if not days, to organize. Trump’s groundless game remains a huuuuge loser.”

It sure didn’t make much of a difference on Tuesday in New Hampshire, but that doesn’t mean it won’t show up down the road.

To me, Trump’s ground game malpractice not only raises doubts about his future turnout operation – it brings his entire decision-making process into question. If he’s failed so miserably at political basics – while still “winning” at the same time – how will he approach complex issues if he is elected president?

Donald Trump has always staked his reputation on winning, which he promotes through force of personality and sound decisions. Throughout the campaign season he’s made up for his lack of specifics in policy proposals by promising to surround himself with “great people” who through their tremendous wisdom will correct all the wrongs wrought on America by the “stupid” people currently in power.

But where are all Trump’s “great people” when he obviously needs basic campaign advice? Or, if he does have “great people” in his campaign, maybe he just arrogantly ignores them.

Let’s not forget he parted ways with reputable political advisor Roger Stone last summer because Trump refused to take Stone’s counsel to stay on message rather than go off on personal vendettas (at that time it was Trump’s feud with Megyn Kelly). Since that time, it’s unclear whether The Donald actually consults anybody about anything. Most of his statements are brief personal tweets and the more detailed pronouncements come through campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

If Trump won’t heed the teachings of a seasoned pro like Roger Stone, who will he listen to? And who was advising him in his disastrous decision to skip the final debate before the vote in Iowa?

It doesn’t matter how many “great people” are around Trump if his only decision-making apparatus lies between his ears.

If elected president, will Trump’s foreign policy decisions need to be passed by daughter Ivanka – someone he says he respects -- before he boards Air Force One to attend a presidential summit? His cabinet meetings will certainly be brief, consisting of a several Trumpian proclamations and no requests for feedback.

Only a fool would claim Donald Trump isn’t a successful man. But his success thus far in the Republican race masks potentially serious management issues deeper down.

His woefully inadequate ground game may very well end up costing Trump after South Carolina – which probably results in a net “win” for the country if he loses the nomination because of it. In that sense, maybe we should all be thankful Trump listens to no one.

Ben Carson is now running to be Donald Trump’s VP

With Ben Carson’s weak eighth place showing in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, his campaign is effectively over. Sure, he might hang on a while longer just to spend the rest of his campaign money -- and in an attempt to satisfy his recent personal grudge against Ted Cruz -- but his days as a serious presidential contender have come to an end.

One sign of Carson’s unspoken capitulation was his unwillingness to stay for his “victory party” in New Hampshire. Nolan D. McCaskill of Politico reports, “Ben Carson will be notably absent from his New Hampshire primary party on Tuesday…

“The decision to leave New Hampshire early comes after Carson’s campaign last week said he would be going home to Florida instead of campaigning in New Hampshire or South Carolina following the Iowa caucuses.”

This time Carson skipped town to fly to South Carolina, supposedly to start campaigning there.

No word was sent out by the Cruz campaign in response to the news.

It’s not the least bit surprising Carson decided not to stay in New Hampshire. There was no “victory” to celebrate and his pathetic vote total (about 6,000 votes) wouldn’t justify spending more time in a state where he had no real chance from the beginning.

But Carson’s lack of interest or effort in New Hampshire and determination to keep campaigning in spite of poor results could reveal a new quest: to convince Donald Trump to name Ben his running mate if the New Yorker somehow manages to win the Republican nomination.

Leon H. Wolf of RedState thinks Carson’s already engaging in the effort to take out Ted Cruz in order to impress Trump. “[I]f he stays in the race, Carson gets to continue running his campaign ponzi scheme and (more importantly) taking votes from Cruz (and to a lesser extent Rubio). Doing so provides a tremendous advantage to Trump, who stands to lose the most from a field that consolidates quickly after New Hampshire…

“And now Carson is openly musing about the possibility of being Trump’s VP pick, and saying that he would have ‘absolutely no problem with it.’”

If true, this is highly disappointing. Somewhat like Trump, Carson’s run a very different type of campaign, relying on his own brand of celebrity to get as far as he has. His amazing life story made him an attractive candidate, but the course of the campaign has shown that just because he’s a lifesaving surgeon doesn’t mean he’d make a good president.

And pursuing personal bitterness against Cruz disqualifies him for serious consideration for VP, too.

Carson’s presidential run has gone from pleasantly surprising to downright disappointing very quickly.

The Democrats are in serious trouble

Finally today, if people think the Republican party has a problem with Donald Trump atop the polls and a party establishment in ruins, they should just take a gander at the Democrats.

They’ll feel better instantly.

Exit polls showed over 90% of those who honored “truth and honesty” as their top priority in the primary race chose Bernie Sanders. Sanders won in New Hampshire by over 20 points.

Hillary Clinton as the Democrat establishment candidate is about as poor a choice as this country as ever had.

Any Republican should be able to beat her – her own party can’t stand her. So much for all those “electability” disqualifications for certain Republicans.

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This is all becoming a tad

This is all becoming a tad surreal. Dr. Ben Carson is a bit quirky. I respectfully believe I can say that because I graduated from Johns Hopkins and I think to some extent...some more than others...those of us who were/are associated with Johns Hopkins are all a bit quirky. It seemingly comes with the territory. Conversely, I still feel very fortunate to be a alumnus of Johns Hopkins. Why? “Every school attracts, then shapes, a particular range of personalities, and Hopkins alumni/alumnae are distinguished by supreme niceness, common sense, and a propensity to dig.
We aren’t content with half the story, half–baked ideas or second best.”

Personally, I currently suport Donald Trump. As much as I like Trump, however, I only wish he could be a tad [actually a lot] more articulate if indeed he's going to be president of the United States. I like the fact that he's blunt/straightforward, but I don't like the fact that he's a
proverbial attack dog.

Dr. Carson is somewhat of an enigma. Personally, while I respect Dr. Carson immensely as a person I don't think he's going to be president or Vice President under any circumstances/scenario, but I do think he could become Surgeon General or an integral Cabinet member in a Donald Trump Administration. Why?

Dr. Carson invariably has some odd-ball slant on things that seem to come out of nowhere. I know...most of us know, he's bright...even brilliant, [Most Hopkins people are to some degree or another] but we need a national leader who is going to be focused on substantive core issues and not one to stir-up unnecessarily the major media or the populace for that matter with seemingly extraneous very controversial whimsical ideas.

Fred Harden III AKA "GreyHairandGreyMatter"
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