Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump trounced the opposition in New Hampshire. Trump won twice the votes of John Kasich, his nearest opponent; Sanders beat Hillary Clinton by more than 20 percentage points.
Here are six takeaways from the nation’s first primary:
Trump and Sanders are the front runners, and could well win their parties’ nominations. Trump just has to keep doing what he’s been doing; Sanders has to show he can win black votes. Expect him to spend a lot of time with black people in the coming days.
Rumors of Jeb Bush’s demise were premature. “Establishment” Republicans – Kasich + Bush + Rubio + Christie + Fiorina – won half the vote in New Hampshire. Kasich was the surprise leader of the group, but Bush has the resources to prevail, and by beating Rubio, he kept himself alive. Expect him to keep handing out toy tortoises.
A different Hillary will emerge from this primary race – one who is far less moderate and far more committed to economic and social justice than before. This is not just campaign posturing; elections have real consequences.
Michael Bloomberg is preparing his independent campaign. Big wins by Sanders and Trump were all the encouragement he needs. He may wait to see if South Carolina changes the race’s momentum, but he can’t/won’t wait long. The odds are still against an independent candidacy, but a Trump-Sanders race would create the best opportunity since Teddy Roosevelt.
The Pacific trade deal is in deep trouble. Opposing it is the one thing Trump and Sanders agree on, and neither party can be quick to reject that message. Even a post-election lame duck effort would risk inciting voters’ wrath.
Wall Street and Big Pharma are in trouble. The populist uprising won’t quickly subside. Hillary Clinton’s rousing concession speech showed they will be top targets.
If a Republican wins the White House, he should make Chris Christie attorney general. Christie’s takedown of Marco Rubio in Saturday’s debate, which destroyed the Rubio candidacy, was worthy of Perry Mason.
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