Hasta la vista, Mike Huckabee.
We hardly knew ye, Martin O’Malley.
Like Joe Pesci’s character in the movie Casino, the presidential aspirations of dropouts Huckabee and O’Malley are now buried in a Midwest cornfield. The Iowa caucuses winnowed the field for both Republicans and Democrats. Now the survivors head for New Hampshire and the second leg of the arduous nominating process. Ben Carson is the exception. Apparently no one told him New Hampshire is up next (Feb. 9) and he took off to Florida (Mar. 15) instead.
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have a little breeze at their backs after strong showings in Iowa, but Republican poll numbers in New Hampshire have been pretty consistent; averaged together they show Donald Trump with a lead of about 20 points over the likes of Cruz, Rubio, John Kasich, and Jeb Bush.
GOP cash men – some of whom feel that they have already thrown good money after bad — will be keeping a close eye on who is still viable after New Hampshire. Kasich and Chris Christie hope to replenish the coffers with decent showings in the Granite State, while Ron Paul and Carly Fiorina look particularly vulnerable. Carson and Bush still have deep-enough pockets to survive another loss.
Hillary Clinton lost to Barack Obama in 2008, and while she escaped a second straight Iowa ambush with a dead-heat finish against Bernie Sanders, she’s looking at a rough night in New Hampshire before the terrain gets more navigable (Nevada and South Carolina).
To the odds!
2016 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ODDS
ODDS TO WIN THE NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY:
Two years ago, one NH poll had Carson and Bush at 15-percent, followed by Huckabee and Christie (11-percent each), and Paul (ten-percent).
ODDS TO WIN THE NEW HAMPSHIRE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY:
New Hampshire voters love to create mischief. NH was the state which drove incumbent Democratic President Lyndon Johnson out of office in 1968 in the midst of the Vietnam War.
ODDS TO WIN THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION:
Republican National Committee officials fear down-ballot carnage if Cruz or Trump is the nominee.
ODDS TO WIN THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION:
Clinton would trade half her bank account for an endorsement from Elizabeth Warren, but it’s not likely any time soon because Sanders and Warren both have the same signature issue – stricter regulation of big banks.
ODDS ON THE NEXT CANDIDATE TO DROP OUT:
Paul is also running to keep his Kentucky Senate seat, and is under intense pressure from state Republicans to drop out of the presidential campaign and take care of business at home.
(Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode].)
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