It’s odd when a political moment happens as predicted, yet remains shocking. So it was on Tuesday when Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary with 35.2 percent of the Republican vote, and Sen. Bernie Sanders handily beat out Hillary Clinton with 60 percent to her 35. This gave Trump ten delegates and Sanders 13.
Now, the race isn’t over. Trump and Sanders simply overtook Sen. Ted Cruz and Clinton respectively, who won the Iowa Caucus. However, things are getting odd in 2016. A Democratic Socialist/Independent is a serious contender for the Democrat nomination. And a businessman who scares the hell out of some notable pundits and infuriates the hell out of the respectable right has a real chance of going all the way – no matter how many months of denial so many of us have had. And regardless of the serious debates even respectable people had over whether or not Trump’s a fascist. Trump and Sanders were predicted to win New Hampshire, but they did a better job than most people thought possible.
Sticking with my prediction: Trump will win no caucuses or primaries, and will run behind Ron Paul 2012 in IA and NH.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 8, 2015
Clinton, being a political beast, is still in the race and still the assumed nominee for most people. Mysteriously, the utterly ignored Ohio Gov. John Kasich grabbed second place from Sen. Ted Cruz. Then it gets relative: Gov. Jeb Bush was probably happy to pick up two delegates at fourth place, if only based on his recent standards of success (not being too frightened of Trump to speak) but Sen. Marco Rubio stumbled into a delegate-less fifth after Gov. Chris Christie’s (sixth) brutal assault during the last debate. Christie sounds as if he may be throwing in his campaign, or at least considering the option, but he might just have taken Rubio down with him. Mitt Romney never recovered from his robotic reputation, and Rubio is now saddled with that due to his talking point malfunction. He’s also the neocon favorite, but that doesn’t mean what it once did.
CNN reporter asked GOP focus group in SC if anyone is now interested in John Kasich … not one hand went up— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) February 10, 2016
Nobody seems much interested in Kasich, so his success seemed both inevitable in an ever-shifting race and an exciting twist. However, Kasich may be too weird of a mixture to find a home. He possess a Western PA/Ohio basicness in his manner that is the opposite of Rubio’s (currently sparking) political machinery.
A woman in NH just told me she’s always supported Bernie, but decided last-minute yesterday to vote Kasich in a bid to stop Trump.— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) February 10, 2016
Kasich also has some liberal gooiness in his reputation, if only because he sounds most passionate when discussing how to help the drug-addicted, the mentally ill and anyone society has forgotten. Yet, he is also one of the few candidates to specifically mention ground troops to fight ISIS (a coalition of them from various countries, but not excluding the U.S.).
Kasich and Cruz are still in this, and Sanders is a serious possibility. Trump feels like he’s already won, which is premature but not impossible anymore. His power means that Fox News’ muscle is atrophied, and the alt right has been lifting hard, bro. Whether the political monster you know is better than the shit-stirrer you fear seems to be the question of campaign 2016. It may be grim, but at least it’s as interesting as these things get.