New Hampshire happened exactly as expected with Donald Trump and John Kasich finishing first and second in the Republican primary and Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic primary. The only suspense and surprise came in the strength of Kasich’s finish and the order of the remaining candidates.
1) Marco Rubio’s finish is a failure and a confirmation that his poor debate performance on Saturday, February 6 was interpreted poorly by the votes as well as pundits. He is not done; he could get past this with a strong finish in South Carolina, but he badly damaged in two ways. First, he appears to many people as a robot without the ability to think on his feet. Second, by not finishing a strong second in New Hampshire, where he would have been had he not repeated himself over and over at the debate, he may have knocked out several establishment rivals. Instead Kasich and Jeb Bush are invigorated to fight on several more states.
2) Bush has a path to the nomination. He could beat out both Rubio and Kasich in South Carolina and get a strong third place, making things very interesting in the establishment fight heading into Nevada.
3) Kasich is still really unlikely to get the nomination.
4) Just for fun here is the chart of Rubio’s collapse from 12 PM ET on the day of the debate to 12 AM ET the night of the New Hampshire primary:
Vertical Lines: Saturday, February 6, Debate; New Hampshire election night
Sources: Betfair, Hypermind, PredictIt, http://twopointoh.predictwise.com/politics/2016-president-republican-nomination/
5) There was very little movement on the Democratic side. Sanders won by a little more than expected, but still faces an uphill battle against Hillary Clinton. He is now at 20% likely to win the nomination.