The New Hampshire Primaries were Tuesday, and some interesting story lines developed. Here are some words and phrases to help make sense of them:
The inevitability of Trump – at least, in his own mind. According to exit polls, Trump won just about every demographic and opinion group that voted in the Republican primary, and he garnered a whopping 35.3% of the vote. As other candidates drop out, we’ll see whether the Trumpening is real, of if it turns into the Great Disatrumpment.
Crossing the Rubion
To raise expectations to such an extent that you will almost certainly fail to meet them. Rubio has crossed the Rubion at least twice: Once when he assumed his repetitive talking points would take him to victory in New Hampshire; and once after he failed to place higher than fifth in New Hampshire, after which he said he would never perform poorly in a debate again. He failed the first crossing; we’ll see if he fails the second.
To destroy one’s own political standing while also destroying someone else’s. At the last debate, Christie hammered Rubio on repeating his talking points over and over. Rubio responded by repeating his talking points over and over. This weakened Rubio by making him look fake. At the same time, it did no favors for Christie, whose entire campaign seemed to become criticizing Rubio. The end result: Rubio disappointed in New Hampshire, bringing new life to his establishment rivals – except for Christie, who disappointed worse in New Hampshire and has since dropped out.
Seeing two completely unrealistic things – completely opposed to one another – back to back. Sanders gave his victory speech, then Trump gave his, meaning the completely unrealistic specific was immediately followed by the completely unrealistic vague.
Clin and Tonic
What Hillary Clinton will probably need to handle all the criticism between now and the next set of primaries. But, a strong Clin and Tonic might not even be enough to get over losing almost every demographic in New Hampshire to Sanders. For that, she’ll probably need a combination of refined messaging and Sanders continuing to have no luck appealing to minorities.
While Cruz pretty much has the evangelical lane all to himself and Trump has the Trump lane all to himself, the battle for the establishment vote continues. Kasich isn’t expected to do much in the next few states, but Bush and Rubio are already at each other’s throats. Rubio’s campaign has threatened a bloodbath in South Carolina, the next state to vote. But, don’t count out Bush, whose family has a storied history of destroying rivals in South Carolina through merciless rumormongering (most infamously in the 2000 primaries, when an unfounded rumor about John McCain having an illegitimate black child helped Jeb’s brother win the state). Looks like it’s shaping up to be a good, old-fashioned BTWIFT (Beatdown That Wins It For Trump). Stay tuned: The next primary diss track is gonna be EPIC.
Something that only exists in Jim Gilmore’s mind…if at all.