Bush and Rubio In Race to the Bottom

Politico: “The two warring Floridians spent much of the New Hampshire campaign eyeing each other, with Bush blasting Rubio in millions of dollars in ads. But in the end, both of them ended up finishing behind Donald Trump, John Kasich, and, barring a last-second shift in the counting, Ted Cruz.”

“Now, friends and longtime allies agree, both Rubio and Bush are leaving the primary so badly battered that the chances of either of the rival Floridians nabbing the GOP nomination are tougher than ever.”

Said one Rubio adviser: “South Carolina is gonna be a bloodbath.”

Mike Allen: “Rubio is bleeding: Marco Roboto moment was no paper cut. A reality unthinkable four days ago: Marco could be dead if he doesn’t bounce back in S.C. primary 10 days from now, Feb. 20.”

A Terrible Night for the GOP Establishment

Politico: “Far from winnowing the crowded field of mainstream GOP contenders and allowing it to unify around a standard-bearer, New Hampshire thrust it further into chaos. Marco Rubio, after taking steps last week to coalesce the backing of the party’s upper echelons, saw his momentum halted in the state, which punished him for delivering an overly scripted debate performance.”

“The establishment lane is now more crowded than ever, with Rubio, Jeb Bush, and New Hampshire runner-up John Kasich heading for a brutal fight in South Carolina – a state known for its rough-and-tumble political culture. Chris Christie, who was also competing for establishment support, is reassessing his campaign’s future.”

For members: The Worst Possible Result for the GOP Establishment

Gilmore Admits He Won’t Win

Jim Gilmore conceded he won’t win the Republican presidential nomination, USA Today reports.

Said Gilmore: “I entered the race having been out of office for a considerable amount of time. I wasn’t a sitting governor, my father wasn’t president, and my brother wasn’t president.”

He told one supporter: “I don’t think we’ll win this thing, but let’s see if we can get some recognition.”

The Democratic Primary Will Soon Be About Race

Politico: “If Sanders is truly going to become a Barack Obama-style Clinton-slayer of 2016, he knows he’s going to need to start racking up Obama-level support among non-white voters, and quickly, because the Democratic primary is about to come down to race.”

“The Sanders campaign understands this, which is why the first campaign stop after his blowout victory in New Hampshire is a breakfast meeting Wednesday with the Rev. Al Sharpton in Harlem’s iconic Sylvia’s restaurant.”

Exit Polls Show Big Wins by Trump and Sanders

Decision Desk HQ released it’s own exit polls as polls closed and found Donald Trump leading with 36%, followed by Ted Cruz at 15%, John Kasich at 15%, Marco Rubio at 11% and Jeb Bush at 10%.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 62% to 37%.

The network exit polls show Trump at 32%, Kasich at 16%, Cruz at 14%, Rubio at 12%, Bush at 10% and Christie at 9%

On the Democratic side, Sanders leads Clinton, 58% to 42%.

As Goes Laconia, So Goes New Hampshire

Boston Globe: “Since 2000, Laconia, located in the Lakes Region, has proven to be a near-perfect reflection of the statewide vote in the presidential primaries for both parties. Not only did Laconia pick the winners in recent New Hampshire primaries, but its results mimic the second and third place finishers for both parties statewide, according to an analysis from pollster David Paleologos. Even more telling: Laconia’s results came within five percentage points of the statewide results in every competitive primary since 2000.”