The dramatic results of Monday’s Iowa caucuses thrust the presidential contest forward to a state that promises a wildly different eight-day battle for its contrarian but deeply political voters.
Among Republicans, the race shifts onto ground dominated by more secular New Englanders after weeks of appeals to Iowa’s evangelical voters. A New Hampshire race that days ago appeared destined to define which of a quartet of establishment Republicans would rise to challenge Donald Trump will offer instead a battle between two young senators, Iowa winner Ted Cruz and third-place finisher Marco Rubio, for that mantle.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton only barely escaped a second straight embarrassment at the hands of an upstart movement candidate by effectively tying with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Now she must fight him on his home turf of New England.
He “could have been a little better, could have been one notch better,” Donald Trump conceded Tuesday, but insisted that “most people say I did a great job.”
Trump’s news conference in New Hampshire on Tuesday evening, his first session with reporters since finishing second in the Iowa caucuses to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, was Trumpian, in many respects, with frequent tangents and references to his own success and how it should be judged.
But a key difference was notable: his delivery was subdued. The candidate, who constantly bills himself as the gold standard of winning, seemed annoyed that others were now taking shots at him for falling to second place.
Marco Rubio's strong third-place finish in Iowa surprised many after his lackluster performance in the polls, but his ability to capitalize on the momentum will prove more difficult as he positions himself as the GOP's best hope against the Democrats.
The 2016 race for the White House is the ratings gift that keeps on giving for cable news.
Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC all saw their largest audiences ever for coverage of the Iowa caucuses on Monday, as Sen. Ted Cruz was victorious on the Republican side and Hillary Clinton squeaked out a victory over Sen. Bernie Sanders in her quest for the Democratic nomination.
Every four years, Democrats in Iowa forgo ballots and other modern vote technologies in favor of what some claim to be the nation’s most authentic form of democracy. At more than 1,000 caucus precincts like the one at Merrill Middle School in Des Moines, participants are encouraged to argue on behalf of their favored candidates, and the outcome ultimately comes down to a hand vote.
The process is sometimes described as quirky, or messy, or arcane.
But ultimately, it is human. And therefore, not always perfect.
Earlier in her campaign for the presidency, Hillary Clinton was criticized for cutting and running at some events, for not enduring the seemingly endless parade of hands to shake after her speech ended.
In New Hampshire on Tuesday, she shook hands, listened in to comments -- even helping lift an elderly woman out of a wheelchair so that a picture could be taken -- for an extended period after her speech.
With New Hampshire now at the fore of the 2016 election, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday sought to cast the first-in-the-nation primary as a potential game changer in the race for the Republican nomination.
“We come to New Hampshire, where New Hampshire has a tendency to reset the race,” Bush said on Fox News.