Tuesday, 09 February 2016

US election 2016: New Hampshire set for key primary

The NH primary is unlikely to provide much clarity on either race. Bernie Sanders has long held a significant lead over Hillary Clinton; we expect him to win comfortably. But the Clinton machine will begin to assert its dominance at the next primary, in South Carolina. From then onwards, we expect Mr Sanders to find life tougher.

On the Republican side, Marco Rubio's impressive third place was the most consequential development in Iowa. But since then he has not helped himself with a poor performance during the weekend's debate; he crumpled under more concerted attacks from his direct rivals: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich. Establishment support will eventually coalesce around one of these men (most likely Rubio), but it will not happen immediately after NH. Donald Trump has led the polls in NH comfortably. He will be crossing his fingers for a clear win, after his disappointment in Iowa. We still think that establishment pressure will pay, and Mr Rubio will emerge as the Republican candidate in the months ahead.
 
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