The latest developments from the 2016 presidential campaign, with the focus Tuesday on the New Hampshire primary (all times local):
Updated at 10:40 p.m. Actually, we'll give the last word to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, via the Washington Post:
Republican Chris Christie says he’s heading home to New Jersey to “take a deep breath” and take stock of his struggling presidential bid.
The New Jersey governor had banked on a strong finish in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, but he’s on track to end up far off the pace despite holding more than 70 town halls events over the past few months.
It’s a tough blow for a candidate whose campaign had trouble from the start about raising money and building support in a crowded field dominated by another brash East Coaster: businessman Donald Trump.
Updated at 10:25 p.m.: We'll give a last word to Donald Trump, via the Associated Press:
"Wow, wow, wow, wow," Trump declared, savoring his victory at a campaign rally before promising swift action as president on the economy, trade, health care, drug abuse and more. "We are going to do something so good and so fast and so strong and the world is going to respect us again. Believe me."
Updated at 10:20 p.m.: With the New Hampshire primary results called early in the evening, Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were quick to pivot themselves toward the races ahead, ticking off their greatest hits of policy recommendations even as they rallied with their Granite State supporters on Tuesday evening.
Their victory and concession speeches, respectively, felt like stump speeches, pointed firmly at the next stops ahead: South Carolina and Nevada.
“We won because we harnessed the energy and excitement that the Democratic Party will need to succeed in November,” Sanders told his supporters. “What happened here in New Hampshire in terms of an enthusiastic and aroused electorate, people who came out in large number: that will happen all over this large country.”
In his wide-ranging -- and lengthy -- victory speech, Sanders railed against his mainstays: Wall Street, the 1 percent and big political donors. He touted the small donations that have buoyed his campaign and vowed to raise the minimum wage and mandate pay equity for women. And in a nod to the young voters who helped propel him to victory in New Hampshire, promised to provide free tuition for public colleges and universities and ease student loan debt should he be elected president.
Clinton acknowledged the work she needed to do to win over those young voters in her speech.
“Even if they are not supporting me now, I support them,” she said.
Clinton in her speech tried to shore up support among her base, making a play for blacks, Latinos and the LGBT vote with mentions of police brutality, immigration reform and nondiscrimination in her speech.
“We have to keep up with every fiber of our being the campaign for human rights … that is why I’m in this race,” she said.
Updated at 9:50 p.m.: The word from former House speaker Newt Gingrich:
Trump won a genuine victory in new hampshire. GOP establishment must come to grips with his reality as a popular force of real change.— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) February 10, 2016
Kasich has to brace for desperate competitors lying about his record.— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) February 10, 2016
Updated at 9:40 p.m.: Shortly after news outlets began declaring that Ohio Gov. John Kasich took second place in New Hampshire, one wag on Twitter declared that Kasich would camp out the next few weeks in Beaufort, S.C., where 95 percent of the many retirees there are from Ohio.
But anecdotes aren’t data. According to U.S. Census Bureau, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio could get the warmest welcomes, judging by interstate migration.
The Census Bureau in 2014 found that roughly 5,300 South Carolinians had lived in Ohio a year earlier. That’s just less than California (sorry, Carly Fiorina), but much more than New Jersey (ouch, Chris Christie). It’s barely less than Texas (sorry, Ted Cruz) but pales in comparison to the more than 11,000 who had recently moved from New York and the more than 12,000 from Florida.
Plus, going back to the anecdotal, it’s not unusual to see a muddy truck along the S.C. coast with a bumper sticker declaring: “We don’t care how you did it in Ohio.”
That will probably go doubly for Kasich’s decision to expand Medicaid in his home state.
Updated at 9:20 p.m.: CNN may have the stat of the evening. Bernie Sanders won 55 percent of the women's vote in the New Hampshire primary, to Hillary Clinton's 44 percent.
Updated at 9:12 p.m.: Concord, N.H. – The word hasn’t trickled down to the expectant crowd at Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s rally yet, but at least one network -- ABC News -- has now projected him to finish in second in the polls. From the story:
John Kasich is projected to take second place in the primary. Third place is currently a three-person race between Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.
Based on the exit polls, Chris Christie is expected to finish in sixth place, and Carly Fiorina is expected to come in seventh and Ben Carson eighth.
Trump's numbers were lifted in New Hampshire by broad support among voters seeking a political outsider, anger at the Obama administration and strong worry about the economy and terrorism, along with substantial backing for some of his controversial policy proposals, exit polls indicate.
Updated at 9:06 p.m.: The Hillary Clinton was prepared for a defeat tonight. A memo in the name of Robby Mook, the Clinton campaign manager, was very quickly issued, pinning the nomination contest on the month of March. Read it all here. A portion:
It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for a Democrat to win the nomination without strong levels of support among African American and Hispanic voters. We believe that’s how it should be. And a Democrat who is unable to inspire strong levels of support in minority communities will have no credible path to winning the presidency in the general election.
Hillary’s high levels of support in the African American and Hispanic communities are well known. She has maintained a wide double digit lead over Sen. Sanders among minority voters in national surveys and in states where African American and Hispanic voters make up a large share of the electorate. That type of support was not created overnight; it has been forged over more than 40 years of fighting for and alongside communities of color. They know her, trust her and are excited about her candidacy.
Updated at 8:52 p.m.: The first email from Marco Rubio’s campaign after New Hampshire was called for Donald Trump only reaffirms what we told you earlier today: Rubio is counting on South Carolina.
The Florida senator’s campaign unveiled a robust campaign schedule this week in the Palmetto State, starting with a noon event in Spartanburg with U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy and a 3 p.m. town hall in Columbia. Rubio will then jet to Washington for Senate votes, but will pick the pace back up on Thursday along the coast, with more events Friday.
Updated at 8:32 p.m.: The write-thru from the Associated Press:
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders swept to victory in Tuesday's New Hampshire primaries, adding crucial credibility to their upstart candidacies and underscoring the insistence of voters in both parties on shaking up American politics.
While New Hampshire is known for its political surprises, Trump and Sanders led in the state for months. Still, both needed to deliver on expectations after second-place finishes in last week's leadoff Iowa caucuses, where Ted Cruz topped the Republican field and Hillary Clinton narrowly edged Sanders in the Democratic race.
For some Republican leaders, Trump's and Cruz's back-to-back victories add urgency to the need to coalesce around a more mainstream candidate to challenge those two through the primaries. However, it was unclear whether New Hampshire's contest would clarify that slice of the field, with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush all locked in a tight race, along with Cruz.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has staked his candidacy on New Hampshire, lagged behind the pack in early vote counts.
Sanders pulled from a broad coalition of New Hampshire voters, gathering a majority of votes from men, independents and voters under 45, as well as a slim majority of women. Clinton won the majority of those over 65 and those with incomes over $200,000 a year, according to early exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and the television networks
Clinton's campaign argues she will perform better as the race heads to more racially diverse states, including Nevada and South Carolina. Both New Hampshire and Iowa are overwhelmingly white states that are far less diverse than the nation as a whole.
"A Democrat who is unable to inspire strong levels of support in minority communities will have no credible path to winning the presidency in the general election," Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a memo released as the polls closed.
Both Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, and Trump, a real estate mogul who has never held political office, have tapped into the public's frustration with the current political system. Even if neither candidate ultimately becomes his party's nominee, whoever does will have to reckon with those factions of voters.
Nearly half of voters in the Republican primary made up their minds in the past week. Republican voters were more negative about their politicians than Democrats, with about half of GOP voters saying they felt betrayed by party officials.
In a sign of Trump's impact on the race, two-thirds of GOP voters said they supported a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., a position the billionaire outlined last year amid rising fears of terrorism emanating from the Middle East.
After finishing behind Cruz in Iowa last week, Trump embraced some of the more traditional trappings of presidential campaigns, including smaller town hall events with voters. Still, he closed the final full day of campaigning with a vulgar insult of Cruz.
The Texas senator brushed off Trump's comments, saying the reason the businessman engages in insults "is because he can't discuss the substance."
The large Republican field was winnowed after Iowa, but there remains a crowded grouping of more traditional candidates, including Rubio and the governors.
Rubio had appeared to be breaking away after a stronger-than-expected showing in Iowa, but he stumbled in Saturday's debate under intense pressure from Christie. The New Jersey governor has relentlessly cast the young senator as too inexperienced and too reliant on memorized talking points to become president.
Rubio played into Christie's hands by responding with the same well-rehearsed line each time he was challenged by the governor. Rival campaigns hoped the moment was enough to give voters pause.
Kasich, Bush and Christie all poured enormous resources into New Hampshire in hope of jumpstarting their White House bids in a state that has been friendly to moderate Republicans. All three could face pressure from party leaders and financial donors to end their campaigns without a strong showing.
Updated at 8:17 p.m.: Scott Huffmon, a political scientist and veteran pollster from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., figures Hillary Clinton will be jetting from New Hampshire directly. He tweeted this shortly after every TV network in the nation called New Hampshire for Bernie Sanders:
Indeed, Clinton already conceded the state to Sanders, the Washington Post, CNN and others reported.
It was no coincidence that earlier Tuesday the Clinton campaign rolled out 25 more endorsements from elected officials in South Carolina, where she is seen as a strong favorite for that state’s Feb. 27 primary.
Expect her to camp out in the Palmetto State for most of the next 17 days. Andy Shain, political reporter for The State newspaper in Columbia, however, said Clinton has no planned events in the state until Friday.
The grandson of Zell Miller tosses in this thought:
Updated at 8:03 p.m.: Based on exit polls and early returns, CNN just called the New Hampshire primaries for Republican Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. The quick word: "A horrible night" for Republican and Democratic establishment.
The Associated Press has done the same:
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders win New Hampshire's presidential primaries, taking the top spot after second-place finishes in the Iowa caucuses.
CNN is reporting that Hillary Clinton has conceded defeat.
Over at Georgia Public Broadcasting, Bill Nigut adds this:
Updated at 7:59 p.m.: Just sent via Twitter by David Wasserman, the U.S. House editor of the Cook Political Report:
Updated at 7:41 p.m.: Concord, N.H. - At virtually every debate, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reigned as the top-searched candidate on the Internet. But on Tuesday, as New Hampshire voters headed to the polls, a new victor in the Google sweepstakes was crowned: Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
We'll know by the top of the hour whether it's a sign that voters are giving him a second look. Either way, it has triggered a buzz through Kasich’s primary watch party at a hotel here. In the race for second place, the Kasich campaign is eager for any omen of a breakout.
Updated at 6:45 p.m.: No matter what happens tonight, Marco Rubio supporters are putting a heavy bet on South Carolina. From the Associated Press:
An outside group that's helping Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is spending more than $1.5 million on digital and media advertisements in South Carolina and Nevada — the next states on the 2016 election calendar.
The new expenditures are by Conservative Solutions PAC, a super political action committee that faces no contribution limits.
All but about $200,000 is for South Carolina. That's according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Conservative Solutions is the second-most-active super PAC in the presidential race so far. Only Right to Rise, which is boosting Republican Jeb Bush, has spent more on television and radio.
Updated at 6:31 p.m.: Concord, N.H. – Want to know who is winning New Hampshire? Here’s a handy guide for how to watch the returns come in.
Manchester: By far the state’s biggest city, the vote-rich area is key to any candidate’s hopes. For Democrats, it’s packed with the blue-collar voters that Hillary Clinton needs to cut into Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ lead. She also has history in the city, winning it in 2008 over Barack Obama. Republican Donald Trump’s campaign also needs big margins in the city to carry the state.
Manchester suburbs: A strong showing by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush depends on how they do in Republican towns like Bedford, Merrimack and Goffstown. All are a short drive from the city and are home to voters that tend to be moderate.
Rockingham County: The second-most populous county in New Hampshire, it’s packed with the towns and bedroom communities to Boston that are seen as more ripe ground for Clinton’s campaign. For Republicans, the seaside city of Portsmouth could be fertile ground for a more mainstream candidate. If Trump stumbles here, it could be a long night.
Western New Hampshire: The area along the Vermont border is likely to be a bastion of Sanders’ support; look for him to rack up huge margins here. The Democratic stronghold of Keene, in particular, is a progressive city where Sanders should thrive.
North Country: Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are fighting over the Libertarian-leaning voters in the sparsely-populated counties in New Hampshire’s northern reaches. Clinton did well in these region in 2008, though polls show Sanders doing well in the area.
Laconia. The Boston Globe reports that the small city has been a “near-perfect reflection of the statewide vote” in the presidential primaries for both parties since 2000. In a few hours, we’ll know if the streak is still alive.
6:20 p.m. Exit poll data flows in from the Associated Press:
Republican voters in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary are much more negative about their politicians than Democrats are about theirs, according to early results of the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and television networks. Half of Republicans said they feel betrayed by politicians from the Republican Party, while fewer than 2 in 10 Democrats say they feel betrayed by Democratic politicians.
Three in 10 Republican voters said the economy was the most important issue facing the country, similar to the percentages saying government spending and terrorism.
Three in 10 Democratic primary voters said the economy was the most important issue facing the country, while a similar share said income equality was most important.
Voters in New Hampshire's primary are deeply unhappy with the way the federal government is working, according to early results of the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and television networks.
Half of Democratic voters said they're dissatisfied with the way government is working, with another 1 in 10 saying they're angry. That's even higher among Republican primary voters, with 9 in 10 voters saying they're either dissatisfied or angry.
About a third of Republican voters said the most important quality in a candidate is someone who shared their values, while about the same proportion said it was someone who could bring about needed change.
Democratic voters said honesty, experience and someone who cares about people like them were the most important qualities in a candidate.
The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research as voters left their polling places at 44 randomly selected sites in New Hampshire. Preliminary results include interviews with 1434 Democratic primary voters and 1257 Republican primary voters and have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
3:45 p.m.: Yes, this is where we'll be looking at returns from New Hampshire.
But while you're twiddling your thumbs, allow us to offer you this memo just received from Paul Bennecke, executive director of the Republican Governors Association. It's intended as a quick guide for incoming presidential campaigns, explaining how GOP votes are to be harvested in Georgia. He tapped it out while doing jury duty yesterday. It's good stuff:
As usual, most of the attention thus far in the presidential race has been in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But soon after New Hampshire and South Carolina wrap up, some of the largest prizes will be up for grabs on March 1.
Besides Texas, Georgia is the next biggest state on “Super Tuesday.” In fact, Georgia has the fifth largest GOP delegation of the states/territories (only California, New York, Texas, and Florida are bigger than Georgia.)
There will be roughly 1 million GOP votes cast in Georgia with about 35 percent being cast before March 1 via early voting.
With no GOP presidential campaign having a real effort in Georgia yet (I’m in the highest scoring Republican voter group as well as the highest propensity to vote group - I’ve gotten NO calls, door knocks, letters/mail, seen only two yard signs in my GOP rich area, and only a few TV spots mostly on cable during debates), a lot is yet to be determined. In fact, my wife would be in the same category as me so our household would be one of the 100,000 top voter targets by any GOP campaign. These campaigns have three weeks left. And for more than a third of voters, they have about two weeks.
Understand that a majority of the 76 delegates up for grabs are determined by congressional district. Since we have 14 of them, candidates who come in first place get two delegates and second place gets you one delegate (the only exception to this is if a candidate gets 50 percent or more in the congressional district – then that candidate wins all three delegates). Whoever wins statewide (assuming that person gets above the 20 percent threshold) will get the at-large delegates. The congressional district strategy should be very appealing certainly in Districts Two, Four, Five and 13 since GOP turnout there is relatively smaller compared to other districts -- but first place and second place win the same number of delegates as in GOP rich Districts Three, Six, Seven, Nine, 11 and 14.
So if you are still following me, here are some more numbers that make things really interesting, now that early voting in Georgia has started.
Georgia has 159 counties. Yep, that is a lot of counties. Second to only Texas. But that number can be deceiving. There are 55 counties that make up 80 to 82 percent of the GOP primary vote. And 30 of those are found in metro Atlanta making up roughly 60 percent of the total GOP primary vote statewide.
This is where it gets expensive. Because metro Atlanta is hard to organize. Turnout is spread over many days because of early voting. And the Atlanta media market ain’t cheap.
While TV is still dominant in the state, it can be cost prohibitive for some campaigns. So the second best thing is talk radio (particularly in metro Atlanta). Good ratings for GOP primary voters, long commutes for suburban/exurban GOP voters, and radio personalities who endorse candidates and talk about them every day. And for outside ATL, Georgia also has a very strong Ag radio network which is rather cost efficient statewide.
Now for those who don’t have enough money to be up strong on TV or radio, phone calls are still legal (but annoying) and 40 percent of the state uses cell phones only, so you are limited in reach on this one. Digital options in Georgia are very good especially in those GOP rich areas. A candidate can also purchase statewide satellite rather efficiently and do addressable targeting (but you would have needed to start on that by now to get it in time). Roughly 22 percent of Georgia households are satellite.
On the cable front, a campaign can certainly buy the interconnect in Atlanta, but you are going to pay a steep price. That is where individual cable systems/zones can really pay off for a highly efficient campaign. You can target specific zones and reach a large share of GOP primary voters while carving out high Democratic pockets that aren’t interested in your message (remember the congressional strategy for Districts Four, Five and 13).
Some campaigns will do direct mail. Well, you will need to purge the early vote roll daily (which you can get), and there will be 600,000+ households to choose from. This is where real voter identification data is very valuable for targeting purposes. Some campaigns are doing a great job on this…others not so much.
We aren’t a party registration state, and as campaigns will find, we still have a decent amount of split voters who participate in either party’s primaries depending on local elections vs. statewide/presidential. And propensity to vote among GOP primary voters can be frustrating for campaign operatives. While it is true there are about 450,000 GOP voters who turn out for most statewide primaries now, the GOP presidential preference primary in GA is much, much larger than a typical statewide GOP primary. In 2014, there were just over 600,000 GOP primary votes for an open U.S. Senate race, three open congressional races, and dozens of competitive local & state legislative races. In 2012, there were over 900,000 GOP voters just in the presidential primary race. That is a pretty significant difference.
Here is a quick breakdown of where the vote lives by county/region:
Metro Atlanta (30 counties) = 60% of GOP Primary Voters
-- Urban ATL = 11 percent of GOP primary voters statewide – Dekalb, Fulton, Clayton
-- Suburban ATL= 34 percent of GOP primary voters statewide – Cobb, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cherokee, Douglas, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Fayette, Coweta
-- Exurban ATL = 15 percent of GOP primary voters statewide – Pickens, Barrow, Bartow, Paulding, Carroll, Heard, Haralson, Spalding, Butts, Lamar, Meriwether, Walton, Jackson, Jasper, Hall, Dawson, Pike
Rural Clusters = 21 percent of GOP primary voters statewide - 25 counties in no particular grouping order:
Group 1 – Walker, Catoosa, Whitfield, Floyd
Group 2 – Fannin, Union, White, Clarke, Oconee
Group 3 – Columbia, Richmond
Group 4 – Houston, Bibb, Laurens
Group 5 – Bulloch, Effingham, Chatham, Glynn
Group 6 – Lowndes, Thomas
Group 7 – Daugherty, Lee
Group 8 – Muscogee, Harris, Troup
Rural Small = 19% of GOP primary voters statewide – the remaining 104 counties.
There are 11 TV media markets covering Georgia (really 10 because Early County has very few votes and falls into the Dothan, Ala., market). The usual markets campaigns play in are Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Augusta, Albany and Columbus in that order. If you have a lot of resources, then you can tinker with Chattanooga, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville. No one really plays in Greenville (but you might be there anyways, with South Carolina up next).
While there is a lot more to this than the above outline, I hope this quick cheat sheet helps all my non-Georgia friends who’ll wake up two weeks before March 1 and say, “what, who, where and how do we play in Georgia?” It’s the problem of not being one of the first states, but being a big enough state to play in at the end.
Good luck to the candidates, their dedicated teams, and their supporters. I hope Georgia is on your mind the next three weeks. A great state with wonderful, patriotic people with lots of delegates up for grabs.
PS: I’ve already voted, so don’t bother calling or visiting me if you aren't purging voter rolls. Feb 22-26 is when the lion share of early votes will be cast. Less than 10% of early votes are by absentee ballot - all others are in person.
PPS: Elected official endorsements don’t get you much in Georgia.
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