Tuesday, February 9, 2016

They're still taking bets...

...on the New Hampshire primary at Paddy Power. But for how long? Today's the Big Day. Before the screen "disappears," here's how they have it:


Bernie Sanders, 1/80 odds
Hillary Clinton, 16/1


Donald Trump, 1/7
Marco Rubio, 7/1
John Kasich, 9/1
Ted Cruz, 14/1
Jeb Bush, 25/1
Chris Christie, 33/1
Ben Carson, 100/1
Carly Fiorina, 100/1

And over at the Huffington Post, in the latest aggregate of polls:


Sanders, 54.8 percent
Clinton, 40.7


Trump, 31.0
Rubio, 14.7
Kasich, 14.1
Cruz, 11.9
Bush, 10.2
Christie, 5.8
Fiorina, 4.6
Carson, 2.5

What do I think? I really wish I had something original to add to the conversation, but I don't. All I can do is relay the latest conventional wisdom. So, in case you haven't been paying attention, here it is.

Sanders and Trump should both win, but by how much? If it's by double digits most people will shrug. If not, the story will be Hillary's comeback or the "surge" by Mr. Number Two in the Republican Party.

And who will that second-place finisher be on the Republican side? Talk about a crapshoot! Since Rubio seems to be fading after his debate performance on Saturday night, it could be either Kasich, Bush or Christie. (Fiorina and Carson are pretty much out. Carly could "suspend" her campaign as early as tomorrow.) And Cruz? Talk about a wild card!

New Hampshire loves governors, so I'm going to predict that Kasich and Bush come in numbers two and three, respectively. Fourth place will belong to Cruz (gotta put the winner of Iowa in there somewhere!) with Rubio and Christie bringing up the rear. (I wonder if the New Jersey governor's internal polling showed him so far back he was willing to take on the role of "hatchet man" on Saturday night. Does he have a job waiting for him as attorney general in a Kasich or Bush administration?)

Here's my final prediction for the GOP today:

Wins by at least ten points. Is the Donald going to run the table after this?

Nice guys finish second. What's next for the governor of Ohio? Hang on until his state's primary on March 15 and/or hope for the number two slot?

Steady, "low energy" Jeb could have a decent night, propelling him into somewhat friendly South Carolina on February 20. There, despite help from his brother, Jeb's campaign could effectively die with a third place finish behind Trump and Cruz.

Who cares where the freshman senator from Texas finishes -- he barely campaigned in New Hampshire. On to South Carolina!

I may have him a little low here. One of the stories tomorrow may be how well he finished after such a rough night on Saturday.

Another guy I may be underestimating. But everyone said that while he was effective in taking down Rubio he may not have helped himself in the process. We'll see. A bad finish knocks him out of the race.

Take all of this with a large grain of salt. (Remember how Carolina was supposed to win the Super Bowl?) I've heard as much as 50 percent of New Hampshire voters were undecided yesterday. Coupled with the large independent vote, things could really get funky. I, for one, will be glued to the TV tonight.

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