Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, you've just won the New Hampshire primary! — but what does that all mean? Besides the fact that they won something, it actually means a lot. Does it mean they're a shoe-in to get the nomination? No, here's what it means. New Hampshire has the first primary of the election season, some people may be thinking, what did they do in Iowa last week?
That was a caucus, and even though they are essentially the same thing, caucuses run a little differently. Primaries are more in line with how voting is done in the general election. So what's at stake in these primaries and caucuses? Delegates. Delegates are what's needed to secure a party’s nomination.
Think of delegates as points in a game. Just like hockey, every time you win a primary or caucus you win a certain amount of points. The points are based on the percentage of the vote you received. Democrats need 2,382 and Republicans need 1,237 to secure a nomination.
When deciphering what a primary win means you must look at where these contests are taking place. Iowa is a good consensus of what the average American is feeling due to the fact that the state has just as many liberals as it does conservatives. Iowa is a state that doesn't tend to sway one way or the other, it's a cross section of the country. New Hampshire on the other hand is a very liberal state.
In fact New Hampshire has second largest white liberal population in America. What's the first? Vermont. Yes, New Hampshire is Bernie Sanders's backyard, so he was playing for the home crowd, it was expected throughout the contest that senator Sanders would do well and extremely well he did, winning just over 60% of the vote. This is a huge win for Bernie, especially considering where he was three months ago. Sanders was seen as a joke candidate, but this victory proves that he's not a joke and he can actually win.
Now what does that mean? It doesn't mean that Bernie is on easy street, he will have a very tough time with Hillary Clinton as the primaries roll out because of geography. Sanders doing well in New Hampshire is like the Dallas Cowboys doing well in Dallas, it's basically home field advantage. The next contest will be the South Carolina primary where Sanders, though surging, has been polling around 20 points behind Secretary Clinton. Sanders's Jewish Brooklyn-Vermont schtick tends to not play well with Southern folk.
South Carolina voters would take Hillary Clinton’s calm confidence over Sanders abrasive style — but with the win in New Hampshire Bernie proved he’s not a schmuck of a candidate and he's here to stay.
On the Republican side Donald Trump finally did something he's been talking about doing all along — winning. Mr Trump won the competition in New Hampshire, but like Sanders that wasn't unexpected. Remember, New Hampshire is second in the country in white liberal voters. So who do you think they would vote for? A white liberal. Trump can pander to evangelicals all he wants, but within the Republican Party his New York values make him a liberal. Now as the road gets tougher for Sanders in South Carolina, it's actually the opposite for Trump.
Southern Democrats are very different from Southern Republicans, at this point Southern Republicans are ready to stage a revolution. Southern GOP supporters in the last two Presidential elections have seen Barack Obama go into enemy territory and pluck states like North Carolina and Virginia off the electoral map. Southern voters were not happy with faux conservatives like John McCain and Mitt Romney. Southern Republicans believe that the GOP cannot produce a candidate strong enough to compete with charismatic democratic politicians.
The Republicans of South Carolina are ready to rebel and rebel hard — they see Donald Trump as the answer to what they've been looking for: A Strong candidate who can actually win, and the polls prove it. After South Carolina the next contest is the Nevada caucuses. Nevada is an interesting state that tends to be liberal in the cities and conservative in the suburbs, somewhat like Pennsylvania. Conservatives do well in the suburban farm towns and liberals do well in the cities. If that's the case in Nevada then it will be a very good evening for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
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