2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
The New Hampshire primary was supposed to narrow the crowded Republican field. Instead, it remains as jumbled as ever when it arrives Wednesday squarely in the South.
As the polls long predicted, Donald Trump won a decisive victory Tuesday in New Hampshire, besting his nearest opponent by nearly 20 percentage points. And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the Iowa victor, emerged from the unfriendly Granite State territory unscathed with a third place finish.
But it’s the ongoing muddle in the middle that complicates an already complicated race ahead of the Feb. 20 GOP primary in South Carolina.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio used his surprisingly strong third-place finish in Iowa to make the case that he’s the Republican who can unite the party – until his poor performance in Saturday’s debate in Manchester exposed weaknesses in his campaign.
His New Hampshire support utterly collapsed in the days after the debate, dramatically raising the stakes in the South.