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Did New Hampshire Knockout Christie and Kasich?

The New Hampshire Republican primary likely broke the backs of Ohio Governor John Kasich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, two candidates who in the conventional wisdom looked like winners going into last night’s vote. 

Governor Christie’s pummeling of the hapless and robotic Marco Rubio during the Saturday “dinner date debate” right before the vote should have reinforced Christie’s top selling points – that he is a tough, no nonsense truth-teller.   

John Kasich Chris ChristieUnfortunately for Governor Christie, that mantle and with it the entire rationale for his campaign was long ago usurped by Donald Trump.  

The result of Governor Christie’s precisely aimed punches was to knock Rubio down, but Christie’s stellar debate performance failed to deliver any lift to his own campaign. 

With a little over 70 percent of the vote in, Christie gave what was effectively a concession speech for not just the New Hampshire primary, but the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

His schedule had called for the governor to go straight to South Carolina, but as Paul Mulshine of The (NJ) Star-Ledger reported, he announced instead that he and the family were headed back to New Jersey to await the final New Hampshire results. 

“We’ve decided that we are going to go home to New Jersey tomorrow and we are going to take a deep breath,” Christie said. 

As for Christie, Mulshine observed it's looking like he will go down in history, but not for his sterling finish in New Hampshire. He'll be remembered for having finished off Rubio. It was a nice piece of work and he should be proud of it. 

Aside from Christie, the other big loser last night was Ohio Governor John Kasich, whose second place finish to Donald Trump was not a boost to his national prospects; it was at best a Pyrrhic victory, stripping his campaign of the hard cash and irreplaceable time needed to organize in other states. 

Judging by media reports of his town hall meetings and events, next to Chris Christie, Governor Kasich spent more time in New Hampshire than any other candidate. 

Kasich spent something like 100 days in New Hampshire and even campaigned in tiny Dixville Notch, where he actually won the Midnight vote. The result of that months-long Herculean effort was that on Election night he got less than half the votes Donald Trump booked – and he blew virtually all his campaign’s hard money to do it. 

Kasich’s message was focused on appealing to an unusual ideological niche — lifelong Republicans, self-described independents and even Democrats who want a candidate who can reach across the aisle. 

"I'll tell you the one thing that made the biggest difference to me is that he talks about working both sides of the aisle and knowing that you have to have cooperation from both Democrats and Republicans in order to get anything done," said one Kasich-leaning Democrat interviewed by NPR. 

Kasich’s pitch to “reach across the aisle to get things done” may work in New Hampshire, which has an open primary, but in party registration states Kasich is unlikely to find too many dyed-in-the-wool Republicans who think that the problem in Washington is that Republicans haven’t compromised enough with Obama. 

Finishing second to Trump will give Kasich a boost, but not the boost he needs to organize a competitive national campaign between now and South Carolina. Kasich has spent little time or money in the Palmetto State, a state where Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush both have formidable organizations, Marco Rubio has some influential endorsements and Trump has already conducted several of his signature mega-rallies.  

History tells us that those candidates who put it all on the line in Iowa or New Hampshire don’t end-up as the nominee, especially in the modern Republican system where the calendar is now weighted toward the solidly conservative southern states that vote in March. 

With the Republican nominating process moving on from two small states where a presidential candidate can conduct a retail campaign like he is running for county sheriff to a national multi-state stage, the perverse result of the New Hampshire Primary is that it likely spells the end of the line for the two candidates who worked the state the hardest – John Kasich and Chris Christie.

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John Kasich and Governor Chris Christie

I have great admiration for Governor Christie a staunch conservative on the issues. Many conservative voters used their conventional wisdom and voted for Donald Trump who I also admire and would like to see beat Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders because if they are elected this country is going to be a disaster with the same policies of Obama which we can't let happen. All of the candidates including Governor Christie did awesome but only one candidate can get elected for the White House and we have to support that candidate. The( RINOS) and Democrats don't like Christie, Trump, Rubio, or Cruz because they know that these particular candidates are very conservative on the issues and will repeal all of Obama's executive orders once they become President. Christie should have came in second next to Trump in the New Hampshire Primary instead of Kasich but again the conventional wisdom of the liberal media put Kasich second to Trump. Christie should have came second instead of Kasich because Kasich is (RINO)
who if elected would make deals with the Democrats including Obamacare, appoint liberal Justices to the Supreme Court, appease Iran and make deals with other enemies of the U.S. he's not a conservative but identifies with the political establishment which will be bad for this country. We Republicans have to wake up and smell the coffee.