By Michael Oleaga – – – –
There are winners and losers from the New Hampshire primary, but almost immediately, the focus shifts to Nevada and South Carolina — states with prominent minority populations.
In the Democratic presidential field, Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton with 60 percent to 38 percent, based on 96 percent of the precincts reporting. It was an expected loss for Clinton’s campaign, but they already have their eyes set on the next states.
Hours prior to Sanders’ win, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook had already acknowledged defeat in the state in a memo to supporters and select reporters. In the memo, Clinton campaigners are encouraged to focus on the March primaries and caucus, where 56 percent of delegates necessary to win are up for grabs.
“The first four states represent just 4% of the delegates needed to secure the nomination,” Mook wrote, taking into account the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 20 and the South Carolina primary on Feb. 27. “The 28 states that vote (or caucus) in March will award 56% of the delegates needed to win.”
In the lengthy memo, Mook later wrote, “For Hillary Clinton and her campaign, the March states represent an opportunity to build a coalition of support that’s as diverse as the Democratic Party itself. Hispanics and African Americans play a critical role in who we are as a party and who we are as a nation. Many of the most delegate-rich states also have some of the largest minority and urban populations – states like Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois and Florida.”
“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,” Mook later continued. “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.”
Mook said the Democratic presidential nomination process will likely be won in March, not February.”
For the Sanders campaign, it was the second consecutive voting election to celebrate. Although Sanders lost Iowa, it was by a very narrow margin. But in New Hampshire, Sanders reminded supporters that his landslide victory sends a message to Wall Street, Washington and across America that the U.S. belongs to the people and not super PACs or wealthy campaign donors.
“Nine months ago, we began our campaign here in the Granite State. We had no campaign organization and we had no money. And we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America — a team that defeated Barack Obama here in the Democratic primary in 2008. And tonight, through a record-breaking voter turnout, we won because we harnessed the energy and the excitement that the Democratic Party will need to succeed in November,” said Sanders on Tuesday night from Concord High School’s gymnasium.
Clinton and Sanders’ next battle is in Nevada, home to a growing Latino population — currently at 27.8 percent, higher than the national average of 17.4 percent.
For the GOP: What’s Next for Bush & Rubio
In the Republican presidential field, front-runner Donald Trump maintained his front-runner status by easily winning the crowded GOP field with 35 percent of the vote. Ohio Gov. John Kasich gained momentum as he placed second after receiving 16 percent of the vote, ahead of Iowa caucus winner Ted Cruz’s 12 percent.
For former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, their next primary — in South Carolina on Feb. 20 — will be another battleground state for them after they placed fourth and fifth place, respectively, but each with 11 percent.. Bush and Rubio’s campaigns are already working hard to engage South Carolinians.
In the Bush campaign, a new radio campaign advertisement was released, titled “Steady Hand.” The radio advertisement is perhaps a milestone for the former Florida governor as it features former President and former Texas Gov. George W. Bush. The former president spoke about his brother’s experience and plans as the next commander-in-chief
“We live in troubled times with the military deployed around the world. We need a strong leader with experience, ideas and resolve. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jeb Bush will be a great commander-in-chief for our military. Jeb has dealt with crises as the governor of Florida, and he did so with steadiness, and a calmness necessary in a good leader. He respects the military — he honors their families. He can make the tough decision to keep Americans safe and our country free. And in a time of crisis, he will be a steady hand,” said the former president, before the former Texas governor takes over the ads’ narration.
Rubio’s campaign announced the “South Carolina Veterans for Marco,” a team of veterans residing in South Carolina.
“Marco Rubio’s superior judgment on national security matters makes him the right choice for commander-in-chief,” said the South Carolina Veterans for Marco Chairman Steven Siegfried and Co-Chairs David Shimp and James H. Flatley III in a joint statement. “As a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Marco has a deep understanding of the threats we face. He knows the world is a safer place when America has the strongest military and the knowledge of how and when to best use it. After 7 years of Barack Obama weakening our national security, we do not need a Republican president who brags about voting to cut defense spending. We need Marco Rubio in the Oval Office to rebuild our armed forces and restore America’s leadership in an increasingly troubled world.”
While Democrats hold their Nevada caucus on Feb. 20, the same date will be used for the Republican South Carolina primary. The Republican Nevada caucus will be on Feb. 23, while the Democrats’ South Carolina primary is set for Feb. 27.