Who in the GOP field of candidates will survive the wilds of New Hampshire?

On Tuesday New Hampshire voters go to the polls to nominate candidates for the two major political parties for the presidency.

After the smoke clears there will be casualties in the Republican field, just as after Iowa, meaning choices should be fewer by the time Nevadans and South Carolinians head to the polls, starting Feb. 20 and beyond. (Nevada Dems caucus Feb. 20 and GOP on Feb. 23. S.C.’s GOP primary is Feb. 20, while Dems primary is Feb. 27.)

After Iowa, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum bailed.

In New Hampshire, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are leading in that order, according to Real Clear Politics, though John Kasich is a close fourth.

Since New Hampshire is a primary state — unlike Iowa which held caucuses in which people actually got to talk to each other perhaps changing minds, possibly resulting in the polls being wrong about Trump winning — the polls might be more reflective of the outcome in N.H. without the arm twisting.

The odds are that the odd men and women out after N.H. will be Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie and/or Carly Fiorina.

Obviously, though Bernie Sanders handily leads Hillary Clinton in N.H. and virtually tied in Iowa, there is no chance of either exiting early.

All the polls were conducted prior to Saturday’s GOP debate and the Sunday talking head shows, so those events may cause some movement of choices.

Another factor is that 40 percent of the voters in N.H. are independents, but the state allows them to vote in either primary. That could throw a wrench into cogs if there is a — pardon the oxymoron — organized chaos effort, reminiscent of Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos.

The pundits say second-place runner Rubio got beat up pretty good in the debate and Trump got hit pretty hard by Bush on the issue of eminent domain, while Kasich tried to appeal to moderates and Cruz stuck to his standard topics. Fiorina did not even get on the stage.

Trump stole the headlines on Monday by going on TV and upping the ante on his waterboarding braggadocio from the debate in which he said, “I would bring back waterboarding. And I would bring back a hell of a lot worse.”

On TV, Trump said, “I had in mind going worse than waterboarding. It’s enough. We have right now a country that’s under siege. It’s under siege from a people, from — we’re like living in medieval times. If I have it to do and if it’s up to me, I would absolutely bring back waterboarding. And if it’s going to be tougher than waterboarding, I would bring that back, too.”

George Stephanopoulos later asked, “Do we win by being more like them?”

To which Trump replied, “Yes. I’m sorry. You have to do it that way. And I’m not sure everybody agrees with me. I guess a lot of people don’t. We are living in a time that’s as evil as any time that there has ever been. You know, when I was a young man, I studied medieval times. That’s what they did, they chopped off heads. So we’re going …” not quite saying out loud that he would authorize beheadings when Stephanopoulos interrupted.

How will that sit with N.H. voters?

Meanwhile, here are the latest polling numbers from Real Clear Politics:

Nevada GOP


Nevada Dem

NV Dem jpg


GOP NH jpg

N.H. Dem

RCP NH Demjpg



S.C. Dem

SC Demjpg







18 comments on “Who in the GOP field of candidates will survive the wilds of New Hampshire?

  1. Here is a link to an op-ed on waterboarding written by a former Nevadan and friend for the WaPo in 2007. It is very persuasive:


    For prisoners, he notes, the adage holds true: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

  2. nyp says:

    I disagree with Marco Rubio on most issues, but I do admire the principled stand he took in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens. It takes real character to go against the preferences of your party’s base and stand shoulder to shoulder with leading Democrats like Chuck Schumer.

  3. Waterboarding, which was classified as “enhanced interrogation” was used on only three terrorist individuals. The most well known of the three – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed…was one of the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks and personally beheaded 40 individuals including reporter Daniel Pearl whose wife Mariane was five months pregnant. Two of our soldiers in Iraq, Pfc. Khristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker suffered real torture at the hands of the terrorists…they were attacked with electric drills to the knee caps, elbows and other parts of their bodies, they were beaten beyond recognition, drug thru the streets behind vehicles before their hearts were cut out and their penises cut off and stuffed in their mouths. Their bodies were booby trapped and hung from a bridge. If a terrorist has been apprehended…with possible knowledge of a suitcase atomic weapon that may be used to attack an American city…conventional rules and ideals go out the window. I’m just glad there are men and women in the military and intelligence community willing to do what it takes to extract information that may save hundreds of thousands of Americans. Waterboarding is far different from the real torture used on our brave soldiers.

  4. Read Evan Wallach’s op-ed.

  5. nyp says:

    Mr. Mitchell makes a good point: if our enemies in wartime waterboarded captured American soldiers, would we consider that to be a war crime?

  6. Former JAG Wallach:

    After World War II, we convicted several Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American and Allied prisoners of war. At the trial of his captors, then-Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, one of the 1942 Army Air Forces officers who flew in the Doolittle Raid and was captured by the Japanese, testified: “I was given several types of torture. . . . I was given what they call the water cure.” He was asked what he felt when the Japanese soldiers poured the water. “Well, I felt more or less like I was drowning,” he replied, “just gasping between life and death.”

    Nielsen’s experience was not unique. Nor was the prosecution of his captors. After Japan surrendered, the United States organized and participated in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, generally called the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. Leading members of Japan’s military and government elite were charged, among their many other crimes, with torturing Allied military personnel and civilians. The principal proof upon which their torture convictions were based was conduct that we would now call waterboarding.

  7. nyp says:

    I am sure the Japanese felt that it was a vital way to obtain crucial operational intelligence.

  8. KSM…is on video, beheading Daniel Pearl. He should be executed…then we won’t need to argue over what is or what isn’t torture.

  9. nyp says:

    I am afraid that isn’t an answer to the issues posed by Mr. Mitchell.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The winners decide what the rules are.
    The Japanese lost the war.
    The Japanese broke the rules as defined by the winners.

    Reality bites.

  11. Steve says:

    Using a business center computer….

  12. When you descend into the heart of darkness to win, can you ever really be considered a winner?

  13. Barbara says:

    Meanwhile back to New Hampshire:

    I think Trump will probably win, but if it is not by double digits, he may not give him any mo. I haven’t heard anything from the Cruz camp, but we normally have a conference call at 5:15 on Mondays. On the call before the Iowa caucus, we were told they expected to win (handily) with Trump in 2nd and Rubio in 3rd. Cruz’s internal pollster is the same one who told him he would win the Senate race when all the public polling showed him losing by double digits. The pollster was off by one point in that senate race.

    If Rubio does not come in 2nd, I think he will be seriously damaged going into SC. I think he needs to be a close 2nd to Trump and a significant win over Cruz. If Rubio and Cruz are close, I would count that as a win for Cruz. These are my personally feelings – not heard this from anyone in the campaign.

    I hope the moderates stay in through the SEC. This would be too sweet a present, but with Rubio’s poor performance in the debate, SC will tell the tale. It would also help Cruz take Nevada. I do not expect Trump to perform up to expectations in Nevada.

    I read somewhere that the Republicans have always had a nominee that took either Iowa or NH. In my mind if history repeats, this means Cruz or Trump. I certainly don’t see Rubio winning NH.

    Carly and Carson need to go. Carson actually raised more money personally than any candidate except Bernie. He is holding very little campaign events, so where is the money going? I think he used the dust up in Iowa to fund raise, but then did little campaigning. The media seems to be giving him a pass on this. Can you imagine if Cruz were actively raising funds, but holding no events? Or for that matter any other candidate? Carson’s people are defecting to Cruz so he is probably not inclined to let go of the Iowa issue but will use it to raise funds as long as he can. At the start of the campaign, I considered Dr. Carson, but he is starting to seem very petty now.

  14. Steve says:

    With stakes as high as those were, becoming the enemy to fight the enemy is the only option.
    Dropping the bombs was, by comparison, merciful.
    To both sides.

  15. The early primaries are usually a crap shoot…just four years ago in 2012, Rick Santorum narrowly won Iowa over Mitt Romney with Ron Paul coming in third. In New Hampshire…Mitt Romney had a solid victory with 39% to Ron Paul’s second place showing of 23%. But in South Carolina it was all flipped…with Newt Gingrich taking it with a solid 40% to Romney’s 28%. With the poor polling forecasts in Iowa…anything is possible in New Hampshire!

  16. Rincon says:

    If you ask me whether I would rather be waterboarded or have my legs blown off, I would definitely pick the waterboarding, Given the option of waterboarding vs being killed, the choice is obvious. Why is it then, that the same people who abhor waterboarding which is meant to prevent other people (ours) from being killed and having their legs blown off, are the same ones who are so quick to advocate going to war in the first place? Somehow, regime change in Syria is worth the horrendous suffering of hundreds of thousands that we have seen and continue to see, but saving American lives by acquiring crucial information from a few individuals by causing them substantially less discomfort isn’t. Perhaps war has become too sterile. As long as we can’t see the guy getting his legs blown off, it’s not so bad.

    For the record, I’m against waterboarding, but I’m also against going to war in situations where it’s none of our business.

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