Guide: What to watch for the day after NH

Posted at 4:25 AM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 04:25:41-05

Time to trade in those boots and head south and west. After Sen. Bernie Sanders and businessman Donald Trump cruised to victory in snowy New Hampshire, the presidential race sprints on to South Carolina and Nevada — perhaps with a smaller cast of characters.

A guide to what to watch for on Wednesday, the day after New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary:

DEPARTURE LOUNGE | Iowa turned out to be the end of the line for four candidates. Additional Republican candidates could well head for the exits after New Hampshire. Chris Christie, who put huge effort into New Hampshire and came up short, said he was going home to New Jersey to "take a deep breath" and decide what to do about his presidential campaign.

CHA-CHING | Look for a surge in campaign cash for those with strong finishes. Bernie Sanders, who finished a close second to Hillary Clinton in Iowa, had his best fundraising day of the race after the Iowa caucuses. Cruz, too, had a post-Iowa bonanza. Now it may be John Kasich's turn. "We have a lot of people who have been promising money if we perform," said Tom Rath, a senior national adviser to the Ohio governor, who finished second among Republicans. "Tonight, we performed."

CREATIVE WRITING | Candidate Bill Clinton masterfully framed his second-place finish in New Hampshire in 1992 as a big victory for the "Comeback Kid." Look for the 2016 runners-up in New Hampshire to use similar creative writing techniques. Kasich is treating second place more like a win, saying it's evidence a positive message resonates with Americans. Jeb Bush seems genuinely thrilled to say his campaign "is not dead."

NEW HAMPSHIRE HANGOVER? | Watch how the also-rans cope. Marco Rubio blamed no one but himself for his disappointing finish, saying he "did not do well" in Saturday night's debate.

PILING ON | Lower-finishing GOP candidates can be expected to gang up on the New Hampshire success stories. That's what happened to the Rubio after he exceeded expectations with a strong third-place finish in Iowa. Is Kasich in for a thrashing?

WHERE NEXT? | South Carolina and Nevada are coming up in the next two weeks. Most Republican candidates were bound Wednesday for South Carolina, which holds its GOP primary Feb. 20, and Democrats to Nevada ahead of that state's Democratic caucus the same day. Those two states offer candidates their first opportunities to compete for a large and diverse electorate. But first, Sanders heads to New York City, where he plans to have breakfast with the Rev. Al Sharpton.

AD NAUSEAM | The presidential hopefuls and their supporters already are planning to spend $35 million in South Carolina and $7 million in Nevada on TV and radio commercials, amounts that will rise significantly as voting approaches. Big spenders in South Carolina so far are Rubio and his allies, Cruz and his supporters and a super PAC backing Bush, advertising tracker Kantar Media's CMAG shows. Trump also burst back onto TV there beginning Tuesday.

ENDORSEMENTS | More will pop after New Hampshire. The Republicans who hang in there will try to snag endorsements from those who bug out. And others may weigh in. Among them: The Congressional Black Caucus political action committee promised to make its endorsement after New Hampshire. Republicans are wondering if South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will pick a favorite.


Associated Press writers Julie Bykowicz in Washington and Bill Barrow in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.


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