New Hampshire Primary Impact: Six Ways The 2016 Election Just Changed [UPDATED]

Well, it finally happened. The first actual primary vote in the run up to the 2016 presidential election (sorry, Iowa--you're weird and you know it) was last night. That means this morning, the political blogosphere was alight with explanations, analyses and predictions--all on the New Hampshire Primary impact.
Here are the six main shakeups to the 2016 election, courtesy of New Hampshire:

Trump Is Now The Republican Front-Runner

As much as a lot of people don't want to accept it, Donald Trump is the candidate officially leading the GOP nomination race. With 35% of the Republican vote (and 50% of exit polling showing republicans would be satisfied him as the nominee), that's the main impact New Hampshire just made on the election. So Trump haters can forget about the reality TV star/mogul burning out anytime soon. According to polling, Trump's stance on a muslims (banning them) and immigration (deporting all undocumented immigrants) were big with voters.

Sanders Is The Future Of The Democratic Party

From his campaign tactics to his supporter base, it's becoming more and more clear that Bernie Sanders' impact is laying the groundwork for future democratic candidates. He crushed Clinton with young voters by connecting with his messaging about income inequality and financial reform. As Jeet Heer at The New Republican explains, "In coming years, Democratic politicians will have to echo Sanders' slashing critique of Wall Street and his call for a far more robust welfare state if they want to hold on to the rising generation in their party."

It's Going To Get Ugly Between Bush & Rubio

Marco Rubio was the first to admit that his debate fumble at the hands of Chris Christie was probably the reason he didn't get as nearly as many votes as he did in the Iowa. The fact that Jeb Bush spent more than anyone else on ads also played a part as well. The two actually tied at around 11% of the votes, and since both are vying to be the GOP establishment candidate, they're now directly squaring off against one another. As one Rubio aide told Politico about the next primary election in South Carolina: "[It's] gonna be a bloodbath."

Kasich Found His Base...Moderate Independents

Of all the results from New Hampshire, none was more surprising than John Kasich coming in second for the Republican primary. The Ohio governor has made a habit out of speaking common sense (even when it was against his own party leadership) and offering up a moderate point of view during debates. It hasn't earned him much excitement or donations from hardcore conservatives, but in independent voters stuck between the polar opposites of Trump and Sanders he found an audience. As Slate's Josh Voorhees points out, the success will sustain Kasich's campaign...and create agony within the GOP.

Get Ready For Clinton To Go To The Mattresses

For those unfamiliar with The Godfather, "going to the mattresses" is gangster-speak for all-out war. It means to ruthlessly fight an opponent, and it's probably just what HIllary Clinton's campaign is gearing up for (and what Sander's people should be doing now). Clinton knew she was going to lose New Hampshire, which is probably why she didn't focus too much on it. But Sanders' strong showing, particularly with women and middle class voters, has put serious pressure on Clinton. So Hillary will likely come hard at Bernie as the primaries move into the southern states, where Sanders already doesn't have the strongest of footings.

Christie, Carson, And Fiorina Are On The Way Out

As Politico's Mike Allen wrote in his daily column Playbook today: "Bye, bye, Christie, Carly, Carson." And the general consensus is that the three trailing candidates will be bowing out soon. Christie is expected to announce he's out any day now, while both Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina (see below) have both expressed plans to fight on.

UPDATE: Carly Fiorina announced she was suspending her campaign via the below Facebook post:

This campaign was always about citizenship—taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the...

Posted by Carly Fiorina on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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