Our Opinion: Campaign circus moves to New Hampshire


The Iowa caucuses, that presidential bellwether that often proves to be irrelevant. now gives way to the New Hampshire primary, also a dubious predictor of events.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton's narrow victory over Bernie Sanders suggests that battle won't end soon. The Vermont senator's populist campaign has struck a chord with progressives, while the former secretary of state counters with a pragmatic approach. Their competition is sure to get tougher in tone, but we hope it will remain issue-oriented and avoid the bitterness, baloney and belligerence personified by the Republican Big Three.

Donald Trump had some of the wind taken out of his sails by Republican winner Ted Cruz. Mr. Trump may have been hurt by skipping the last debate because he was frightened of Fox News' Megyn Kelly, but he didn't work as hard in the state as did the Texan and it may be that attending a raucous Trump rally/tent show is easier and more fun than going to a caucus. It doesn't look as if the Sarah Palin endorsement helped. A tough Trump "would tell any enemy, uh-uh, we're America so we win you lose," offered Ms. Palin before Monday's caucuses.

Senator Marco Rubio, the shape-shifting "moderate," gained ground late by emulating Senator Cruz, running ads grossly misrepresenting the Affordable Care Act and echoing the Bush-Cheney era by promising to bring alleged terrorists to Guantanamo and "find out what they know." A transformation into Cruz-lite doesn't really offer New Hampshire voters much of a choice in the Florida senator.

Here is what can apparently be said for sure about Iowa: Ms. Clinton won 23 delegates to Senator Sanders' 21, and Senator Cruz won eight delegates to the seven apiece of his top two opponents. For good or ill, there is a long way to go.


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