The Note: Gearing Up In the Granite State

February 03, 2016, 8:40 AM


--THE SPRINT TO WIN NEW HAMPSHIRE IS ON: Candidates with momentum have already hit the ground running in the Granite State. Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders, touting their close finishes as victories, were meeting voters as the sun was still rising yesterday. Surprise Iowa caucuses winner Ted Cruz held a town hall later Tuesday while Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton look to re-set, ABC’s BRAD MIELKE writes. But make no mistake, the race in New Hampshire is fundamentally different than Iowa. It’s moderate, it’s secular, and 40 percent of its voters are unaffiliated with either party, capable of pulling a ballot for either side.

--WHAT EACH 2016 CANDIDATE NEEDS TO PROVE NOW: With the presidential hopefuls making their final pitches in New Hampshire, and dozens of other states across the country set to hold nominating contests over the next few weeks, ABC’S RYAN STRUYK has more on how each candidate will move forward from here to try to take the nomination:

--TRUMP PLANS LONG RUN DESPITE IOWA LOSS: Donald Trump is "not thrilled" with his second-place finish in Iowa but is looking ahead to New Hampshire, telling “Good Morning America” he's spending a lot of money in the state. Opponent Ted Cruz finished with nearly 28 percent of the vote and Trump was behind with 24 percent. "I'm not thrilled with second place," Trump admitted this morning. "But I was told don't even go to Iowa, because I'm not going to win Iowa. And I thought it was something I should do and I went there and I almost won it." Trump, who has a lead in the New Hampshire polls, said on "Good Morning America" today he's spending a lot of money in that state to assure he wins and that his campaign is "long-term,” ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI notes.

--CLINTON BANKING ON MINORITY SUPPORT FOR SUPER TUESDAY: After eking out a victory in Iowa before an anticipated loss in New Hampshire next week, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is banking on their minority support in the Super Tuesday states to help secure the nomination, according to a memo Clinton’s campaign manager sent to top donors Tuesday outlining the “path forward” after the Iowa caucuses. “The voters of New Hampshire have a history of supporting candidates from New England. So it’s not surprising that Sanders maintains and double-digits lead in the polls there,” Robby Mook wrote in the memo obtained by ABC News, referring to the Vermont senator's double-digit lead in the Granite State. “After New Hampshire, the races becomes considerably more challenging for Bernie Sanders as the contest moves to Nevada and South Carolina, states with electorates that strongly favor Hillary,” he added. ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ has more.


ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: In New Hampshire, you’ve got the “boy in the bubble” and the “backbenchers who have never done anything of consequence.” And to get them, nobody even had to ask for Donald Trump’s opinion – that’s what the other Republican candidates are saying about themselves. There may be no more fertile ground for dumping Trump than in the Granite State, where famously independent-minded primary voters like to zag after Iowa’s zig and reward those who have sweated out the New England winter. Yet, as often occurred in Iowa, sniping lower down the ballot – particularly among the two leading senators and three governors still in the race – could frustrate efforts to have New Hampshire send an anti-Trump message. Republicans look to the New Hampshire primary to winnow the field. But it’s the de facto winnowing that may or may not take place before Tuesday that could deliver the strongest message so far as it impacts Trump.



WHAT THE RESULTS IN IOWA MEAN FOR TRUMP AND THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE. Ted Cruz’s big win in Iowa came as a surprise not only to Donald Trump. The real estate mogul had been leading in Iowa polls ahead of the caucuses, and now some experts say the results will shift the race moving forward. "It did exactly what the Iowa caucuses tend to do and that's set up the front-runners," said David Andersen, an assistant professor of political science at Iowa State University. The candidates are now headed to New Hampshire to stump ahead of that state’s primary next week, and some may be changing their playbooks after last night's results. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT -- HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE HAWKEYE STATE. Filled with twists and turns, ABC’s ALI DUKAKIS looks at some of the highlights from the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

CHRIS CHRISTIE PROMISES NEW HAMPSHIRE HE’LL ‘BE LIKE GUM ON THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SHOE’. After failing in his stated goal to be the best-performing governor in the Iowa caucuses, Chris Christie is hoping to stick in New Hampshire. “I'll be like gum on the bottom of your shoe,” the New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate, who was already back in New Hampshire as Iowans were voting Monday night, jokingly told Granite State voters Tuesday, ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS reports. Finishing in last place in Iowa among all the governor candidates -- Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Mike Huckabee -- on Monday night, Christie sought Tuesday morning to brush off the previous expectations he had set for himself.

CLINTON’S CELEBRATION OF SLIM IOWA WIN LEAVES SOME WITH DOUBTS. Even before the results of Monday night’s Iowa caucuses were made official, Hillary Clinton touched down in New Hampshire declaring victory. "I am so thrilled that I am coming to New Hampshire after winning Iowa,” she said, fresh off a red-eye from Iowa, at a campaign rally in Nashua. “I've won and I lost there. And it's a lot better to win." ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI and LIZ KREUTZ report, Her battle with Bernie Sanders was so close -- just two-tenths of 1 percent separated the two rivals -- that the Associated Press did not declare Clinton the winner until Tuesday afternoon.

TRUMP TWEETS ABOUT ‘STRONG SECOND’ PLACE FINISH IN IOWA. Donald Trump tweeted for the first time Tuesday after the Iowa caucuses. Trump lost to Sen. Ted Cruz, who placed first in the caucuses with nearly 28 percent of the vote. Trump had 24 percent. ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI has more.

JEB BUSH AND THE PERILS OF HIGH EXPECTATIONS. It was just four months ago when Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said he thought he would win the Iowa Republican caucuses. Bush, according to Associated Press results, collected less than 3 percent of the vote. Although he beat the other governors in the race, his main rivals, he still placed far behind former protégé Marco Rubio, who finished a strong third. In a memo Bush’s top advisers sent this morning to supporters and prominent donors, which was obtained by ABC’s CANDACE SMITH  after first being reported by Politico, the campaign downplayed the Iowa caucuses because the winners rarely go on to win the nomination.



@ZekeJMiller: This via @Philip_Elliott is great: The 2016 Republican primary, as told by Donald Trump 

@sbg1: Clinton White House passed up pardon for Chelsea's father-in-law. Great @joshgerstein scoop here …

@InesdLC: Rubio in Exeter, NH: "If I'm our nominee we will beat Hillary Clinton-- and it won't be with the flip of a coin!"

@politicalinsidr: SEC primary update: Evangelicals become a problem for Donald Trump  #gapol

@TexasTribAbby: House Dem (not a Texan) to me on Bernie Sanders' youth appeal: "He's Betty White."

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