Editor's Note: Below is a brief excerpt from Potomac Research Group Senior Analyst JT Taylor's Morning Bullets sent to institutional clients each morning.
On the heels of criticism that his lack of campaign infrastructure in Iowa led to his loss to Ted Cruz, Donald Trump didn't take any chances in NH. He ramped up his organization in just a 10-day stretch to augment his strong polling numbers -- with volunteers making over 30,000 calls a day and maximizing GOTV efforts. Just think if he'd had all this in place before Iowa... Expect Trump to bring in more ground forces into South Carolina where he faces a well-organized Jeb Bush and an electorate that's partial to Cruz.
NEW LIFE FOR KASICH AND BUSH:
Seems like just yesterday (ahem) that media pundits were speculating that some of the top-tier candidates would have to consider dropping out after NH. Not so fast. John Kasich's strong second place finish will infuse badly needed resources into his campaign, and Bush's resurgence will inject much-needed confidence into his. Kasich will need to quickly capitalize on his momentum and improve his 1% standing in SC, but we don't see a path forward for him. Bush needs to place big in both SC and Nevada in his renewed fight to win the establishment lane.
SANDERS SURGES, CLINTON PURGES:
There was never a doubt that the Bern would win NH, he's been leading Hillary Clinton by 15-20 points since last fall. We're not even that surprised by the margin, but by the fact that she couldn't close the gap despite winning the state in 2008, a full court press this past week, and inability to make inroads in any of the key demographics. Sanders' numbers across the board were stunning and one stands out more than the others -- he won over women by 11% and commanded 83% of 18-29 years olds.
Clinton will do what stumbling campaigns almost always do -- call for an overhaul. But we don't think her campaign needs to hit the reset button. She does. It's her lack of a clear message and conviction -- and as a result Sanders is tapping into the constituencies that should naturally be hers. The demographics in the next two states and Super Tuesday favor her with a more diverse electorate and a ground game that has been in the place since early 2015. But Sanders isn't going away any time soon. More money will flow his way and he will look to dent her March strategy, where 56% of delegates are up for grabs.