Presidential candidates look forward after Iowa

Nick Reimann

After the Iowa Caucuses officially kicked off the 2016 presidential race, the candidates’ focus now shifts toward New Hampshire.

The state will hold its primary on Tuesday, Feb. 9, giving candidates an opportunity to gain momentum as the race heads toward Super Tuesday on March 1, when eleven states hold their primaries or caucuses.

According to Robert Mann, Louisiana State University journalism professor and former Democratic press secretary, with the polls showing Bernie Sanders holding a commanding lead in New Hampshire, it may be a while before we start to get a clearer picture of the Democratic race.

“They may sort of battle each other to a draw in these two contests,” Mann said. “And then the primary landscape changes dramatically because it moves down to South Carolina, Nevada and then into the Super Tuesday states, most of which are in the South. Those are states that, as of today, are much more favorable to Hillary Clinton.”

Mann said that for the Republican side, Iowa’s results show us that establishment republicans may have their candidate in Marco Rubio.

“The establishment, whatever that means, seems to be very much opposed to Trump and Cruz,” Mann said. “Will that establishment, which has been pretty well split among Rubio, Christie, Kasich and others abandon their candidates and coalesce around Rubio in an effort to stop Trump and Cruz? I think there’s a very good chance that could happen.”

But despite the claims that establishment republicans have a particular dislike for Trump or Cruz, Roger Villere, Jr., Louisiana Republican Party chairman, said he doesn’t see a problem with Ted Cruz potentially leading the Republican ticket.

“I’d be extremely happy if Ted Cruz was the nominee,” Villere said. “He’s a strong conservative; he’s a brilliant man, and I think he’d make an excellent president.”

While  Louisiana will be holding their primaries  March 5, Ed Chervenak, University of New Orleans political science professor and WDSU political contributor, believes that the timing will keep Louisiana from becoming a prime campaign spot.

“The March 5 date is between the Super Tuesday primary and March 15, where there’s a number of big, delegate-rich states that will be holding their primaries,” Chervenak said. “And I think that Louisiana might get lost in the shuffle there.”

Looking ahead in the Democratic primaries, Mann believes that Bernie Sanders’ best hope to upset Hillary Clinton may be out of
his control.

“This email scandal could end up being more dangerous to her than Bernie Sanders,” Mann said. “He’s got to hope that the email scandal turns into something very serious and damaging to Clinton that causes the Democratic establishment behind her to start doubting her electability.”