I've stated before that between Sanders and Clinton, I far prefer Sanders (but will vote Clinton if need be). But the Democratic Party has done a lousy fucking job building a competitive bench of players. Their top two contenders are a former First Lady/Senator/Sec State with negatives as high as her positives, and a 74-year-old man who identifies as a socialist and only caucuses with the Democrats. The also-rans were the guy David Simon based Tommy Carcetti (unfavorably) on in The Wire, and two former Republicans who couldn't get re-elected in their own states. Clinton will save face (and her neck) upon winning the nomination by pulling in Julian Castro as her running mate, but still -- there's a veritable power vacuum in the GOP, and the Democrats seem to avoid taking advantage of the opportunity to set themselves up for the next decade or so, including down-ticket after the next census.
As for the Goopers, you can pick your analysis as you see fit. Trump's a loser because he's spent seven months telling us how yuge his cock was, and he barely held off Marco Rubio to keep his second-place finish. On the other hand, Trump has never run for or held any political office whatsoever, has spent far less money than any other candidate, and still finished in the top three, between two sitting senators. And each of those top three received more votes than any previous candidate in the history of the caucus. Again, take your pick, as neither conclusion helps pick New Hampshire, where Trump still leads comfortably by double digits.
I do have to appreciate Fuckface von Clownstick's meltdown the next morning, if only because it proves what I (and pretty much anyone who's paying attention) said all along -- there's something off about this fucking guy, Trump. I don't think I've ever seen someone in the public eye who's so consistently thin-skinned, so petty and vindictive. Is Cruz a weasel? Sure. Did he do anything out of the ordinary for political campaigns? No, not really. Has von Clownstick been anything but a mouthy dickhead from day one, talking shit about anyone and everyone, making things up as he sees fit? Does he have a right to complain about the shenanigans of others? Is karma actually a thing once in a rare while?
It's just hard to picture someone of Trump's temperament having to work -- having to compromise -- with other people. That's not just an important part of the job, it's the job, full stop. Trump would have some advantage in working with a Republican dominated Congress, particularly a House comprised of rabid, deeply stupid reactionaries. But it wouldn't be a given, especially if he doesn't have a supermajority in the Senate. None of his proposals have any real-world viability. And every other major world leader, excepting perhaps Vladimir Putin, sees him for the obnoxious jerkoff that he is.
With regard to Ted Cruz' dirty tricks in Iowa, the "Voting Violation" flyer is at once obnoxiously stupid and counterintuitive -- conventional wisdom holds Republicans benefitting from low voter turnout (or in this case, low-forehead voter turnout). Either way, someone stupid enough to fall for the flyer is exactly the sort of moron to vote for Cruz or Trump (or really, any of them) in the first place. And Cruz' imputations of Ben Carson dropping out really just boils down to a fairly obvious conclusion -- Carson is an idiot, but he's smart enough to know that he has no chance to win, or even to get a position in someone else's administration.
I don't think he's angling for that anyway, unlike most of the other undercard fools. One thing about professionally religious people in this country is that the more religious they are, the deeper their understanding of the grift. Carson can shuffle his way through New Hampshire and South Carolina, declare that he fought the good fight, and then head home to Florida to rest up, crank out another ghost-written book, and schedule as many "inspirational" speaking engagements as his stomach and wallet can handle. And his supporters will gravitate to Rubio, since Trump long ago barked many nasty things about Carson's admittedly weird Scarface-to-Urkel backstory, and Cruz' little gambit will be fresh in their pea skulls.
So while no one knows for sure how NH shakes out, the narrative seems to be taking hold already -- the establishment GOP wants Rubio, because they hate Cruz, Trump's an asshole, and Rubio is a willing sock puppet. Rubio's biggest gap, in their eyes, is his lack of experience and gravitas, just like Fredo Arbusto. And like with Fredo, the bosses will pair him up with an old hand who can lend the kid a veneer of seriousness. That's where John Kasich comes in.
Really, the one who fell the furthest in Iowa was Jeb Bush. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.