Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary has been thrown into chaos after the Iowa Caucus third place winner, Marco Rubio, turned in what has been universally called a terrible debate performance on Saturday.
Rubio had been riding a wave of momentum that appears to have been stopped, as the debate seems to have raised questions about his inexperience and leadership ability.
Who appears to beneficiary of Rubio’s seeming decline?
So far according to polls and other evidence, it’s John Kasich.
The second term Ohio governor and former Congressman has staked everything on New Hampshire and it appears it will pay off with a strong finish.
For example, his crowds have gotten larger in the past few days and have become more energetic.
One of the reasons voters are leaning towards Kasich seems to be because of Rubio’s debate performance.
The Huffington Post had a comparison of the two, showing why Kasich is surging in the Granite State.
National reporters and handlers are comparing the two on the stump. Kasich, a policy wonk and former congressman with deep knowledge of the issues, interacts with voters easily and at length during New Hampshire town hall meetings, of which he has held more than 100 in the past year.
Rubio, as he did during Saturday night’s debate, tends to repeat canned lines. He takes few questions and claims he is in a hurry to get to the next event. But then he hangs around to take selfies with what seems like the whole crowd.
Kasich also seems to have things going his way according to polling trends and last minute Google searches. A look at the Real Clear Politics average in New Hampshire shows that Kasich has the most positive trend line out of any of the candidates in the state. Also, the latest Google Trends has John Kasich surging in interest in New Hampshire. The candidate whose interest is tanking on Google? Marco Rubio.
Finally, there is the ground game. Kasich has a very strong one in New Hampshire, so does Jeb Bush.
Over the next few days we might be hearing a lot more about John Kasich.