So, let's take a look at the New Hampshire Republican results. I'm going to ignore everyone who got less than one percent, just to make this a little easier.
Well, here's the story. Fiorina and Christie are already out, and Carson is only holding on because he lives in a dream world. And, we all know that the Republican party is never going to nominate John Kasich, one of the most boring candidates on earth.
These people all pretty well break down into two categories- the figures who are acceptable to the big money guys that really run the Republican party, and the insurgents; the candidates for the really, really angry guys. And, of course, Carly Fiorina, who tried to be both things- a (miserable) CEO and a really angry person, all at once. That got her all the way up to 4.1% of the vote, because the rich guys think she's crazy, and the crazy people don't think she is crazy enough, so I think we can set her aside too.
On the rich guy side of this list (otherwise laughably known as the "moderates,") are Kasich, Bush, Rubio and Christie. On the cazy side are Trump, Cruz and Carson. So, assuming (as I think it is safe to do) that Kasich doesn't have a chance, Cruz is on a downhill slide already because no one trusts him, Rubio self destructed in the last week, Christie has given up, and Carson was never going to go anywhere; and also assuming that the people who voted for the "establshment" guys will gravitate to another establishment guy, and the crazies will do the same for the one crazy left, what do we have? Just add up the percentages:
Trump (and Trump-like candidates) 49.3%
Jeb! (and Jeb-like candidates) 44.8%
That near tie, I think, is what things are going to come down to in a few more weeks. And this is without the immense pressure that the Kochs, Adelson, the Waltons can put on the party to do what they want. And this is also ignoring the clear fact that Trump appeals to many people because of the carnival aspect of his run, and a certain percentage of them will get tired of the show before too much longer. Maybe not a lot, but if ten percent decide they've had enough time in the fun house, the race is tied.
Well, I'm probably making a phenomenal fool out of myself saying this, and if so, I will cop to it. But, as no one wants to notice, the totally devastated Bush managed to outpoll the rising star Rubio. Compared to Bush's status as recently as a few weeks ago, this is a rather strong comeback, and if the rich guys line up behind him, things could look a lot different by the time of the conventions.