Concord, N.H. – The snowstorm that blew through New Hampshire and blanketed much of the state with inches of powdery stuff appeared to have little impact on Tuesday’s primary turnout, as clerks around the state reported a surge of interest.
“This isn’t weather,” said Ben Bath, who was ducking the cold in a Concord coffee shop. “This is nothing to us.”
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders are leading the polls in the first-in-the-nation primary and both are looking to rebound from defeats in last week’s Iowa caucus.
The closest contest may yet be the race for second place in the GOP race, as Florida Sen. Marco faces mounting competition from a trio of governors – former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich - in the battle to emerge as the mainstream alternative to Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
In a NBC interview, Rubio sought to downplay expectations as his rivals pummeled him over his uneven debate performance on Saturday.
“You know, in New Hampshire you have some candidates that literally have a campaign nowhere else. They only have a New Hampshire campaign,” Rubio said. “And so these are people that have invested all of their resources in one place. So that's a challenge."
Republicans once hoped that New Hampshire voters would help narrow the number of candidates that survived last week’s Iowa vote. Yet it’s seeming more likely that the brunt of the Republican field will head to South Carolina, which holds its GOP vote on Feb. 20.
The Three Governors have all promised to head South on Wednesday no matter the outcome of the New Hampshire vote. Meanwhile, the one-on-one matchup between Sanders and Hillary Clinton seems destined to continue for weeks as the two prepare for a prolonged battle over delegates.