The Republican establishment has been plunged into disarray by Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, which revitalized Donald Trump’s campaign and muddled the chances for a centrist alternative to emerge.
The Granite State result is just about the worst possible one from the establishment’s perspective — ensuring the centrist vote will remain divided, with no candidate in that lane having momentum and a viable path to victory.
Trump won the Granite State resoundingly, being projected as the winner by multiple news organizations as soon as polls closed at 8 p.m. As of 11 p.m., he was way out in front, leading second-place John Kasich by a margin of more than two-to-one with 76 percent of precincts reporting.
Just as importantly, the primary delivered a heavy blow to Marco Rubio, stopping dead the momentum he had received from his strong third-place finish in last week’s Iowa caucuses.
Those two factors alone are enough to cause consternation among establishment Republicans, who hope to see Trump taken down by someone on their wavelength.
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