NATIONAL REVIEW: Could this night have gone worse for Donald Trump’s foes? Sure, he could have won with 90 percent or something. But this was about as bad a result as they could reasonably fear, and about as good a result as Trump and his fans could want.
Trump’s first-place finish was easy to predict, and in line with most of the polling. In fact, the traditional New Hampshire polling surprise this year was… that the actual results didn’t offer much of a surprise. It always looked like a tightly-packed crowd of candidates from second to sixth place, and the order of finish was pretty ideal for Trump. It’s him against the crowd, and his chunk of the base – even if it’s just a new generation of Pat Buchanan’s share of the vote – will always outpace his rivals, as long as there’s a bunch of them.