If the remaining governors in the Republican primary — John Kasich, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie — cannot beat Rubio in New Hampshire, “They should really drop out,” Charles Krauthammer said tonight.
For these candidates, “New Hampshire is pretty fertile territory; far more secular, far more middle-of-the-road, and you allow a crossover of independents that’s not allowed in Iowa,” Krauthammer said on Tuesday’s Special Report. “It looks as if this is going to be the cannibalism of the mainstream candidates.”
“Obviously Rubio has the advantage, he got the big bounce; he was 8 points higher than what people expected in Iowa,” Krauthammer continued. “If you don’t pass Rubio, and you’re one of the three governors, you really have to go home.”
Krauthammer also said Iowa likely means the Republican Party returning to its traditional conservative identity as opposed to adopting the populist style Trump champions:
The other story is what’s called the ant-establishment lane, which I think it is a complete misunderstanding of what’s going on — that somehow Trump and Cruz are identical because they’re anti-establishment. There’s a huge difference between them: Yes, they’re ant-establishment but Trump is a populist, Cruz is a conservative. So people say, ‘well the anti-establishment vote in Iowa is over 50 percent.’ But that’s the wrong way to look at it. You add up Cruz and Rubio, both of them conservatives, one more conservative fundamentalist if you like than the other. And what you have is 51 percent of Iowa is conservative and one quarter is populist. That tells me that the Republicans are likely to stay with their roots as a conservative party and not be, accept the siren song of the kind of populism that Trump is championing.