Outside of Donald Trump’s massive victory, the next biggest storyline regarding the Republicans after the New Hampshire primary will be how well John Kasich and Ted Cruz over-performed. Kasich in particular had a strong second-place showing despite barely being a blip on the radar in Iowa.
How did he sneak in to get so many votes? Money. He spent a lot of it. In New Hampshire alone, he spent $12.1 million. The problem is that he’s now down to $2.5 million cash on hand.
By contrast, Cruz spent $560K. He still has $19 million cash on hand and several strong super PACs supporting him. That he came in 3rd in New Hampshire against big money spent in the state shows that his campaign doesn’t just support a fiscal conservative candidate. It also represents the fiscal conservatism that he espouses.
To Kasich’s credit, he didn’t spend the most money. In fact, he was outspent by Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie in the state. However, having less cash on hand than Carly Fiorina and much less than his other competitors with the exception of Christie does not bode well for him. His hope is to make it through to the winner-take-all home game on March 15 in Ohio, but if he doesn’t raise some serious money quickly, he isn’t going to survive.
Cruz, on the other hand, should be ecstatic with the results based upon expectations and expenditures.
— JD Rucker (@0boy) February 10, 2016
If Kasich can mount an unprecedented fundraising effort, he will carry on. If he doesn’t, he may be the Jon Huntsman of 2012 who had a great showing in New Hampshire before dropping out six days later.