The day after the big day: What to watch in NH and beyond

AP News
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Posted: Feb 01, 2016 8:15 PM
The day after the big day: What to watch in NH and beyond

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sure, the Iowa caucuses packed suspense. But there will be plenty of intrigue to track on the day after, too.

What to watch Tuesday:

CLAIMING VICTORY: There's more than one way to define victory: Multiple candidates on one or both sides will try to claim victory as they barrel out of Iowa — some simply by exceeding low expectations.

EXIT STRATEGIES: Does Iowa turn into a knockout blow for some bottom-tier candidates who were hanging in there until they saw some real votes? Day-after departures from the race aren't unusual: In 2012, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, who finished sixth in Iowa, said on caucus night that she planned to carry on with her campaign. By noon the next day, she'd bailed.

SPIN CYCLE — WHY IOWA DOESN'T MATTER: Poor performers in the caucuses will look for ways to play down the importance of Iowa. One traditional tactic: argue Iowa's electorate doesn't represent the country at large. Republican Jon Huntsman, who skipped Iowa to put his emphasis on New Hampshire in 2012, said of the Iowa results, "Nobody cares." (He called it quits after a disappointing showing in New Hampshire.)

SPIN CYCLE — WHY IOWA MATTERS: Winners and those who exceeded expectations will be happy to play up the significance of the Iowa results. Just how far do they stretch that victory lap?

WHERE NEXT? It's not just where the candidates point their planes next, but where they ship all those Iowa staffers who will be packing their bags Tuesday. With New Hampshire just a week away, the state already is flooded with campaign staff and advertising dollars. While most candidates focus on New Hampshire, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has stops Tuesday in both New Hampshire and South Carolina; he thinks his conservative message may resonate better in the latter state.

ADS, ADS, ADS: For Iowans, it's now safe to turn on the TV; viewers in New Hampshire, beware. From Tuesday forward, presidential candidates and the outside groups helping them are set to spend $11 million on TV and radio ads in the state, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media's CMAG. By New Hampshire primary night, spending in the state will have topped $116 million. If the month of January is a guide, look for Trump with a side of Trump. Political ads already are popping up in states with later primaries and caucuses: Nevada has $1.7 million in ads scheduled.

MONEY CHASE: Beware of inbox overload. Wins and losses have one thing in common: They're both fundraising opportunities. Expect many breathless emails from the candidates that convert their Iowa performances — fantastic or dismal — into pleas for campaign cash.

ENDORSEMENT CHASE: As candidates exit the race, where do they point their supporters? Donald Trump plans to campaign in Arkansas on Wednesday. Could he be hoping to pick up an endorsement from Mike Huckabee if the former Arkansas governor drops out?

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Associated Press writer Julie Bykowicz in Washington contributed to this report.

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