GOPDebate verdict: Rubio the latest victim of GOP cage fight

I’ve observed before how the size and brutal nature of the race to be GOP nominee is doing the party no favours, damaging one candidate after another. In the final debate before Tuesday’s pivotal New Hampshire Primary, the last undamaged figure took a beating.

My main sentiment this morning is relief that I’ve only staked four units on Marco Rubio to win NH and laid back the 25 units staked last week for the Presidency. For while there was no clear winner, Rubio was the clear loser.

It was obvious he would be attacked, less so that he would respond so weakly, in particular to Chris Christie’s assault. Rubio came off looking exactly like the scripted, lightweight that his detractors claim. According to Frank Luntz – the focus group guru with a tremendous record in Anglo-US politics – Rubio took a beating. After the previous debate, Luntz scored Rubio the runaway winner.

Worse, all of Rubio’s rivals in the mainstream, establishment lane did well. None of Christie, Jeb Bush or John Kasich look like the eventual nominee, but all could eat into Rubio’s share, just when a big performance in New Hampshire is required to sustain momentum.

Ultimately, the real winners last night were Cruz and Donald Trump, who emerged unscathed, while watching the establishment tear each other apart.

Considering Trump is the NH front-runner, his easy ride was both surprising and significant. Historically, the GOP nominee wins either Iowa or New Hampshire. Granted, this year seems different, but the establishment may come to regret last night. Rubio was and remains their best hope.

I won’t be backing him at odds-on, but Trump must now look the likeliest winner in NH. 25% could do it, again unlike recent NH results where 35% has been a minimum.

Taking the pulse here on the ground, talking to GOP voters, virtually everyone seems undecided. Last night is unlikely to have made their choice any clearer.


One new bet. As advised on Twitter earlier, I’ve laid back my 3 unit outstanding risk on John Kasich.

Note I’ve laid him in the nominee market, rather than the Presidency, where I’ve already taken odds of 240. Why? Simply, the maths are wrong. At 150 in the latter compared to 50 in the nominee market, the implication is he’d only stand a 33% chance in the General Election.

This is wrong! I doubt Kasich will be the GOP candidate but if he were, the Governor if key swing state Ohio would hold, by my assessment a 50/50 chance at least.

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