Al Hunt | New Hampshire Will Weed Republican Field

<p>Lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks at a press conference after appearing in court to call for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against video game giant Activision by former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega outside Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Noriega sued the gaming giant in July 2014 claiming his likeness was used without permission in the company’s 2012 “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” game and that he was portrayed as a murderer and enemy of the state. In court, Giuliani noted that he could not sue for the numerous portrayals of himself in books and film and argued that Noriega should not able to sue Activision Blizzard Inc. for his portrayal. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)</p>

Al Hunt, Bloomberg:

The New Hampshire presidential primary vote usually breaks late. This time, not unusually, it will break a few candidates.

Eight weeks before the Feb. 9 primary, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie and probably Marco Rubio are in a wide-open contest to be the non-right wing, non-Donald Trump Republican contender. Two or three of them may be dead after the vote. Among Democrats, ifBernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont, loses to Hillary Clinton in his neighboring state, he’s probably toast. If he wins, the contest will go on for a while.

The earlier caucuses in Iowa — in which Ted Cruz has surged aheadof Donald Trump in the polls — could eliminate two or three of the right-wing also-rans. But on the mainstream conservative side, the task of culling falls to New Hampshire, which prides itself as the place that picks presidents. In the past 10 primaries, 15 of the 20 victors went on to win their party’s nomination.

Voters can choose either party’s primary in New Hampshire, and knowledgeable Republicans suggest that a heavy influx of independents could help push a mainstream conservative to the top spot. There is no movement yet, and it’s possible that this vote could split rather evenly, with no candidate breaking out.

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