How Hillary survives the Iowa disaster

Remember, New Hampshire is the state that saved Bill Clinton in 1992, and Hillary Clinton in 2008. There’s a debate on MSNBC this Thursday—remember, with Martin O’Malley having dropped out, it’ll be head to head—and the Clinton campaign will send dozens of surrogates into the state. In 1992, when Bill’s back was against the wall, they sent hundreds. If the Clintons move heaven and earth to try to bottle that old lightning one more time, New Hampshire voters might respond.

They’re unlikely to, though. Sanders will take the state, and in all likelihood he’ll take it by a lot. But the map gets hard for him from there. Nevada is February 20, and South Carolina is February 27. Clinton is the strong favorite in both. Although Nevada is a caucus (caucuses are friendlier to insurgents than primaries), and heavily union, so it could get interesting.

Then come 13 states on March 1. How many of those can Sanders win? I’d guess three, maybe four. Vermont is one. He’ll take that. There are caucuses in Minnesota, and he can probably win that, which would be sorta-meaningful, his first win in a sizeable state. There’s a caucus in Colorado, which might be Sanders country. And there’s Massachusetts, which of course is Vermont’s neighbor. But beyond Cambridge it’s not really a Sanders kind of state. It’s a very Democratic machine state—Clinton slaughtered Barack Obama there in 2008. The other states, mostly Southern, are almost surely Clinton states.