A pair of presidential primary battles that just days ago seemed to have heavy favorites now present the prospect of protracted and expensive contests for both parties, as the candidates who survived the Iowa caucuses surged on Tuesday toward the New Hampshire primary to be held next week.
No candidate in either party appears to have an easy path to capture consecutive victories in the next two contests, in New Hampshire and South Carolina. No one left Iowa with a convincing, rival-crushing win.
And for the first time in recent history, insurgent candidates on both the left and the right are emerging from the caucuses with enough money to finance a strong offensive in the weeks ahead, across electoral terrain that will vary from famously flinty New Hampshire to conservative, middle-class upstate South Carolina to the post-recession suburbs of Las Vegas.
What remains for the surviving contenders — particularly on the Republican side — are convoluted and extended paths to their parties’ nominations. As of the end of December, the candidates and their allied “super PACs” had more than $288 million in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed through Sunday evening.