Tags: Trump Administration | GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | john kasich | chris christie | jeb bush

Kasich, Christie, Bush in a 'Death Struggle'

Kasich, Christie, Bush in a 'Death Struggle'
Jeb Bush talks to supporters following a campaign town hall meeting in Manchester, N.H. on Feb. 1. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 February 2016 11:44 AM

Govs. John Kasich and Chris Christie, along with ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, are in a "death struggle" in New Hampshire to salvage their presidential prospects with mainstream GOP voters and donors, political strategists say.

All three essentially bypassed Iowa — where conservative evangelicals dominate — to concentrate on social moderates and independents voting in the Granite State's Feb. 9 primary, the Washington Times reports

Former New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen calls the contest "an existential death struggle between Kasich and [Florida Sen. Marco] Rubio, and Christie and Bush."

"They don't have to beat [Donald] Trump, they don't have to win New Hampshire, but they have to beat each other," he tells the Times. "If you finish third in that bracket, how can you possibly persuade mainstream Republicans and donors around the country that you are showing strength and they ought to consolidate around you?"

In a polling average for the state, Trump dominates first place, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kasich are tied for the No. 2 spot, followed by Bush, Rubio and New Jersey's Christie.

"There are people we need to finish ahead of, and we intend to do that," senior Kasich adviser John Weaver tells the Times. "We want to clear out some people that we compete with for activists and donor support around the country."

And while the candidates turn up the heat against each other, it's voters who'll ultimately decide.

"I kind of favor the politicians who are acting governors or have been governors," Amy VanSplunder, who is as yet undecided on her vote, tells the Times. "I think they have a lot more experience governing in office, rather than someone who gets elected to the House or the Senate."

Her husband Tim, a former retired Air Force colonel, dismisses Trump's unconventional and dominant campaign.

"I think he is a pompous ass," he tells the Times. "People like the fact that he says what he thinks, but I don't know how you can get anything done poking your finger in everyone's eyeball."

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Govs. John Kasich and Chris Christie, along with ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, are in a "death struggle" in New Hampshire to salvage their presidential prospects with mainstream GOP voters and donors, political strategists say.
john kasich, chris christie, jeb bush, iowa, caucus
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2016-44-02
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 11:44 AM
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