And in the red, with two months until the Iowa caucus there’s half a dozen Rep riders lookin’ to bust a move.
Trump holds the lead despite insisting New Jersey was awash with partying Muslims post 9/11. Confronted by fact-checkers and rivals claiming no such thing, he’s the tenacious comer, whip in hand, running ahead of the pack.
Carson is fading, post-Paris. The unabashed candidate has freely admitted he’s weak on international knowledge but promises to be smarter, later. Cruz is on the inside rail, urging on his Evangelical base, decrying all things progressive and slamming the refugee door. Rubio is trotting his smarts and boyish charm with steady maturity and measured responses that are smooth and practiced. Christie is charging towards New Hampshire with major newspaper editorial support. While Paul is six lengths back, mired in libertarian isolationism that separates him from the pack and the rest of the roiling world.
Could Carly be the perfect vice presidential filly, the Clinton counterweight to clinch the female vote? Can Kasich’s nagging and calling Trump out resuscitate his current Hey-I’m-standing-here status? And Jeb! On the Texas walker. Uh, Jeb?
Has it ever been this contentious before? Oh my, yeah. In 2008, all John McCain could see at this time was Mike Huckabee’s butt. In 2012, Newt Gingrich was virtually lapping Mitt Romney.
That’s the thing about horse racing. And it looks to be the time the insiders start hunkering down and hugging the rail. You can almost hear the faster hoof beats, the rhythmic snorting, the snarls of determination. It may be an 18-month slog but no one can accuse it of being boring. Even the Democrats.