Citing his failure to secure any delegates in the Iowa caucus, Martin O’Malley dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for President. This has lead to a very intriguing possibility heading into the New Hampshire primary which could upend the entire Democratic race. Where will Martin O’Malley’s supporters turn? Excuse me, I misspoke. I meant where might Martin O’Malley’s supporter turn? In an ironic twist, the lone believer in Martin O’Malley for President now may hold the key to deciding who eventually becomes the nominee instead of casting their vote for a hopeless candidate.
With the shockingly close Iowa results between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, O’Malley’s supporters, few and far between, now may be enough to tip the scales. This represents a huge change from the position they were in previously, where they were basically wasted votes. Now they may hold the key to nomination, if only the two remaining contenders pander to them sufficiently to win their support.
A similar situation is beginning to take shape in the Republican field as well, with too many Establishment candidates and to little Establishment to support them. As the likes of Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich do battle in New Hampshire, likely two of them will be knocked out. This leaves there single digit supporters suddenly available and quite vital to the frontrunners who are neck and neck and need that extra boost to get them over the top.
But no race is as close as the Democratic nomination and no candidate had such low support as O’Malley, so, strangely, the people who backed clearly the wrong horse now seem to be not only the most important but holding all the cards.