World events are always shaped by the technology we use to access them. From 2000 to 2012, I followed elections online, with the last two cycles being particularly good, with interactive maps showing swathes of colors battling it out across rural counties. This primary season, unlike the last one, I have a smart phone, and managed to follow the electoral happenings via fivethirtyeight's livefeed, in between transferring buses. It does not give quite the feeling of immersion in the game that running a browser with 12 tabs open, each focused on a different set of maps, charts and slowly moving numbers, but it did have a type of punchy urgency to it, holding a strap on the crowded Green Line in one hand while my other hit "refresh".
For all of that, the night was quickly called on the Republican side. Donald Trump, the candidate who had taken so much time and attention over the summer, and who had finished second in the Iowa contest last week, won with 35% of the vote, with Kasich, Cruz and Bush coming in a distant 2nd, 3rd and 4th. But while that night was short, the previous week was long. In the wake of the Iowa contest, Marco Rubio, the Senator from Florida, was considered by many to be the big "winner", despite only placing third. However, in a debate, Chris Christie attacked him, and the situation going into New Hampshire was muddled. Also, in the wake of Iowa, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum all dropped out. It looked like there was some chance that a consensus "establishment" candidate would arise, but by the time of the election, none had done so. So Trump's 35%, barely an overwhelming number, still managed to make him the clear front runner.
Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Chris Christie are all tied for the rather large pie of "establishment" candidate. Together, they got 45% of the vote. What they face now is a prisoner's dilemma of sorts. Although they all want an establishment candidate to consolidate the anti-Trump vote, none of them wants to give up their own ambitions to do so. Each one of them has flaws that make it hard to see how they can be the front-runner, and yet (by the normal rules of party politics), one of them must emerge.
There will probable be a winnowing of the field soon, with Christie already reportedly reconsidering his bid. In any case, two things are clear: the race will continue to be involved and competitive, and it is time that people start looking at Jim Gilmore.