Donald Trump won the New Hampshire Primary and he made sure to savor his victory to the full. The bleeding that resulted from his loss in Iowa and his subsequent unseemly reaction to it has been staunched, at least for the time being.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich came in second, a remarkable but not unexpected achievement. Kasich had placed all of his chips in New Hampshire, the theory being that doing well there would provide him some momentum going forward. We shall see how that theory plays out.

Thee candidates are fighting over who will be third place, Sen.

Ted Cruz, R-Texas, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida. Of the three, the smart political minds think that Cruz, who did better than expected, helped himself the most. Jeb Bush will also live to fight another day, also having done better than many thought. Rubio has come out of New Hampshire wounded, having had a subpar debate performance that likely robbed him of a second place result.

Ironically, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who savaged Rubio in the debate, came in sixth and may well be out of the race in a day or so.

The action now proceeds to Nevada and South Carolina. Cruz has the advantage in the latter state, having prepared his formidable ground game throughout the south. Trump is ahead in the polls, but Cruz beat Trump in Iowa and now proposes to finish him off in the south, where the mercurial businessman may not play very well. Cruz must also be betting that as more of the other candidates drop out, their supporters will gravitate to him rather than Trump.

Then the awful power of math comes into play as Cruz garners more delegates than Trump. Eventually, Cruz intends to clinch the nomination and stop Trump from becoming the first private citizen in many decades from running on a major party’s ticket.

That is the plan, in any case. But, as the Duke of Wellington once noted, plans often do not survive contact with the enemy. But that fact is one reason why following politics is so interesting.

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