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How Iowa Results Will Affect Voters' Choices In Next-Up N.H.


And I'm David Greene in Des Moines, Iowa, where the snow held out just long enough for people to caucus last night. Now it's piling up. But we did get results. Ted Cruz won on the Republican side. Hillary Clinton, the narrowest of victories over Bernie Sanders. And now the scene is shifting, and I feel like this is some kind of NPR relay race and I'm handing the baton over to my colleague Robert Siegel, host of All Things Considered, who is all set up in Manchester, N.H. Hi, Robert.

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: Hey, David. How are you?

GREENE: I'm good. I've been at a coffee shop here doing the show. It's been an absolute pleasure. And actually...

SIEGEL: We can top that. We're at the commodious Comfort Inn in Manchester, where...


SIEGEL: Where NPR News goes to spend the first week of February every four years.

GREENE: I've been there. I know that Comfort Inn very well. So I can imagine the room you're in. Let me ask you a question, actually, if I can that someone here in the audience asked me a few minutes ago, and that's whether in general people in New Hampshire, as they think about voting, pay attention to the results coming from Iowa.

SIEGEL: Pay attention is a broad term. Due - are they moved by what happened in Iowa? I don't think so. The New Hampshire voters - you know, it's an old joke that in Iowa they pick corn and New Hampshire, they pick presidents.

GREENE: (Laughter).

SIEGEL: Indeed, when former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg introduced Jeb Bush at an event that I saw last night, he began by saying now we're almost finished picking corn out there. They're quite an independent lot here. It is a different Republican electorate. It is not nearly so evangelical or socially conservative as Iowa Republicans are. And so it's pretty much a different ballgame.

GREENE: Well, you know, you bring up Jeb Bush, I mean, who was once seen as the frontrunner. I guess he is a candidate who was really hoping that people in New Hampshire don't pay attention to the results in Iowa. He barely registered in the results. I mean, you saw him last night. What do things feel like?

SIEGEL: Well, I saw him talk to a crowd of a couple of hundred people packed into the Alpine Club in Manchester. And I had spent the day earlier talking with some establishment Republicans hearing in part about their disappointment, frankly, with Jeb Bush that his campaign had not shown much traction. I was expecting to see the low-energy figure that Donald Trump derided and that I've been accustomed to seeing on television. I have to say, Jeb Bush showed a lot more energy than I expected and spoke with a good deal of fluency about issues, appealed to the crowd he was talking to, won over a couple of independents whom I asked and presented himself as the steadfast ready-from-day-one candidate and had negative things to either say or to imply about President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and the back-benchers from the Senate seeking the nomination, meaning Cruz and Rubio.

GREENE: Well, let me ask about Rubio. I mean, he's leaving Iowa hoping that he can sort of carry the mantle for the so-called establishment when he gets to New Hampshire. Are people talking about him there?

SIEGEL: Yes. They're talking about - I mean, you know, this week we'll talk about nothing but the primary. The challenge for Rubio here is to see how good he really is at adjusting, adapting to situation. I first covered Marco Rubio when he was running for the Florida Senate nomination in 2010. He's a very gifted campaigner. And coming here, he will have to come off as a somewhat more pragmatic, less socially-conservative Republican than he did in Iowa. If he can do that, he's in good shape.

GREENE: All right, that is my colleague, host of All Things Considered Robert Siegel, who is all set up in Manchester, N.H., as the candidates arrive there. Many of them have already arrived there. Robert, look forward to hearing all your reporting from that state.

SIEGEL: Wish you were here, David.

GREENE: Oh, I wish I were there, too. Maybe I'll come up if I can get out of this snow. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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