Trump's draft deferments could become an issue in South Carolina

'Inside Politics' Forecast
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'Inside Politics' Forecast 03:42

Story highlights

  • Clinton's Southern firewall looks weaker as Sanders builds a campaign war chest
  • 2016 surrogates like Cory Booker and Charlie Baker get a taste of the presidential bug

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN)The final push in New Hampshire, new wrinkles as the 2016 campaign heads south, and a glimpse of possible presidential campaigns to come filled our special campaign trail edition of the "Inside Politics" forecast.

1. Trump's military deferments may become an issue in South Carolina

Donald and the draft
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Donald and the draft 00:31
Donald Trump received student and health deferments that kept him out of serving in Vietnam -- and what happened back in those days could soon get interjected into the campaign.
    Jonathan Martin of The New York Times has sources suggesting we watch the airwaves as the campaign shifts from New Hampshire to South Carolina.
    "As the campaign moves south this week to South Carolina, which is a military-heavy state with active duty and veterans, don't be surprised if you hear a new line of attack against Donald Trump," said Martin. "And that is raising the question of his draft status during the Vietnam War."
    "Mr. Trump got both student and medical deferments, on an issue that for most of this campaign has not been talked about very much, because there's been tons of other stuff to talk about when it comes to Trump. But don't be surprised if at least one of the campaigns or super PACs raises that issue in the next couple of days."

    2. Team Clinton struggles to answer the transcript question

    Hillary Clinton and her campaign team have known from the get-go that her paid speeches would be a campaign issue.
    And yet they appear a bit flatfooted on an obvious question: Will she release transcripts of speeches she delivered after leaving the State Department?
    Republicans raise big money at speeches all the time, And Bernie Sanders makes note of Clinton's speeches to suggest she is too cozy with Wall Street.
    So one would think the campaign would have a strategy to deal with inquiries. But Maggie Haberman of The New York Times told us requests that Clinton release the transcripts have stirred a debate within her campaign.
    "This was an issue that was very foreseeable by her campaign, so much so that some aides did foresee it," said Haberman.
    "There was a big push by some people working with her early on to do a big, thorough personal vulnerability study. But that is not something she has ever really wanted."
    "They are now, just like the emails, finding themselves flying blind, handling a pretty foreseeable issue. So we'll see how that plays out."

    3. The firewall looks weaker as Sanders raises huge $$$$

    The Clinton campaign is bracing for defeat in New Hampshire, and as unappetizing as that prospect is, has always taken solace in what it viewed as its South Carolina firewall.
    Clinton's Southern firewall vs. Sanders' fundraising $$
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    Clinton's Southern firewall vs. Sanders' fundraising $$ 01:00
    The thinking went this way: Even if Bernie Sanders wins New Hampshire, Clinton should be able to rely on African-Americans and more moderate Southern Democrats to show the senator from Vermont has little national appeal.
    But even if all goes according to plan, CNN's Jeff Zeleny says, Sanders is proving he will have the resources to fight on.
    "Bernie Sanders is going to have more gas in the tank than her, and that is a huge surprise for Clinton," said Zeleny.
    "So how they are fund-raising going forward is a challenge for her, because every time she steps into a Wall Street-type fund-raiser, he's going to hit her on that."
    "It's one of the big surprises and worries and shots for the Clinton campaign -- that they need her out there fund-raising. So this is going to go on for a very long time."

    4. Sanders' three keys to victory

    Good campaigns study what works and try to replicate it. And so it is no surprise that Team Sanders is looking to build on the model it had in Iowa, where younger voters, independents and those making under $50,000 a year were giant factors in the strong Sanders showing.
    The Atlantic's Molly Ball had a conversation with his strategists about their three keys to replicating their Iowa coalition in New Hampshire -- and then in the fast-paced calendar stretch that follows.
    "(He) increased the turnout of young voters," said Ball. "It was unusually high. Same thing with independents. They were an unusually large share, 20% of Iowa caucus-goers, and they went overwhelmingly well for Bernie.
    "And then voters making under $50,000 a year, Bernie won those voters. And that helps to cut against the sort of wine track-beer track narrative that was emerging between Bernie and Hillary."

    5. Baker and Booker -- 2016 surrogates get a look at N.H. and a taste of the presidential bug

    One great New Hampshire primary tradition is giving the next generation of political leaders a chance to get a taste of how unique and exciting the action is in the final week. And a chance to make a few friends for the future.
    Looking beyond 2016
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    Looking beyond 2016 00:37
    GOP Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts was here over the weekend for Chris Christie. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey was here to campaign for Hillary Clinton.
    Their goal, they insist, is to help a friend. Period.
    But you can see the curiosity when these and other ambitious politicians visit in the final days. The rallies are bigger and more energetic. And getting a chance to speak gives these newer faces an opportunity to make a New Hampshire impression.
    Baker will factor in future presidential speculation for the simple reason that there is a deep history of Massachusetts politicians running for president and doing well in neighboring New Hampshire.
    Booker could be among those mentioned as vice presidential contenders on the Democratic side, and there is no doubt Clinton was impressed as he warmed up crowds for some of her final weekend events. And if Democrats lose in November, Booker will be among those who begin to weigh their odds for 2020.
    When CNN asked if his speeches here didn't have the flavor of an audition of sorts, he dismissed that as nonsense. "This interview is over," he said with a big laugh.
    And when it was over, he patiently posed for selfies with a couple dozen young people outside the Clinton event. Never hurts to make a favorable impression.