First, congratulations to Farmer Tom, who got the order correct. Second, and unexpectedly, the big news isn’t on the Republican side, but on the Democratic one, as Bernie Sanders shocked the Clinton campaign by effectively fighting Hillary to a draw.
Third, the real score is this: Cruz 8, Trump 7, Rubio 7, Carson 3. That’s how many delegates were awarded.
The only real surprise on the Republican side is that Rubio did much better than anyone expected, including the pollsters. While the media narrative is that Trump is done and dusted, they’ve been saying the exact same thing since last August, so that’s entirely irrelevant. Given that the headline two days ago was “Donald Trump reclaims lead in latest Iowa Poll”, it should be obvious that he was never the favorite in Iowa, and indeed, it looks rather like the GOP and the media colluded to try to make a result that would have been considered beyond Trump’s reach six months ago appear like a disappointing, campaign-destroying failure. As for the record turnout on the Republican side, I suspect it happened for much the same reason it did in the Hugos last year; to stop the interloper.
The only serious candidate who is done now is Jeb, and it appears the establishment will be lining up behind Rubio in his place. Jeb himself will probably follow suit after New Hampshire. I think Cruz will ultimately be the real GOPe candidate as he is the more formidable of the two Cubans. It’s now a three-man race; what would throw a real twist into it is if Trump can win Ben Carson’s support. Forget Trump-Cruz, the most politically effective combination would be Trump-Carson.
Think about it. Trump’s two main weaknesses with Republicans is religion and character. Besides being black, Carson’s two greatest strengths are religion and character. And Trump is already popular among blacks due to his big-man swagger, so if I’m Trump, I’m getting together with Carson and working out a deal to be announced after New Hampshire, but before South Carolina.
And if I can see it, I expect Trump can see it too.
Now onto New Hampshire, where it’s going to be interesting to see how the Iowa results affect the Democratic primary. Sanders is going to win, but how will it affect the race if he crushes Hillary there?
One last thing: say what you will about Trump, but he makes the campaign about 200 percent more interesting. I met him back in 1988 at the Republican convention in New Orleans and he’s very likable. What seems blustery and over-the-top on camera comes off as more expansive and charming in person. Wherever he is, there is a lot of laughter, and not all of it is obsequious. The man is genuinely funny. I mean, who else would end a concession speech like this?
“I don’t know who’s going to win between Bernie and Hillary. I don’t know what’s going to happen with Hillary, she’s got other problems, maybe bigger than the problems she’s got, in terms of nominations, but we’ve had so many different indications, and polls that we beat her, and we beat her easily. And we will go on to get the Republican nomination, and we will go on to easily beat Hillary, or Bernie, or whoever the hell they throw up there. Iowa, we love you. We thank you. You’re special. We will be back many, many times. In fact, I think I might come here and buy a farm, I love it.”
And that’s why the American public loves Trump and the establishment fears him. You just can’t be entirely sure he won’t actually go and do it.