Now that the dust has settled, what can we learn from the results of the First Event of the Primary Season, the Iowa Caucus, or, as it is called, the “Hawkeye Caucai”?
Edward J. Rollins is a former assistant to President Ronald Reagan, who managed Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign. He is presently a senior presidential fellow at Hofstra University and a member of the Political Consultants Hall of Fame. He is Senior Advisor for Teneo Strategy.
Rollins, a Fox News Contributor, has submitted the following op ed, analyzing the results of yesterday’s Iowa Caucus on the Republican Side of the Aisle…
It is always interesting to watch democracy in action and Iowa is ground zero.
Many political pundits and media analysts complain about the attention Iowa receives from candidates and the media because it goes first. But it also is a state filled with people who are willing to pay attention, to go to small events and forums (more than 1,500 have been held) and to show up at a caucus on a cold, often snowy night to participate in a ritual few states duplicate.
Millions of dollars are spent on TV commercials (over 60,000) and organization that Monday night produced a record turnout.
Iowa doesn’t always produce the eventual winners but it does eliminate the losers. With 17 Republican candidates starting this process, there are really only three or four real candidates now with voter support and sufficient monies to go on to the remaining contests.
With a record voter turnout in Iowa, the winner, Ted Cruz goes on with his extraordinary organization and conservative supporters with a big upset.
Marco Rubio, the best debater, came on strong and gained real momentum. He came very close to coming in second. Certainly he has to be viewed as a very serious candidate and the best bet to become the establishment candidate.
Trump is Trump and his special appeal to new voters and the angry anti-Washington element will go on, too, but with unpredictable results. He also paid a price for missing the last debate and fighting Fox News.
Ben Carson held his 10 percent base, but his candidacy is short lived and beyond Iowa has minimal support.
The biggest losers are Bush, Christie and Huckabee. Bush spent the most money and dropped like a rock.
Christie’s bluster, unlike Trump’s, didn’t sell. He has no money and no future in this race.
And Huckabee, who won this race eight years, and thought he could be a serious challenger against Romney in 2012, was a bottom dweller getting less than 2 percent of the vote. He raised no money and has no appeal and barely has enough money left to buy a bus ticket back to Arkansas. He quickly waved the flag of surrender and wisely quit the race.
One more may make the cut after Iowa, but this is the field now and it will be fascinating to watch.
Monday night’s win is a giant victory for Cruz and his team. He won in spite of a greater turnout than in years past and benefited from the dramatic increase in new voters. And now on to New Hampshire!
So, the Grand Old Party’s cup runneth over, They are seemingly blessed with 3 strong contenders for this Presidential Candidate Nomination.
The problem, as history has shown, is the fact that the Iowa Caucus is not exactly a bellweather by which to determine what will happen in November.
The other problem for the Republican Establishment, is the fact that they absolutely cannot stand the candidates that came in first and second.
Rubio, in the past, has proven to be a useful ally.
Things promise to be interesting in the months leading up to the convention.
Meanwhile, over at Propaganda Central for the Democrat Party and the Clinton Machine, otherwise known as the New York Times, Nate Cohn tried to declare the Queen of Mean, the winner of a VIRTUAL TIE.
Bernie Sanders is right: The Iowa Democratic caucuses were a “virtual tie,” especially after you consider that the results aren’t even actual vote tallies, but state delegate equivalents subject to all kinds of messy rounding rules and potential geographic biases.
The official tally, for now, is Hillary Clinton at 49.9 percent, and Mr. Sanders at 49.6 percent with 97 percent of precincts reporting early Tuesday morning.
But in the end, a virtual tie in Iowa is an acceptable, if not ideal, result for Mrs. Clinton and an ominous one for Mr. Sanders. He failed to win a state tailor made to his strengths.
He fares best among white voters. The electorate was 91 percent white, per the entrance polls. He does well with less affluent voters. The caucus electorate was far less affluent than the national primary electorate in 2008. He’s heavily dependent on turnout from young voters, and he had months to build a robust field operation. As the primaries quickly unfold, he won’t have that luxury.
Iowa is not just a white state, but also a relatively liberal one — one of only a few of states where Barack Obama won white voters in the 2008 primary and in both general elections. It is also a caucus state, which tends to attract committed activists.
In the end, Mr. Sanders made good on all of those strengths. He excelled in college towns. He won an astonishing 84 percent of those aged 17 to 29 — even better than Mr. Obama in the 2008 caucus. He won voters making less than $50,000 a year, again outperforming Mr. Obama by a wide margin. He won “very liberal” voters comfortably, 58 to 39 percent.
But these strengths were neatly canceled by Mrs. Clinton’s strengths. She won older voters, more affluent voters, along with “somewhat liberal” and “moderate” Democrats.
This raises a straightforward challenge for Mr. Sanders. He has nearly no chance to do as well among nonwhite voters as Mr. Obama did in 2008. To win, Mr. Sanders will need to secure white voters by at least a modest margin and probably a large one. In the end, Mr. Sanders failed to score a clear win in a state where Mr. Obama easily defeated Mrs. Clinton among white voters.
Mr. Sanders’s strength wasn’t so great as to suggest that he’s positioned to improve upon national polls once the campaign heats up. National polls show him roughly tied with Mrs. Clinton among white voters, and it was the case here as well. It suggests that additional gains for Mr. Sanders in national polls will require him to do better than he did in Iowa, not that the close race in Iowa augurs a close one nationally.
Mr. Sanders will have another opportunity to gain momentum after the New Hampshire primary. He might not get as much credit for a victory there as he would have in Iowa, since New Hampshire borders his home state of Vermont. But it could nonetheless give him another opportunity to overcome his weaknesses among nonwhite voters.
As a general rule, though, momentum is overrated in primary politics. In 2008, for instance, momentum never really changed the contours of the race. Mr. Obama’s victory in Iowa allowed him to make huge gains among black voters, but not much more — the sort of exception that would seem to prove the rule. Mr. Obama couldn’t even put Mrs. Clinton away after winning a string of states in early February.
Continue reading the main story Write A Comment There’s an even longer list of candidates with fairly limited appeal, particularly Republicans like Rick Santorum, Pat Buchanan or Mike Huckabee, who failed to turn early-state victories into broader coalitions.
The polls this year offer additional reasons to doubt it. Mrs. Clinton holds more than 50 percent of the vote in national surveys; her share of the vote never declined in 2008. The polls say that her supporters are more likely to be firmly decided than Mr. Sanders’s voters.
Back-to-back wins in Iowa and New Hampshire by Mr. Sanders might have been enough to overcome that history. The no-decision in Iowa ensures we won’t find out.
I haven’t seen a job of spinning like that since Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold. (look him up, kids.)
Mr. Cohn, as we say down here in Dixie,
That dog don’t hunt.
- While Sanders’ strength does rely with white voters ( which is funny, because you Democrats are supposed to cherish DIVERSITY, but, I digress…), his base of power lies in the New England States, home of his Millennial Minions and a bunch of those college towns, which you referred to. And the last time I checked, New Hampshire is located in New England.
- Mrs. Clinton’s Voter Base have begun to distance themselves, en masse, from her. She carries more baggage than the image of the late Bob Crane (Greg Kinnear) and his buddy (Willem Dafoe), rolling through the airport, in the Biographical movie, “Auto Focus” …And, she’s just as sleazy.
- Momentum “never really changed the contours of the race in 2008”, because it was all on Obama’s side, from the get-go. When you have the ground troops of SEIU and their partner-in-crime, ACORN, going door-to-door for you around the nation, it provides you with an insurmountable lead in “the community”. Hillary does not have access to those ground troops.
- BIG QUESTION: What happens if Obama and the Democrat Elites decide that they don’t like what they are seeing, so Obama orders the DOJ to indict Hillary and Crazy Uncle Joe enters the Primaries to “save the day”?
Clinton, no matter what those “smarter than the rest of the country” in the Northeast Corridor may choose to believe, is neither trustworthy nor likable as the polls have shown, time and again. Her Political Accomplishments are all negative, bordering on the nonexistent.
Bill’s coattails can cover up only so much political stain (Ask Monica).
Somebody had better hide all of the sharp instruments at the New York Times. This could get ugly.
Get your popcorn ready.
Until He Comes,