Tuesday, February 2, 2016


New York Values!
Last night the primary season kicked off with a bang--Iowans voted for their presidential favs. Who won? Who lost?


Ted Cruz: He needed a victory and he got it--by 4pts over Trump. This was with heavy turn-out (from what we heard, anyway) that was supposed to benefit Trump. Conjecture: tons of people turned out just to vote against Trump. In any event, heavy turnout in Iowa is a good sign for the GOP in November.

Bernie Sanders: He looked weak going in--but came back to a statistical tie. Heck--he might even win (although Clinton was declared the victor last night). If Sanders "loses by a nose" that's okay: he has a really big nose. This proves he can have staying power wherever the youth vote turns out.


Polling: If polling aggregates were on the nose in '08 and '12, after '14 they've been awful. Even the Des Moines Register's super-pollster got it wrong. Basically? Nobody knows who's ahead.

Trump: He was projected to win--if only by a little. He blew expectations. Now, second in Iowa isn't bad--but it's not the win-so-much-we're-tired-of-winning projection either. Basically? He needs to win NH--where he is WAY up.

Rubio: Rubio is getting counted as a win for coming in 3rd in Iowa. That's ... good for him in that he becomes the defacto establishment choice until something changes. It's bad, though, in that he couldn't beat Trump (he came close) and 3rd place is still 3rd place. Expect the attacks to intensify.

It's also bad in that the news of his "surge," while not exactly false, was, like all his other "break out moments" not enough. It's starting to be a trend.


The Omnivore thinks the Democrats would be insane to pick Sanders and the Republicans would be ill-advised to settle on Cruz. Sanders has the youthful energy--but will lose everyone on branding (an out-and-proud socialist who makes good on the lie that Obama was offering everyone 'free stuff' is not going to win a general election).

Cruz's first in Iowa is actually a vote against him in the general (Santorum and Huckabee also took first in Iowa). Basically, Ted has slid the control all the way to the right for evangelicals--and he's not going to be able to etch-a-sketch later. If he wins the nomination, he'll have to win the general as a right-wing evangelical. That's hard.

Rubio, however, is a better bet than Jeb. What remains to be seen is how Trump and Cruz's (and, erm, Jeb's) attacks on him work. Can they really, actually damage him? We don't know.


  1. Maybe next time spend a little more on GOTV, a little less on stupid red hats.

    1. You think that's bad? Jeb spent 15MM in Iowa for 1 delegate!
      -The Omnivore

    2. Kang: (as Bob Dole) Abortions for all!
      [Crowd boos]
      Kang: Very well, no abortions for anyone!
      [Crowd boos again]
      Kang: Hmm... Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!
      [Crowd cheers and waves miniature flags.]


    3. I'm voting Kodos!


  2. In fairness, Rubio is getting counted as a win for coming in 3rd in Iowa because he was supposed to get 12 points and actually got 23. With the next best "establishment" competitor remaining in the race (¡Jeb!) at 3%.

    In a 3-way fight, Rubio's always been in it. Trump/Cruz/Rubio, they all take about a third, and then the exact details of "about" come into play. The problem is that the establishment lane has always been very, very crowded, and the collapse of the lane would take time, while Trump would be racking up primary wins.

    Or Rubio gets 23%, crushes the lane, and then moves over into New Hampshire and just generally not-Iowa where the lane actually matters.

    We'll see if it holds in New Hampshire of course.