02 February 2016

A muddle that doesn't matter

What Iowa caucuses gave us yesterday was a textbook case of an indecisive result.  The Democratic race was effectively a tie, and the top three Republicans were within five points of each other.  Yes, Cruz won -- by 3.3%, in a state where the Republican party is heavily dominated by the Evangelical voters he most appeals to, and where the polls had had him ahead until the last-minute Trump surge.  The nearest thing to a surprise was Rubio's close third place.  TPM has the results as Cruz 27.6%, Trump 24.3%, Rubio 23.0%, with no other Republican even reaching 10%.

But it doesn't matter.  Iowa historically has not had much impact on later primaries, and the eventual nominee started by losing Iowa more often than not.  Trump still has massive leads in the upcoming states, including New Hampshire, now just a week away.  Rubio's showing was strong enough to keep anti-Trump Republicans from coalescing around Cruz, whom the establishment loathes more than it loathes Trump.  Trump is still the most likely Republican nominee.

None of the rest matter any more, but spare a thought for hapless Jeb!, with his endorsements and résumé and money-bloated PAC, dead in the water in sixth place with 2.8%.  He was supposed to be the Romney of this cycle, the safe sane establishment guy cruising to the nomination after the clown candidates demolition-derbied themselves.  But now the clowns have taken over the circus, and safe and sane is the last thing they want.  In the last few weeks Jeb! seems to have switched his focus to taking down Rubio, and he couldn't even do that.  People are just tired of Bushes, it seems.

As for our side, Hillary is now at 49.89% and Bernie at 49.54%, effectively a tie.  Eventually a "winner" will be declared, but aside from a small psychological boost, it won't matter, even with delegates (which are awarded proportionally in Iowa).  Bernie will likely win New Hampshire, which borders his home state and where the polls have him ahead.  That won't matter either.  Hillary's lead in later-voting states is too large to overcome.  She's still the most likely Democratic nominee.

Huckabee and O'Malley have dropped out, but the news websites are hardly bothering to report it.

I expect infighting among the top three Republicans to intensify, with Trump further stirring up doubts about Cruz's natural-born citizen status, which could get ugly.  It will continue on our side as well, though hopefully everyone (aside from the usual frothing-fringe types) will keep their eye on the eventual need to unify the party and beat Trump, whoever our candidate is.

The race may yet, of course, see some game-changing event.  It didn't see one yesterday.

Update (Wednesday):  Here's another reason why Trump is still likely to be the nominee.  All the establishment guys are fighting to be the "last establishment guy left standing", so they spend their resources trying to destroy whichever one among themselves is in the best position -- which, right now, is Rubio.  And Trump sits above it all.....


Blogger okjimm said...

ah, statistics! my take? @75% do not like Trumnpty Dumpty, another 75% do not like Tedious Cruz and still 75% think Rubio Slipperz is a piece of shit....and fully a quarter do not like ANY of the three!

"That our rights do not come from the Democratic Party or the Republican Party or even from the Tea Party. Our rights come from our creator," ....Obviously Jesus co-wrote the Constitution...the asshole offends me!

Trump offends me. His face,his speech. Everything. Rubio is a shill.
Iowa ranks 30th out of 50 states in population. The caucus amounts to which brand of generic peanut butter someone likes best. New Hampshit ranks 41 in population out of 50. Generic grape jelly,anyone?

Not only do we need to repeal Citizens United...we need to reform the whole primary system. Hey...I gotza idea...I think we should let Canada select our candydates.

02 February, 2016 09:39  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Trump blamed the media, y'know those dupes who covered his every fart and belch since June. And he blamed Iowans who didn't give him credit for using his own money to run his sloppy campaign.

Carson blamed Cruz for "Dirty Tricks." Because he believes he's still in this?

Jeb is where? Still running? For what? Perpetual "Also Ran.?"

I just read that Hillary was declared the winner.

A real 4 ring circus!

Is there anything else happening in the world? I don't watch cable news.

02 February, 2016 10:27  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

Canada should select our candidates? I would go for that, at least on the Republican side, where ISIS seems to be selecting them.

02 February, 2016 16:50  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Okjimm: That's the problem they have -- eventually they have to settle on one person, and each possibility is hated by a good chunk of the base.

Shaw: Jeb seems to be playing Captain Ahab to Rubio's Moby Dick. Or maybe he's hoping that if he stays in all the way to the convention he'll get chosen as a compromise candidate somehow. Trump is just being himself, I guess. As for Carson, I can't be bothered.

I've been losing track of a lot of the outside world. Get too wrapped up in the Trump circus. I'll have to do something about that.

Green Eagle: I'd consider it if they'd agree to take Cruz back. As for ISIL, they couldn't have a better candidate for their recruiting efforts than Trump.

02 February, 2016 18:49  
Anonymous NickM said...

Consider poor Jim Gilmore(R). He got 12 votes in the entire state!!! You are right, It is looking like the Reps have too many cooks spoiling the broth but I suspectTrump can't ride that wave of infighting too far. The really odd end-game would be Sanders v Cruz in November which would make for possibly the most polarised election like evah. But I suspect it will be Clinton v Cruz and Clinton to win. Which means a Bush next time ;-)

03 February, 2016 02:50  
Blogger okjimm said...

I have also dug out and shared on FB Cruz's links into Bat-shit crazy Dominionism. Have you ever posted,researched this? If so, would you kindly repost. I'm sure your take would be much more articulate than mine. Thanks.

03 February, 2016 06:04  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Nick: Well, if he gets 13 votes in New Hampshire, he can claim a surge in support.....

Okjimm: Haven't researched the specifics, but Cruz always had a stench of Dominionism about him, even aside from his pastor father's ranting about "anointed kings" and whatnot. He's the fundie/theocrat candidate for this cycle.

04 February, 2016 04:14  

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