Last night the 2016 primaries started to make sense. ABOUT GOD DAMN TIME!!!
As these primaries go on, there will be a lot of lessons to learned after each electoral contest. Here’s what we learned from last night’s Iowa Caucuses.
Well That Was Underwhelming…
For the majority of the 2016 primaries, Donald Trump had dominated the discussion. Whether it was his immigration platform or no show on a GOP debate stage, Trump became the center of attention. Last night however, that attention didn’t convert itself into votes.
As we have said in the past, in presidential primaries, voter interest doesn’t necessarily mean legitimate votes. While it was expected that Ted Cruz – Trump’s closest rival and top vote getter in the Iowa Caucuses – was to do very well in Iowa last night, between Cruz and Marco Rubio performing much better than expected, the Trump campaign should be worried.
At the same time however, people are starting to bury Trump prematurely. Trump is expected to do well in New Hampshire, so it’s not quite over for the Trump campaign yet. However, from the results of the Iowa Caucus, Trump looks to be more of a side show attraction than viable presidential candidate for the time being.
Clint Howard always looks like he's 5 bad minutes from stealing a van. pic.twitter.com/s7T8lAmO0l
— Kaleb Horton (@kalebhorton) February 2, 2016
No One Was on The Other End of That Line
Mike Huckabee suspended his campaign yesterday after a lackluster showing in the primaries. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, should have happened sooner.
Or so it goes.
In every presidential primary, there are candidates that come on strong early, but then fizzle out as they head to the home stretch. The apex of their electability is what many political commentators call “The Peak.” The Peak matters because you want to be having it at the right time, preferably as close to Super Tuesday (March 1st) as possible. Hit your Peak too early as a candidate and you become the Howard Deans or the Rick Santorums of election lore.
Last night became clear that Ted Cruz is currently hitting his peak. While Cruz winning Iowa wasn’t a major upset by any means, it was predicted by many people, it was still an impressive win for his campaign. At the same time however, Marco Rubio surprised many people in his performance in the Iowa Caucuses. Even though he came in third, he took a big chunk of delegates away from both Trump and Cruz, who were expected to dominate the state.
The question now becomes, who is hitting their Peaks? Is Cruz hitting his Peak at the right time to actually sustain this momentum through Super Tuesday? Or is Rubio setting himself up to hit his Peak come Super Tuesday?
If history is any indication, it says Cruz has just hit his Peak in Iowa and will slowly fade away, while Rubio is in the most ideal spot to capture the Republican nomination in third once Trump and Cruz lose favor with GOP voters. Regardless, The Peak is important to understanding presidential primaries and if last night’s election was any indication, both men look to be hitting their stride.
Political Volunteers: The Real Heroes of Any Campaign
Good Night Sweet Prince
is martin o'malley just a participation trophy some strange wizard brought to life
— Tyler Hendrix (@TylerHendrix) February 2, 2016
Last night, after a rough showing in the Iowa Caucuses, Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley decided to suspend his campaign. Much like Mike Huckabee, O’Malley never stood a chance in the Iowa Caucus. This was even more the case due to the Democrats “unique” way of picking winners in districts of having to break a certain threshold to be counted. O’Malley was never going to break that threshold. In a campaign where you have such heavy weights as an Establishment favorite in Hillary Clinton and a liberal darling in Bernie Sanders, O’Malley was just out of his element. He was always going to be “runner-up” in these 2016 primaries. All Iowa did was just prove something everyone already knew.
Or so it goes.
Anybody who watched all of Ted Cruz's far too long, rambling, overly flamboyant speech last nite would say that was his Howard Dean moment!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2016
No, the Establishments Aren’t Scared…
This morning we all woke up to headlines like this:
Yeah… that’s not the case.
If anything, the Establishment from both parties are letting out a sigh of relief. People who think the political Establishment took a hit last night are looking at the results all wrong!
Marco Rubio – an Establishment candidate – polled well in Iowa coming in third only one delegate short of last night’s winner Ted Cruz (and TIED the number of delegates attained by Donald Trump). Not bad considering Establishment candidates like Rubio wrote-off Iowa thinking that both Trump and Cruz were going to have a stronghold on the state’s delegates. Basically with these results, Rubio took a good chunk of them, whereas Trump underperformed.
As for the Democrats, Bernie Sanders was going to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire. The question for the Sanders campaign has never been about white liberals or Millennials coming out and showing support (which fyi they came out in droves last night). It was whether his campaign can attract a fair number of minority voters. Iowa did not answer that question and neither will New Hampshire primaries next week. Sanders’ real test comes in the South Carolina primary, to see if he can attract enough minority blocs to win the most delegates of that state. Until then, this is the Clinton campaign sentiment of last night’s Iowa Caucus results.
Which are basically the sentiments today for both the Republican and Democratic Establishments. After a primary season that has been everything but predictable, last night showed that sanity could after all have a place in the 2016 primaries.
The Final Results of the Iowa Caucuses
(*Apologies for the chart being warped, you can click on the table to get a clear image.)
(Photo Credits: dmrcaucus Instagram, DonaldTrump.com, Twitter, Vine, Google Images)