The Book!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

On the Eve of the Iowa Caucuses


The Democratic race for presidential nominee is now a lead - pipe cinch. The Republican race is still wide open.

Odd, then, if it is true that Republican operatives are now reputedly stampeding to Trump. But who really is? Bob Dole? I like Bob Dole, but the big surprise was that he was still alive.

Here's why. Not why the publicans are stampeding; why they should not.

Iowa is a caucus, not a primary. Polls tell us little; it is usually a surprise. A premium is placed on enthusiasm. Neither Hillary ' s nor even Trump's supporters are the most enthusiastic. Both are likely to underperform the polls. Even though, Sanders' supporters being younger, getting them to caucus may be harder.

The media is about news. Their lead story will not be who won, but who outdid or fell short of expectations.

Both Iowa and New Hampshire are all about buzz. Few delegates are at stake.

Now, what makes a good story? Trump or Clinton wins is just dog bites man. Even if Clinton wins. Either way, Sanders wins Iowa--he is likely to win outright--and then New Hampshire, where he is next door to a native son. By this time, Clinton is badly wounded. Good chance the momentum carries Sanders to the nomination. If O'Malley surges, he takes votes away from Clinton, not Sanders. The inevitability is that Clinton will not be the nominee. I predicted a long time ago, when both were claimed as foreordained, that Clinton would not be the Dem nominee, and Chfhsgk

On the Republican side, Cruz beats Trump is a good story. Failing that, the media will probably focus on the third-place finisher, or surprise place or show, who thereby gets a big boost in New Hampshire. You can be sure that the N.H. polls will change quite a bit between now and polling day. Because N.H. allows crossover voting, it is bad territory for Cruz. It favours more moderate voices. Accordingly, unless Trump can still take it despite inevitable media reports of "failure" in Iowa, there is a real opportunity for "establishment" support to coalesce around a third candidate. And we don't yet know who.





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