Some not-particularly-original observations on the results of the Iowa caucuses Monday night:
–I’m sure the Republican establishment, such as it is, is celebrating Donald Trump’s second-place finish behind Ted Cruz. You don’t run a successful campaign on big crowds and bluster alone. It will be interesting to see if this is the beginning of the end for Trump. After all, if you campaign largely on the arrogant premise that you are a “winner” and all your opponents are “losers,” you really need to, y’know, win. I’m not sure he has a Plan B for running as a humbled, beseeching loser.
–By the convoluted logic of the “expectations” game, a lot of pundits are proclaiming third-place finisher Marco Rubio the real winner on the Republican side. Rubio finished close behind Trump, and did a lot better than the polls had indicated. He is likely to become the “Great Hispanic Hope” of the GOP establishmentarians who detest both Cruz and Trump. It’s hard to see how other non-fringe Republicans like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie or John Kasich have a path to the nomination after their pathetic showings in Iowa. (I almost feel sorry for former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, who got 12 votes– not in one precinct but in the entire state.)
–On the Democratic side, the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ended as a virtual tie (in fact Clinton won by about two-tenths of one percent). One startling result is that the 74-year-old Sanders won 84 percent of the vote among Democratic caucus-goers under age 30. Even if Sanders wins the New Hampshire primary next week (he represents neighboring Vermont in the Senate), Clinton is still likely to win the nomination because voters in other states are more likely to support her. But there’s no question she has a fight on her hands– and as a Democrat who supports her, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.
Update: Trump’s supposed graciousness toward the voters of Iowa didn’t last long.
Whining is an even worse look than boasting, Donald.
Further update: OK, now it’s gettin’ real.
Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016