It’s fitting that a state known for corn should fill this purpose.
The Iowa caucuses have never been about crowning a nominee, or even giving the winner a clear path to the nomination. They’re about thinning the field of the non-viable candidates. And, given the fact that we’ve seen Rand, Huck, and Santorum all drop in less than 48 hours I’d say it’s doing it’s job.
Now about that Trump thing. Trump is thrashing about on twitter claiming the only way Cruz out performs the polls is by cheating (be it “L’affaire de Carson” or some sort of other insinuation). Not unsurprisingly, the heavily bankruptcy affiliated Trump has no idea how modeling works. Polls make a lot of assumptions. One of those assumptions is that the difference in ground game strategy is either negligible or meaningless. As I noted Monday evening Trump’s ground game was quite literally nearly an order of magnitude worse (using precinct captains as a rough surrogate market) than his competitors. Perhaps that won’t matter in NH, but in Iowa, home of caucus’s and retail politics it makes instant polling a poor model. That and polls are merely a snapshot in time. That snapshot likely changed when Trump didn’t attend the debate. (And the NH snapshot just got radically changed when Trump came in second in Iowa.)
Now in this analogy getting the establishment lane is sorta like picking up a #1 seed in the big dance. (TM) It’s not a certain route to the Final Four (TM) but it’s an easier walk than say a #11 seed.
Jeb clearly bungled… the whole season. He gets stuck at the #7 seed. Big money keeps him single digits but 10/7 upsets are pretty common. (This analogy is getting strained isn’t it? So let’s skip forward…)
Back on point: Rubio, by showing himself to be the establishment front runner get’s that coveted #1 seed. You may not like him, or the establishment but history shows us that an establishment pick has the easiest path to nomination.
Does that mean that the lower seeded Cruz or the Cinderella Team (TM?) Trump can’t pick him off? No, of course not. It happens every now and then. But it does mean he’s cleared a major hurdle. Where we go from here, is anyone’s guess right now. Maybe Iowa is going for the Three-peat (TM, yes seriously, trademarked) of not picking the nominee.
This post in no way is endorsed or affiliated with the NCAATM which is somehow a non-profit organization. Oh and just to get one more in there “First Four”TM.