|Will Ted Cruz (above) go the way of Rick Santorum (near below) or George W. Bush (far below), who were also winners of the Iowa caucuses?|
For the record, I had predicted to my family last week that Ted Cruz would win 30% of the Iowa caucus vote, Donald Trump 20%, and Marco Rubio 15%. I wasn’t too far off with that prediction. I had also predicted that Jeb Bush would surprise everyone with 8-10% of the vote; I thought he had a decent ground game and would try harder there. I was way wrong about that. He never even put players in the field in Iowa.
I thought Bernie Sanders might edge out Hillary Clinton, but we all knew that would be close. (I thought it would depend on the weather: bad weather would be better for Hillary. It snowed.) Please note that as of today, Clinton has 384 delegates and Sanders only 29. That’s because Clinton has a large number of “super” delegates already committed to her.
The media is making far too much of Cruz’s win in Iowa. Remember that Mike Huckabee won Iowa in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012. Where did they go from there? Iowa Republicans love a Bible thumper—especially one whose father is a preacher willing to Bible-beat on the hustings, like Cruz's padre. That skews everything. But Cruz has a much better chance than Huckabee or Santorum. He's more Machiavellian and won’t fold as meekly as they did.
Last week, I was away from my computer, so I couldn’t get my Iowa predictions out here on my blog, but now that I’m home, I will hang my New Hampshire prognostications on the line for all to see:
Here’s my prediction for New Hampshire:
The rest 12%
These results should bring Bush and the other governors—Kasich and Christie—back into the race, but they may not, because the media will make a big deal about Trump winning, Hillary losing, and Cruz doing not so well, which is all nonsense. Iowa and New Hampshire, like any other individual states, offer warped versions of the U.S. electorate and should not get so much attention.
Super Tuesday, March 1, should be good for Cruz, since Texas and many Bible-belt states are on the line that day. Cruz will have a good night, and many will crown him king, but March 15 may be the real Super Tuesday, with Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, and Ohio all holding delegate-rich primaries in more moderate-, less evangelical-Republican states. If one or more of the governors can hang on until then (which may be difficult, since the media will try to consign them to history after March 1), then one of them may rise toward the top. I would tell Jeb to hold on until March 16.
Hillary will win Super Tuesday and cruise from there.
Who knows, for the Republicans, the way things are going, even New York’s April 19 primary may be meaningful this year!
(Here’s a good link that shows how the primaries work: https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_nominations:_calendar_and_delegate_rules .)