Atlanta, GA – We entered Iowa in a Trump-wind, and we leave it with Ted Cruz on top.
The polls, even the ones that were supposed to be the most accurate in the nation, were wrong. The Des Moines Register, Iowa’s most important newspaper, was wrong. Nate Silver, perhaps the most respected numbers man who walks the earth, was wrong.
Donald Trump didn’t win.
To make matters worse for the pundit class, all numbers pointed towards the fact that high turnout would be horrible for Ted Cruz. First time voters were breaking in a massive way for Donald Trump, while Ted Cruz’s campaign looked like it was staggering. But low and behold, it didn’t snow, people showed up in historic numbers, and a lot of them voted for Cruz. An awful lot. So many that he now holds the record for the most votes cast for GOP candidate ever in the Iowa Caucuses.
The news media was so surprised by it all, that many of them did not call the race until it reached into the 80th percentile reporting. I called the race for Cruz last night with 70% reporting when it became clear that turnout wasn’t hurting him and that more evangelicals were turning out than expected, besides the fact that he had passed the bell curve point of 68%. At that point CBS, NBC and FOX were still concerned that somehow somewhere massive Trump support was still hiding under a rock, but the likelihood of that was so small as to be nil.
Marco Rubio had a somewhat better night than expected, although his victory speech was out of place. He didn’t win, the people of Iowa said they didn’t want him; he is the new establishment candidate in race where, between Trump, Carson, and Cruz, the outsiders, garnered around sixty percent of the vote last night between them.
On the Democratic side, the numbers give it to Hillary, but in my book, Sanders won.
Hillary was supposed to be the inevitable candidate. She was supposed to steamroll her way to the nomination like nobody’s business, but some crazy guy from Vermont has made it his business, and people are responding. The very fact that Sanders came so close will hurt Mrs. Clinton.
Martin O’Malley dropped out last night, which means this is it, all bets are off. If Hillary goes to jail or gets in a car wreck, the Democrats either end up with Sanders, or they’ll have to call up some old party hack who’s been faithfully carrying donkey manure for them for the past forty years.
Andrew C. Abbott