Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Campaign Trail 2016: Iowa Caucuses

Last night the citizens of Iowa came out for the first actual night of voting in the 2016 Presidential Campaign and while there were big winners and losers, who actually won and lost may not be as obvious as it initially seems.

On the Republican ticket, Ted Cruz took the state by a decent margin making him the official winner of Iowa. While at first appearances that would make him the big winner of the night, in actuality it was Marco Rubio who was the big winner. Rubio, with his third place final standing, massively exceeded expectations for him showing voters that he has a definite chance of getting the Republican nomination. The big loser of the night was Donald Trump. After leading poll after poll, Trump under performed in the caucus showing his great poll numbers and huge rally crowds don't actually translate to his belivers actually going out to vote.

Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich aren't leaving Iowa with great momentum, but none of them should throw in the towel yet. New Hampshire, the next stop on February 9th, has a Republican voting base that is more likely to vote for them. While their collective future in the 2016 campaign is uncertain at the moment, nothing yet is written in stone for them.

Rick Santorum should take a hint from Mike Huckabee and announce a suspension of his campaign. He finished the race in Iowa, a state where the voting base is likely to vote for him – he won the 2012 Iowa Caucuses – with just one percent of the vote.

On the Democratic ticket, as of the time of writing no winner has been officially declared yet. However the actual winner and loser have emerged. Bernie Sanders is the big winner of the night. He is currently just behind Hillary Clinton in the final tally but Iowa shows that Sanders can bring out the voters and bring in the numbers and Clinton will have a long hard fight in the race for the Democratic nomination. The loser, Clinton. Her insistence on having to declare herself the winner, despite Iowa not yet declaring an actual winner, can be seen as egotistical and fear and will definitely backfire on her if Iowa ultimately goes with Sanders as the winner. Even if she keeps the win, several precincts are being decided by coin tosses, which can in no way be called a clear and decisive victory. Clinton would have done much better to have just continued to campaign in New Hampshire and let Iowa announce the results on their own.

As should have happened ages ago, Martin O'Malley has officially suspended his campaign.

The Libertarian Party didn't have caucuses in Iowa last night but Gary Johnson is likely to get the nomination for the party. While last night's performances doesn't give him a view of who he will be taking on for the Democratic nomination, if Rubio uses his momentum right he can take the Republican nomination. If Johnson is smart, he will start his campaign working on combating Rubio now before Rubio gets stronger.

As for New Hampshire, the remaining candidates are there. Voters should go out and get to meet them all as they decide who they will vote for on February 9th.


  1. I agree with your take on the Iowa Caucus. It will be interesting to see how the vote goes in NH, especially as we may be getting a snow storm (tho not a big one) on Primary Day.