So, today we have the Iowa Caucuses, the first in the nation. For those unfamiliar, this is part of the process in which the parties pick their nominee for the general election for President of the United States. Much media and hype is committed to this caucus.
In recent history, the caucuses don’t tell us much for the Republican party nominee. Since 1976, in elections in which an incumbent president wasn’t running, the Iowa winner went on to win the Republican nomination 2 1/2 times. I wrote “1/2” because Romney tied Santorum in 2012. Dole won it in 1996, and Bush Jr. in 2000. The Dims used to be like that, but, in the recent ones, Gore, Kerry, and Obama have won Iowa and then gone on to win the Dim nomination.
For the most part what one can read into the caucus is it tells us which candidates need to drop out. There are exceptions this time around.
IMHO, I don’t think the Iowa caucus is the one to watch this time around, neither is the New Hampshire one. South Carolina is the one to watch. It does surprise me somewhat that Trump is doing so well in Iowa. They’re more rural than most states. It is even more surprising that Sanders is polling so close to Clinton in Iowa.
Now, as to weeding out the irrelevant, the Dims basically have a two person race already, and Sanders isn’t getting out any time soon. With Clinton, she’s out of time. I believe her support has peaked. She can only hope the time between now and the nomination doesn’t sap her support so much that she loses the nomination. I believe it will, barring something massively stupid from Sanders ……. which is by no means a safe bet.
On the Repub side, the object of the game is to not lose too badly ….. for most candidates. For Christie, losing badly is a foregone conclusion, and he’s hoping for a good showing back east. In Iowa, it would be a huge surprise is someone other than Trump, Cruz, or Rubio breaks the top 3. And, the top 3 should be very close, in which case, all will claim victory and momentum. Like Iowa is a write-off for Christie, it’s pretty much so in N.H. for Cruz.
It is the South where it gets interesting for both parties, (Sanders is expected to take N.H.) With Cruz, Rubio, Bush ……. well, now, it’s the South which will tell the tale for all three. None of the previously mentioned can win the Repub nomination without the South. Indeed, they all need both Florida and Texas. South Carolina will give us some insights as to how well each can do in the South. At this point, I think Trump has the East pretty much locked up, with Christie as the wildcard in that area, but, Christie needs to do well in N.H. to be seen as a viable candidate. I think Jeb is done, with most of his support going to Rubio when Bush drops out.
Those are my thoughts, anyway. Off to get some popcorn!