As of this moment the only think we know for sure about Iowa is the fact that hotel room prices are about to drop like a rock.
As I will be at work with no access to a radio or the net my first knowledge of the results in Iowa will, unless I take my laptop with me as I have no smartphone, either at 7 AM or what people with smartphones tell me during breaks.
It’s my opinion that Ted Cruz will put it out, that the turnout thanks to the storm will not grow as much and his ground game will make the difference. It’s also my opinion that not enough people will choose to vote strategically (although it’s the pragmatic thing to do) to turn the Donald Trump events into victory.
It’s also my opinion that Sanders wins simply because to the young Sanders voter the caucus itself is like a Trump event & they’ll so because it’s an event, plus there is enough fear in Hillary voters to make the difference.
But even if I’m wrong and it’s Trump Cruz vs Cruz Trump what’s next? Since I’m obliged to write thing before I have any clue what has actually happened here is what I think:
If TED CRUZ wins by a lot:
An unlikely scenario, but if it happens it will make a huge difference in NH guaranteeing him top 3. This will require cause a bloodbath in NH as the big three establishment candidates plus Rubio fight for their lives. Jeb Bush may decide to back out of NH all together and decide to go all in for SC in order to retain the donor class. But it also becomes last stand for Kasich and Christie, particularly if Rubio finishes a strong 3rd.
It also means that Ted Cruz’s already formidable ground & money advantage increases greatly
As far as the Establishment goes a big Ted Cruz win means decision time. It’s all in to stop him, but to who, Trump, Rubio or Bush? If the Cruz win comes with a Trump collapse then suddenly the the old rules apply again and Bush rises from the grave as Stacy McCain fears.
If TED CRUZ wins by a little (my best guess):
Then all the conventional wisdom that the pundits have talked about continues, Trump in this case likely does well enough to ensure a NH win (unless he collapses then Rubio become the Stop Ted Establishment fan.
All the Ted Cruz wins by a lot scenario’s above apply to a lesser degree including the panic. It also gives the GOP establishment a little time to put off their decision as to what to do.
If Trump comes a close second expect him to be like the US Army after Kasserine, someone who learns a lot from an initial defeat. He will go after Cruz like there is no tomorrow.
If Donald Trump wins by a little
Then NH is his, Cruz might settle to 3rd or 4th there and it sets him up well for continued success. In one respect a close win is best for Trump as it confers the victory he needs with the lessons that a close call can teach.
Cruz will be pilloried by the MSM for losing in this case in an attempt to write him off (it will fail) and it might tempt some campaigns that should end to continue at least to NH or SC) It will also give new hope to Christie and Carson and be a boon to Rubio. If somehow Rubio finishes 2nd to Trump (very unlikely) then he will become the defacto GOP Trump alternative
If Donald Trump wins by a lot
The whole game is blown up. NH is his, Nevada is likely his and the Bush SC plan is in deep trouble. Ted Cruz holds on in the south & will need to rally there. NH becomes a fight for 2nd place but the GOP establishment might just decide that they had better hit the Trump Bandwagon NOW rather than later, unless Rubio comes 2nd & then they might decide to go that way.
It’s possible that this helps Bush the most since with Cruz disposed of he has the biggest donor network to actually compete.
This is the only Scenario where I see either Huckabee or Santorum getting to NH
Final thought: If any candidate other than Trump, Cruz or Rubio finish in the top 3 THAT becomes the subhead in the GOP no matter what the result. If it’s an establishment guy NH goes completely insane.
Note: If suggestions that Carson is thinking of dropping that have just been reported, all bets are off.
If Bernie Sanders wins by a lot:
The Trump explosion squared. DNC panic and the Biden & Bloomberg stuff goes into overdrive. Both the “stop Bernie” and the “Replace Hillary NOW!” plans go into full swing and the Clintons find themselves fighting for their political lives. At this point the black community will have to choose a side. The Clintons will tell them to name their price and pay it, but they might just see what the Replace Hillary Now and Bernie camps might offer for their support.
It’s possible that the Obama administration and the Clinton’s go into mutually assured destruction mode. That all depends on what threats get made by the Clinton’s or the Administration in an attempt to either force them to back her or pressure her to leave. MSN in full panic mode.
If Bernie Sanders wins by a little (my best guess)
The slow Clinton bleed continues and all the tough decisions that a big Bernie win would force are delayed. Again Clinton appeals to the minority community to be her firewall post NH but minor defections continue. The DNC decides to sweat it out for NH in the hopes that Hillary can recover post NH. The whispers of indictment continue but aren’t enough to go anywhere yet. It’s all wait and see.
If Hillary wins by a little.
Most of the DNC panic dissipates, suddenly Biden & Bloomberg are silent. Nothing from Justice but the infighting in the FBI over the rule of law continues but is suppressed by Obama. In many ways this is the optimum result for the left because it solves problems without forcing their hand totally. The one danger for the DNC is if there is any sign of a “dirty tricks”, then the Democrat activist revolt will make Chicago 1968 look like a Victorian Picnic.
If Hillary wins by a lot:
It’s all over, no indictments, Justice covers for her and the FBI is caught between outrage and resignation. The press goes all in to cover for her and turns all it’s attention to destroying Trump or Cruz.
Final thought. The MSM goal is to advance whatever scenario helps elect Hillary to the White House and destroys first Ted Cruz than the GOP. If you keep that in mind in the coverage of Iowa over the next 24 hours, then you will not be surprised.
(Fyi the GOP goal is to destroy Ted Cruz so in that half of the coverage they and the MSM will be working together.