Cruz and Clinton. Your two winners in Iowa last night. One was pretty obvious (I think), while the other was neck-and-neck with her opponent all night.
What does a Cruz win in Iowa mean for the Republicans? How about a Clinton win for the Democrats? Allow me to shed some light on the subject.
Historically speaking, the Republicans in Iowa have only chosen the eventual nominee as their winner three times out of seven (this does not include when Presidents Reagan, H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush were up for reelection). Those eventual nominees were Gerald Ford in 1976, who eventually lost the election to Jimmy Carter, Bob Dole, who eventually lost the election to Bill Clinton in 1996, and finally George W. Bush in 2000, who went on to defeat Al Gore in that election. We haven’t included Mitt Romney’s tie with Rick Santorum in the 2012 election cycle, as technically it isn’t a win. But if we were to include it, we could say that Iowans have picked the eventual nominee 50% of the time. They have only ever picked a SUCCESSFUL nominee in the general election once, the end result being an 8-year Bush Presidency.
Ted’s odds aren’t the brightest considering these stats, but considering how well he’s doing in other states, we might have a case of Iowans adding another nominee (and possibly President) to their list of state winners.
How about the Democrats?
We all know that the race last night between Bernie and Hillary was EXTREMELY close, ending with Hillary up by just 0.3%. Really, that’s a victory more for Bernie than Hillary.
As for the accuracy in choosing a nominee, the Iowans have been correct six times out of eleven (including the 1976 election cycle when 37% of Iowans were uncommitted and Jimmy Carter finished as the top candidate with 28%), which includes years that Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were up for reelection, since they were opposed by other candidates seeking the democratic nomination. The eventual nominees chosen by Iowans who have gone on to become the President are Jimmy Carter in 1976, Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and Barack Obama in 2008. So, out of the six times that Iowans have chosen the nominee, those three nominees have been elected five times collectively.
Hillary’s odds look good compared to past results, but I think there’s a different path this race is going to take.
The next state to vote in the primaries is New Hampshire, where Bernie Sanders has produced a RIDICULOUS lead of 18 points in the RealClearPolitics Average for the New Hampshire Primary polls. One poll even has Bernie leading Hillary by 31 POINTS. 31 points, people. With Bernie’s great ground game, and his ability to turn poll numbers into voter turnout, he’ll beat Hillary quite soundly in the Granite State. This, I think, will change the course of the race immensely, giving Bernie the edge going into the rest of the primary states and most likely giving him the eventual nomination.
On the Republican side, Iowa will change the race for two reasons.
- Trump is the most unfavorable Presidential candidate in history, with an average of 57.8% of voters finding him unfavorable, and an average of 34.4% finding him favorable. When you add that up, that means that 92.2% of people have a definite view of Trump, leaving just 7.8% of voters for him to win over. Once people realize he’s not electable, the conservatives will flee to Cruz and the establishment folks will flee to Rubio.
- Cruz is running an extremely good ground game in his campaign. He also has more money for his campaign than any other Republican candidate except Ben Carson. But aside from money, Cruz proved in Iowa that his ground game can turn a 4.7 point loss to Donald in the polls into a 3.4 point win in the actual caucuses. We could see this carry over to states like South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and maybe even New Hampshire.
With his win in Iowa, Cruz has gained major momentum in the race, and should Donald actually participate in the next debate, Cruz could turn this momentum into a leap to the top slot.
Don’t discount Rubio just yet, but I wouldn’t say he’s going to make any significant jumps in the polls just yet. Wait for South Carolina, which I think is going to come down to Marco and Ted. The entire race will most likely come down to these two, which would be great since they would both serve as able Presidents and be almost guaranteed two terms.
Many more states to go, but with the first one behind us we can get an idea of where everything is headed. Good luck to all the candidates, and may the best man win.