February 2, 2016

Newsflash: Iowa picks another loser. And now back to your regularly scheduled Trump domination

As I detailed back in October when Carson had temporarily taken over Trump in Iowa polling numbers, that state's caucus results are not informative about what happens with the national nomination. The polls had been close in the month leading up to the caucus anyway, so the slight advantage to Cruz is not a mind-blowing reversal of our expectations.

There have been 7 Republican caucus seasons that were up for grabs (meaning, there was no incumbent Republican President). Of those 7, only 3 of them correctly predicted the national results. The way things look now, they are going to lower that batting average to only 3 out of 8, since Trump so dominates Cruz et al everywhere else.

As for New Hampshire, they correctly predicted the outcome in 5 of those 7 times. The South Carolina primary predicted the outcome correctly in 6 of those 7 times, with the sole exception being local favorite Newt Gingrich winning in 2012. Trump is wiping the mat with everyone else in those states, including the local favorites.

He's going to bulldoze in the next two primaries, which are far more predictive of who gets the nomination, and the next one is only a week away. So just brush off the nattering nabobs of negativism for the next week, and it'll be right back on track toward the nomination, and then the general.

I wouldn't get too bent out of shape by all the what-if's about Trump's performance in Iowa. According to polling results at the caucuses, Trump won handily among those who showed up to caucus for the first time, while it was Cruz for those who had caucused before. These new-comers were fully 45% of everyone who showed up. Trump is indeed bringing out lots of new-comers, and he is picking up many more of them than are the other candidates. In states where masturbatory values-conservatism has no appeal, the droves of new-comers will be even more strongly tilted towards Trump.

Trump supporters have also made up their minds for a long time. Cruz won among those who made up their mind between a week and a month ago, and Rubio won among those who made up their mind in the last few days or the day of the caucus itself. Disturbingly 35% of the caucus-goers were from this fickle mush-head demographic that overwhelmingly went for Rubio, and nearly as much for Cruz, and not nearly as much for Trump.

The best thing the Trump movement can do is convince people who haven't made up their mind yet to STAY HOME for their primary. "Too many choices, maybe it's better to just sit it out on the sidelines and then go vote for real when it really matters in November and there's only two candidates to choose from, and who will clearly differ from each other." Or something to that effect. Wishy-washy airheads may swerve into the path of the Trump train, and we don't need any bumps on what should be a full-steam ahead victory.

It's important not to confuse two kinds of "unforeseen" voters -- those who typically do not participate in Republican primaries, but who have made up their minds for awhile now to vote for the breath-of-fresh-air candidate; and those who have a vague feeling that it's important to perform their civic duty by voting in the primary, but who will put off thinking about who to support until a few days before. These procrastinating conformist wimps will naturally blink when push comes to shove, and will go with the choice that's most respectable to public opinion.

Maybe a line like, "Hey don't worry, voting in the primary isn't like jury duty -- if you're just not feeling that into it, no one will blame you for waiting until November to vote".

The two areas where Trump could improve are in getting more in touch with his supporters ("ground game"), rather than hoping that they'll all turn out. In Iowa, it made no difference whether someone had contacted the voter about Trump or not, whereas Cruz gained five percentage points among those who had been contacted about him. Most people (just over 60%) fell into the "had not been contacted" category, but that still leaves a sizable minority who could be swayed one way or another by a phone call or a knock on the door.

And more importantly, Trump needs to ruin Cruz's reputation as an outsider candidate. In Iowa, half of caucus-goers wanted an insider, and half wanted an outsider. So this is a big group if they're won over. Trump easily dominates Cruz and Rubio with those who prefer outsiders (46 to 20 to 7 percent), but even 20% of their vote is too high for Cruz. If he could have stolen 10 points away from Cruz among that group, he would've easily won.

Not surprisingly, Trump has only 3% support among the half who want someone experienced in politics, so there's no point in trying to win them over. What he needs to do is more fully consolidate the support from those who want an outsider and are sick of business as usual.

Concretely, that means letting the Canadian birth issue go to the back burner, and focus more on Cruz's insider background from start to finish -- policy adviser for Bush Jr., wife works for Goldman Sachs, sweetheart loans totaling $1 million from Goldman and Citi, which he did not disclose, being in the pocket of Big Oil, fighting to quintuple H-1B visas on behalf of CEOs who want to outsource their white collar professional jobs, supporting amnesty, and so on.

Like a typical weasel, Cruz cynically aped the outsider positions only when it became clear that there was a second path toward the nomination, and he wanted to circumvent the in-fighting among the overt Establishment candidates.

The polls at the Iowa caucus show that Cruz does far better among those who want an experienced politician -- 35% among them, but also enjoys having it both ways with the 20% among those who want an outsider. (Rubio is the anti-Trump who only polls well with voters who want an insider.) Trump could point to that and say, "See, Cruz does nearly twice as well with the voters who want business as usual. My people are all from those who want a real change for once." Somehow, he has to cut off that support from the anti-Establishment voters, while allowing the pro-Establishment ones to keep on supporting him.

Emphasize that most of Cruz's gay slapfights are with Rubio, i.e. they're really both duking it out for Establishment favorite position, in more of a good cop / bad cop way, instead of Cruz being a sincere populist or nationalist.

Furthermore, hammer him over having the character traits of an unctuous used car salesman, seductive traveling salesman, snake oil huckster, etc. He's a wolf in sheep's clothing, a false prophet. He's the crypto-Establishment candidate.

And remind the outsider-preferring group that although Sarah Palin supported Cruz awhile ago before his views would become revealed, the First Lady of the Tea Party has endorsed Mr. Trump over her former protege -- for a reason. Trump is the real outsider, and a self-funding one to boot, not a Wall Street-owned sell-out like Cruz.

Obviously the Trump campaign has probably thought of most of this stuff already, but it's important to get this out there more broadly. Whether it's talking to people face-to-face, over social media, or anonymously in comments / forums / Twitter, we can give the Trump train the extra oomph it needs to roll over Goldman Ted.


  1. The indecisiveness that between Cruz and Trump or even Cruz and Rubio really blows my mind. There are such clear, cut and dry differences between the three. I wonder if it's because Cruz's "ground game" of directly contacting voters had a positive effect in a small cocooned state like Iowa accustomed to being the belle of the ball during primaries. Dumpy, pasty, well-off midwest boomers on fat pensions from cushy federally subsidized jobs enjoy being pandered to, it distracts them from the fact that their son with an engineering degree keeps getting laid off due to outsourcing.

  2. There is cause for concern. Trump notably and badly underperformed given his poll numbers. Granted, this was in a notoriously problematic state, but until Trump proves he can transform rallies and polls into hard votes there is no reason to believe he will in fact do so. It bears watching; the next two primaries will be critical tests for his operation.

    Another cause for concern is the late movement to Rubio. There had been rumblings about this in MSM outlets the previous week, and those proved to be accurate. For all Trump's poll advantages he now has exactly as many delegates as Rubio. When the cuck cards fall, they have to fall somewhere. This nonentity could end up the last empty suit standing.

    The issue is not so much that Trump will outright lose. Even if he underperforms just as badly in every state as he did in Iowa (unlikely, though this is possible), he will probably earn the plurality of delegates. Herein lies the problem, of course, since a bare plurality will almost certainly be fought on the floor.

    Trump doesn't just need to win he needs to win big. I'm thinking it will take 40% of the delegates with no one else over 30 to clinch the nomination. Anything closer than that will be enough breathing room for the establishment to weigh in - and they almost certainly will.

    If Trump fails and the cucks get their man - by no means a long shot - what then?

  3. Random Dude on the Internet2/2/16, 8:39 AM

    I participated in the Iowa caucuses and I saw an overwhelming amount of Trump support: lots of Trump stocking caps, buttons, stickers, etc. However, I saw little in terms of support for Marco Rubio yet somehow he won my county and Trump came in third.

    My question is given the open ballot style process of the caucus, did a sizable section of Trump supporters blink and switch to Rubio to avoid looking bad in front of others? He still is a four letter word in many places, even in Iowa.

  4. In the GOP caucus, don't they vote by secret ballot? I don't think they'd fear looking bad in front of others, so much as feeling a general conformist pressure when there's a lot of buzz for candidates other than the one they intended to vote for.

    Kind of like having to run an in-your-face propaganda gauntlet right as you show up to the polling station -- a YouTube ad that you can't skip over. That last-minute demoralization could have caused some Trump supporters to blink.

    I doubt it could've been that many. Like I said, Rubio's support seems to have come mostly from the wishy-washy airheads who decided within the past several days or the very day of the caucus.

  5. Trump didn't badly underperform his polls -- well within the margin of error, but granted all on the low side of what had been predicted. Cruz was also within margin of error, though on the higher side. The real upset was Rubio -- his numbers were definitely better than predicted.

    Trump is clearly bringing out big numbers of newcomers, who side with him far more than any of the others. And his supporters had made up their minds for awhile. Perhaps he's not converting Trump supporters 100% into Trump voters, but he's doing very well at it, and there's no cause for gloom on that matter.

    We knew long beforehand that there would be the possibility of a fight at the Convention, and one tiny little state with few delegates doesn't tell us too much right now. Watch him blow out NH and SC, as well as the YUGE population states east of the Mississippi. The only big state that a cuck could win is Texas.

    If it does come to a fight, there's a further slight advantage which is the location -- the delegates will be arriving in Cleveland, one of many ground zeros of the Rust Belt. Yes, the governor / candidate is an Establishment cuck. But that would be true anywhere -- the surrounding atmosphere will be way more pro-Trump than if they held it in Houston or Salt Lake City or Orange County. Trump has a slight home-turf advantage.

    Worst comes to worst, he calls on the Rust Belt legion of the Trump Army, gets the local police to look the other way after getting endorsed by their union, and we give the cucks hell like they haven't seen since 1968.

  6. "Dumpy, pasty, well-off midwest boomers on fat pensions from cushy federally subsidized jobs enjoy being pandered to, it distracts them from the fact that their son with an engineering degree keeps getting laid off due to outsourcing."

    It's true, but just remember that back East this is way less typical of the GOP electorate.

    They had their kiddie caucus, now it's time for the mature citizens to show them how voting is really done.

  7. There's something rotten here. Rubio's last-minute surge ought to raise at least a few eyebrows.

  8. About "home turf advantage," obviously we don't have to resort to civil disobedience -- although possible -- we can simply round up a bunch of protest marches to publicly shame the delegates / Establishment toward the side of using tariffs, closed borders, and killer negotiators to restore the manufacturing base of the nation, and the hell if it means some worthless MBA like Carly Fiorina gets a smaller golden parachute.

    We would get YUGE crossover appeal from local Democrats, and even Sanders supporters, already during the Convention, which would argue for nominating Trump as the most electable in the general. He does best with typical Republicans, peels off the most typical Democrats, and is bringing out droves of newcomers who will overwhelmingly favor him.

  9. "Rubio's last-minute surge ought to raise at least a few eyebrows."

    Voter fraud is not out of the question. We've seen how desperate the Establishment has been so far, no reason to think they'd let up once the votes came in.

    It still wouldn't be beyond belief from what the entrance polls showed, though -- large turnout, and many of them making up their minds recently, and most of those going toward the official Establishment choice.

    Rubio did the best in urban / college town areas, which could simply mean that Microsoft's vote-counting representatives were the best able to plug into a high-tech university and business center, to swing things for their favorite.

    But it could also just mean that a lot of urbanites and suburbanites who normally wouldn't have turned out, felt the need to stop Trump at all costs.

    That's OK. Remember: Trump said in a public debate that his greatest weakness was trusting people too much, and that if they betray that trust, he is incapable of forgiving them.

    We have clear maps of where he was betrayed the most, and those counties will be the first to have the deportation force clear out the sanctuary cities (of which Iowa has many), riding rough-shod over the local police just to remind them not to get in the way again, and humiliating them on national TV.

  10. Iowa's as out of the US mainstream culturally, economically and religiously these days as hawaii.

    It only seems more mainstream because the people are white and evangelical.

  11. Voter fraud is not out of the question.

    Rubio's performance in Iowa had to be engineered just right--not to overwhelm Trump (which would provoke suspicions), but to convince establishment donors that he's still the strong horse in this race.

    Lots of money flows today.

  12. Agree w/ Agnostic, can't completely rule out voter fraud, but it's not the story.
    This is Trump's very first election and he's got some things to learn. Blessedly, he's a fast learner.

    The only unknown is how will Trump handle the loss. So far, so good, but I worry a little because he was like this with Ben Carson, on his best behavior, and couldn't bottle it in anymore. He simply can't be mercurial like that anymore less voters think he's simply of the wrong temperament.

    Just make it through the rest of the day. He's got Scott Brown endorsing him tonight, I believe, so that will help.

  13. Wow, my grammar was terrible... running on fumes and tears ;)

  14. I'd also like to see a formal endorsement by Jeff Sessions -- several states down in his neck of the woods went for the values candidates in 2008 and '12. Trump is doing very well all by himself, but there needs to be a total sweep of all their delegates, not just "winning the state". And if there's a brokered convention, it would pay big-time to have a solid Southerner on Trump's side.

    In 2016, it's the old North with the old South against the old West.

  15. Sessions would be absolutely huge. Guessing he's waiting for the anti-establishment victor to emerge; he's been doing this a long time.

  16. Random Dude on the Internet2/2/16, 6:16 PM

    "In the GOP caucus, don't they vote by secret ballot? I don't think they'd fear looking bad in front of others, so much as feeling a general conformist pressure when there's a lot of buzz for candidates other than the one they intended to vote for."

    It's kind of a secret ballot: you get a piece of paper, you write the name on the paper, you give that paper to someone else, and that person hands it off to the person who counts the votes. It's secret but in the loosest definition possible.

  17. Sessions has a good working relationship with Cruz, so he may be holding out for him to falter and it to be down to Trump v Establishment candidate. The bad blood between both Rubio and Cruz and Rubio and Jabe should play to our benefit.

    Sessions may also simply be waiting for the week of the SC primary, where his endorsement will have a maximal impact on headline results.

  18. Many people would like to see Ted Cruz as Donald Trump's running mate. So IMHO, Trump should ease up on the attacks.

    I've noticed one thing about Trump. When he talks about issues (immigration, jobs, national sovereignty), he wins. But when he talks about other candidates, he loses. Something to think about.

  19. I don't see Cruz and Trump sharing a ticket, in any arrangement. Cruz is way too embedded in too much crap that Trump hates on principle. Besides, as Agnostic points out, Cruz has cynical huckster written all over him. Trump would rather lose altogether than share the White House with such a spineless charlatan.

    It seems like the beat-down Trump is getting has made it more obvious why Palin got so much shit over the years: it's not that Palin is any worse than the legions of crooks slurping at the post 1970 trough of careerism (she certainly isn't), it's that she didn't "play the game" the way that the establishment demands.

    Since Palin (and Trump of course) have not totally sold out, the establishment fears them and marginalizes them as out-of-their league nutcases.

  20. Before anyone panics, let's remember that amid the wreckage of the last 30-40 years, it was basically taken for granted that the elites of both parties were NEVER going to be threatened. Perot and Buchanan were two Silents who didn't have the tenacity to survive. Also, the public wasn't ready to go all in on an outsider since the public wasn't fully aware of how deranged things were getting by the 90's.

    Nader provoked hissing from liberal crybabies ("stop him, he's stealing votes from Gore!") and also struggled to keep up with the onslaught of anti 3rd party rules. Also, the economy was doing well enough Pre 9/11 and we hadn't declared war on the entire world yet (again, pre 9/11). So people weren't unsettled enough to be receptive to a game changing candidate.

    As it turns out, there's a limit to just how much deception and exploitation people will put up with. Obama's been unmasked as an AA president created by top notch marketing, white guilt, and a media anxious to advance multi cult. crap. People are breaking under the weight of the chaos created by non existent accountability for the powerful who've flooded America with immigrants, "respectable" drugs, gambling dens, onerous affirmative action policies, cynical and extortionate financial practices that destroy people's finances, a "health care" system that drains everyone while excluding many from help, etc. Oh, and off-shoring jobs too.

    A half of one generation (late Boomers), one entire gen. (X-ers), and early Millennials have been robbed of their opportunities for a dignified living, a family, and a secure future.

  21. Neil Howe has often pointed out that Late Boomers are in deep doo doo. While it's tempting to shame them for their hedonism, let's also not forget that the prosperity train left the station by the early 80's. Silents and early Boomers had glommed onto everything by then, and they still haven't let go.

    Having established themselves in the 50's-70's when most Americans played fair , they would not feel as much of the resounding sting caused by the cynicism and rough tactics that grew worse as elite Silents dodged accountability for their passive aggressive meanderings and elite vulgar early Boomers vowed to get the biggest car, the best wardrobe, the fanciest house, etc.

    The G.I.s faded into mortality as a concerned generation; their Silent junior partners cared more about feelings than getting things done. Their Boomer children were bombing their own brains with bad drugs and worse ideas. And their X-er grandchildren were having a profoundly corrupt culture shoved down their throat, society having moved on from the idea that behavior should be modulated by a concern for others and the future.


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