by James Buchanan
Because the Iowa caucus is the first one, the long shot candidates will often devote an inordinate amount of time and money in that state, in an attempt to get some early momentum. In 2012, Rick Santorum spent 108 days in Iowa, more than anyone else, and not too surprisingly he won the Iowa caucus.
In 2016, it wasn’t just Rick Santorum saturating Iowa with his presence, several other candidates including Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were also putting an enormous amount of time and effort in Iowa.
One thing was certain: The vote in Iowa would be split several ways with no one getting anywhere near a majority. It was also obvious that the biggest vote getter would likely be one of the individuals, who devoted an excessive amount of time in that state.
Donald Trump did well in Iowa with a second place finish considering that he didn’t spend months in that state with hundreds of volunteers bused in as was the case with Ted Cruz.
Was the enormous effort in Iowa worth it for Ted Cruz? He’s getting his opportunity to milk this narrow victory for all its worth. Then again, Cruz didn’t get a majority. He only got a plurality of the vote with 28 percent and Trump, who barely made an effort in Iowa, was hot on his heels with 24 percent. Cruz will get 8 delegates from Iowa and Trump will get 7.
Everyone knew Iowa would be a strange state, and the fanatical efforts that some candidates throw into Iowa tend to skew the results. It’s clear now that the GOP primary is a contest between Cruz, Rubio and Trump. The results of the next two primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina will be much more important than what just happened in Iowa.
Two things that might haunt Cruz from the Iowa caucus are:
1). Ted Cruz’s campaign threatened voters with a public shaming if they did not get out and vote –a somewhat desperate move and a glimpse at the dark side of Cruz.
2). Cruz’s campaign apparently told voters that Ben Carson had dropped out of the GOP primary as noted here.
Whatever good a narrow first place finish in Iowa was for Ted Cruz, it may be eclipsed by the dirty nature of his campaign.