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The latest poll shows Ted Cruz opening his lead over Donald Trump in Iowa to nine points — nine points. If Cruz does indeed win in the Iowa caucuses on February 1, he’ll have enough momentum going into the February 9 New Hampshire primary to place second or third. The next primary will take place on February 20 in South Carolina, where the GOP primary voters are deeply conservative — and, I suspect, likely to give Cruz first place. Three days later the caucuses in Nevada will take place. Receiving little attention in the press, this event will be determined largely by organization on the ground — giving the advantage to Cruz once again.
Which brings us to March 1 and Super Tuesday, when two states will hold GOP caucuses and another ten — including southern states, where Cruz polls well, and his home state of Texas — will hold primaries. If by then Cruz has indeed won Iowa, done well in New Hampshire, and won again in South Carolina, then on Super Tuesday he’s likely to prove dominant.
It stands to reason that Marco Rubio will do well in the Florida primary on March 15 — but it could all be over by then.
All this is predicated, again, on Cruz’s winning in Iowa five weeks from now — and that makes five weeks in which anything might happen, including a collapse in his numbers. But as of now it looks to me as if Ted Cruz will indeed win in Iowa — and that the scenario I sketched out above is entirely plausible.