Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Iowa Outcome: How the Spin Will Work

 

It’s Iowa Caucus day and all of us fervently hope that with actual votes public persuasion sessions whatever happens in a caucus itself the craziness will subside and we’ll get on with the whole thing.

While we all have a preferred scenario, I see three plausible outcomes for Iowa which will be spun as positively as they can be by the campaigns.

Scenario 1: Cruz wins Iowa, Trump comes in second, Rubio comes in third.

Iowa is Cruz’s Rubicon; he’s worked very hard putting together a ground-game campaign in Iowa and he’s banking on momentum to carry him through New Hampshire and into South Carolina and Nevada.

If Cruz wins Iowa he’ll be pushing for a strong second or an upset win in New Hampshire to help build a narrative moving into the SEC Primary. I honestly don’t see how Cruz can win the nomination without winning Iowa since perceived negatives will outweigh any other ranking.

Scenario 2: Trump wins Iowa, Cruz comes in second, Rubio comes in third.

If Trump wins Iowa we’re at panic stations; Cruz’s support will probably collapse since his extraordinary organization will prove useless compared to Trump’s star power. The infighting for second in New Hampshire will be brutal as Rubio, Bush, Kasich and Christie will burn each other to the ground to be the anti-Trump candidate.

If Trump goes on to win New Hampshire however the march will begin and Trump will start sweeping the primaries as the consultants will have spent all their time killing non-Trump candidates.

Scenario 3: Trump wins Iowa, Rubio comes in second, Cruz comes in third.

This is, to my mind, the least likely scenario however it’s Rubio’s best chance for the nomination. If Cruz’s performance in the last debate hurts him enough and if there’s a shift in support away from presumptive no-hopers Christie, Carson, Kasich, Bush and Fiorina towards Rubio in the caucus and he pulls second place Rubio will be in position to get second or first in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

If he can place strongly in those four he might be able to win Florida and then he’ll pull the nomination from Trump as support for his rivals will collapse.

Personally I’m banking of Scenario 1 because I like Cruz and if Trump wins Iowa I see him sweeping the contest and ending up as the nominee. However it ends up, we’ll finally be on our way and the worst pre-primary season I can remember will be over.

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  1. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Here’s what I find interesting when I hear the pundits talk about Iowa and New Hampshire. The consensus seems to be that even if Bernie Sanders wins both states, it won’t matter because Hillary will cream him everywhere else. But we’re told that if Donald Trump wins both of these states, it’s all over and Trump will crush everyone in every other state. Are Republicans in most of the latter 48 states really so heavily influenced by these two states that many of them will change their support to Trump if he prevails in IA and NH?

    • #1
    • February 1, 2016, at 7:44 AM PST
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  2. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey

    The Dems have super delegates which will break for Hillary but I think Sanders is in the same position as Trump.

    If he wins the first two he might win the rest but Sanders is very far behind with the African American vote which is why most pundits are predicting Hillary winning South Carolina; I also have to wonder how well Sanders will do in Nevada with his pro-socialism messaging.

    • #2
    • February 1, 2016, at 7:52 AM PST
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  3. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    My prediction? No matter what happens, Cruz is going to be made out to have lost. That is going to the narrative here on Ricochet, FoxNews, and just about everywhere that “Conservative” opinion carries any weight. Yes, even if he wins, he will have lost. You watch.

    • #3
    • February 1, 2016, at 8:39 AM PST
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  4. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Austin Murrey: The Dems have super delegates which will break for Hillary but I think Sanders is in the same position as Trump.

    OK, I’d forgotten about the super delegate factor. We’ll see how it goes. If Bernie Sanders has a brain, he’ll make a real issue out of the fact that the party insiders are all committed to Hillary and are thwarting the will of the base. (And maybe he is already doing this, I haven’t paid much attention to his campaign.) If the Democrats are feeling half as anti-establishment as the Republicans this year, this may not be as easy a ride for Clinton as she is expecting.

    • #4
    • February 1, 2016, at 9:01 AM PST
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  5. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey

    Robert McReynolds:My prediction? No matter what happens, Cruz is going to be made out to have lost. That is going to the narrative here on Ricochet, FoxNews, and just about everywhere that “Conservative” opinion carries any weight. Yes, even if he wins, he will have lost. You watch.

    Maybe. If Rubio comes in second to Cruz all the buzz will be about Rubio’s surge past Trump. This isn’t a conspiracy per se however because a Cruz, Rubio, Trump result or a Rubio victory would be genuinely surprising and would say a lot about Rubio as a candidate.

    If Trump wins and the caucuses mirror the polls however Rubio will be in trouble because he’s running third. It’s hard to be the Great Right Hope if you can’t pull better than 15% and other candidates are pulling 10-15% higher than you are.

    The biggest concern I have for Rubio is the Q4 FEC filings regarding small donors: he’s at 16% of his fundraising from small donors, 1% better than Trump. That may mean nothing regarding votes but given his burn rate (104% in Q4) and money raised ($14MM in Q4) he really needs to up his financial game to remain competitive in the later primaries. He’s got $10MM in cash on hand and he might need that money to fight Right to Rise in NH to win second place.

    Trump lives off free media but he’s also running a lean campaign (51% burn rate in Q4) and self financing ($10.1 MM of $13.5 MM is his own money). If he needs to burn money he can.

    • #5
    • February 1, 2016, at 9:08 AM PST
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  6. Profile Photo Member

    Austin Murrey: However it ends up, we’ll finally be on our way and the worst pre-primary season I can remember will be over.

    Amen.

    Someone asked me whether a Trump versus Sanders race was a sign of End Times. I responded that we should only be so lucky as it might put a limit on how long either might serve in office.

    • #6
    • February 1, 2016, at 9:11 AM PST
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  7. Spin Inactive
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I just want to say: no matter how Iowa goes, in any of your three situations, anyone who attempts to derive any meaning from the outcome is a fool. Yes, it will be spun. But all three top candidates must know that the results in Iowa do not stand alone. Anyone who stops supporting their candidate because another candidate won the Iowa caucus should have their voting privileges revoked.

    Of course, if Rubio wins, then I say everyone should realize what that means, and immediately dump their candidate and throw their support behind the only man who can win in the general, as evidenced by his winning in Iowa. ;-)

    • #7
    • February 1, 2016, at 9:14 AM PST
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  8. The Question Inactive

    My preference is Cruz, but if Rubio somehow pulled off an upset and came out ahead of Trump, or Trump and Cruz, I’d be very, very happy.

    • #8
    • February 1, 2016, at 9:48 AM PST
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  9. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    Austin Murrey:

    Robert McReynolds:My prediction? No matter what happens, Cruz is going to be made out to have lost. That is going to the narrative here on Ricochet, FoxNews, and just about everywhere that “Conservative” opinion carries any weight. Yes, even if he wins, he will have lost. You watch.

    Maybe. If Rubio comes in second to Cruz all the buzz will be about Rubio’s surge past Trump. This isn’t a conspiracy per se however because a Cruz, Rubio, Trump result or a Rubio victory would be genuinely surprising and would say a lot about Rubio as a candidate.

    If Trump wins and the caucuses mirror the polls however Rubio will be in trouble because he’s running third. It’s hard to be the Great Right Hope if you can’t pull better than 15% and other candidates are pulling 10-15% higher than you are.

    No the way it will be spun is that Iowa doesn’t matter because its electorate and the caucus process does not reflect “real” America in terms of voting. So if Trump wins, then Cruz will be made to be a loser because Trump’s no-ground-game-ground-game will have bested the Cruz Machine. If Rubio wins, then Ricochet will probably meltdown from the virtual, how shall we say, excitement that the members here will excrete. (I hope they have towels handy in case.) And if Cruz wins, then the complaints about Iowa being first will start.

    • #9
    • February 1, 2016, at 9:53 AM PST
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  10. Douglas Inactive

    Spin:I just want to say: no matter how Iowa goes, in any of your three situations, anyone who attempts to derive any meaning from the outcome is a fool.

    Iowa is entertaining, but near meaningless. Same for New Hampshire. South Carolina is the first real test. That said, this seems to be the election breaking all the rules. It ought to be bloody obvious to all involved by now that this is less an election than a rebellion by some very PO’d Americans.

    • #10
    • February 1, 2016, at 9:56 AM PST
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  11. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    Douglas:

    Spin:I just want to say: no matter how Iowa goes, in any of your three situations, anyone who attempts to derive any meaning from the outcome is a fool.

    Iowa is entertaining, but near meaningless. Same for New Hampshire. South Carolina is the first real test. That said, this seems to be the election breaking all the rules. It ought to be bloody obvious to all involved by now that this is less an election than a rebellion by some very PO’d Americans.

    We will know more about that when the candidates are decided I think. It’s going to be hard to make the case that the two Parties’ voters are PO’d when we have Rubio vs Clinton or something close to that effect. Anything short of Cruz/Trump vs Sanders is just going to show me that the electorates are just not really interested in change or any kind. Trump v Sanders would the ultimate middle finger to the Party bosses, particularly Trump.

    • #11
    • February 1, 2016, at 10:13 AM PST
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  12. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey

    Robert McReynolds: It’s going to be hard to make the case that the two Parties’ voters are PO’d when we have Rubio vs Clinton or something close to that effect.

    My greatest fear about Rubio winning the nomination is not that Rubio will be the nominee; it’s that the leadership/consultants/commentariat will draw the exact wrong conclusion from his nomination.

    In a more normal year neither Cruz nor Rubio would be running top three, much less two and three.

    Which is what makes the cycle’s fanboy-ism so darn annoying; it’s hard for me to get excited about my fourth and fifth overall choices maybe winning the nomination.

    • #12
    • February 1, 2016, at 10:17 AM PST
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  13. JRez Inactive

    Robert McReynolds:Yes, even if he wins, he will have lost. You watch.

    Truly wish this wasn’t so but, in my gut, I know you’re spot on. Cruz’s hill appears to be the highest to climb regardless of the head start finishing well or even first in Iowa might otherwise imply.

    • #13
    • February 1, 2016, at 10:21 AM PST
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  14. dbeck Inactive

    In my workplace I hear one comment more than others, that being “Are these people the best we can do for leaders?”

    • #14
    • February 1, 2016, at 11:04 AM PST
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  15. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    dbeck:In my workplace I hear one comment more than others, that being “Are these people the best we can do for leaders?”

    That is usually a tip off to me that the person is embarrassed about voting Democrat and doesn’t want it to feel like he/she is the only person voting for complete wastes of flesh. I had one of these in my last job and I was always amazed at how he would basically say the same thing about every election that came up, local or federal.

    • #15
    • February 1, 2016, at 11:19 AM PST
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  16. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    dbeck:In my workplace I hear one comment more than others, that being “Are these people the best we can do for leaders?”

    People say this every election.

    • #16
    • February 1, 2016, at 11:33 AM PST
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  17. Profile Photo Member

    dbeck: In my workplace I hear one comment more than others, that being “Are these people the best we can do for leaders?”

    Given the method of selection, probably yes.

    But there are too many interested players to change the method of selection.

    • #17
    • February 1, 2016, at 11:33 AM PST
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  18. Douglas Inactive

    Randy Weivoda:

    dbeck:In my workplace I hear one comment more than others, that being “Are these people the best we can do for leaders?”

    People say this every election.

    They’ve been saying it all my life, even when someone wins by a landslide. They said it during Reagan/Mondale in 84 (“Thank YOU, Mr. 13 electoral votes!” – Saturday Night Live to Mondale). They said it during Obama’s 08 win.

    • #18
    • February 1, 2016, at 11:59 AM PST
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  19. Douglas Inactive

    BTW, if you believe in omens…

    CaJ3OB0WEAA3mlp[1]

    • #19
    • February 1, 2016, at 12:10 PM PST
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  20. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey

    Robert McReynolds: My prediction? No matter what happens, Cruz is going to be made out to have lost. That is going to the narrative here on Ricochet, FoxNews, and just about everywhere that “Conservative” opinion carries any weight. Yes, even if he wins, he will have lost. You watch.

    I shouldn’t have doubted you – NR is already deploying the “Rubio’s winning Iowa” tweets and posts.

    The “Tiger Beat” conservatives will stop at nothing to sell you their latest crush.

    • #20
    • February 1, 2016, at 12:59 PM PST
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  21. Douglas Inactive

    Austin Murrey:

    Robert McReynolds: My prediction? No matter what happens, Cruz is going to be made out to have lost. That is going to the narrative here on Ricochet, FoxNews, and just about everywhere that “Conservative” opinion carries any weight. Yes, even if he wins, he will have lost. You watch.

    I shouldn’t have doubted you – NR is already deploying the “Rubio’s winning Iowa” tweets and posts.

    The “Tiger Beat” conservatives will stop at nothing to sell you their latest crush.

    They can spin all they like. Third place is third place.

    • #21
    • February 1, 2016, at 1:13 PM PST
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  22. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey

    Douglas:

    Austin Murrey:

    Robert McReynolds: My prediction? No matter what happens, Cruz is going to be made out to have lost. That is going to the narrative here on Ricochet, FoxNews, and just about everywhere that “Conservative” opinion carries any weight. Yes, even if he wins, he will have lost. You watch.

    I shouldn’t have doubted you – NR is already deploying the “Rubio’s winning Iowa” tweets and posts.

    The “Tiger Beat” conservatives will stop at nothing to sell you their latest crush.

    They can spin all they like. Third place is third place.

    That’s true – but 28, 27, 26 and 31, 24 and 17 are worlds apart.

    In politics, Toretto’s Law only applies in the general election.

    • #22
    • February 1, 2016, at 1:21 PM PST
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