Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
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.