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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Iowa Matters

If you asked 100 everyday Americans what happened at the Iowa Caucus Monday night, I'm betting at least 50 would have no idea what the Iowa Caucus is...For that matter, I'm betting at least 10 have no idea where Iowa is, and at least 1 wouldn't know when Monday was.

Most of those who know the Iowa Caucus occurred will wonder: 'Why do they have goofy caucuses instead of just having a popular vote?'

Each state is allowed to make their own nominating process, and the caucuses are from a time in the past - a time when technology and travel was limited.  Yes they are a little antiquated, but I think they serve a valuable function:  The President of the United States is the nations chief executive.  He is the CEO of our country, and if he doesn't have excellent organizational and administrative skills he has no business being our President.  The caucuses highlight these organizational skills - an important skill each American voter should be looking at.

That said, the Iowa Caucus was important because it taught us some things about the 2016 Presidential Nomination process.

Republicans
- Donald Trump is not going to ride a wave and become the easy nominee...He may eventually become the nominee, but he is not going to get it easily.  Donald will win plenty of primaries, because there is no doubt the power of popular culture will continue to give him a huge advantage over much less known politicians.  And those who are giddy at seeing Trump lose in Iowa need to remember he wasn't really predicted to win it, and he isn't going to disappear.
- Cruz and Rubio have superior organizations, which is why they showed so well in the caucus...It will be interesting to see if Cruz or Rubio's organizational supremacy can make up the difference in Trump's name recognition.
- It will also be interesting to see if Trump will even bother to improve his political organization, or if he will rely solely on his name...I think he learned a lot in Iowa, and will recognize his organization is too weak to go the distance.  He is a smart guy, and I'm betting he is a quick learner in the political game.
- Huckabee finally gave up, and there are at least a few others who need to drop this week as well - Fiorina and Santorum are the most likely to do so.  Carson and Paul will be next if they don't do much better in New Hampshire; which they won't.
- Cruz and Trump scored in the range many predicted (give or take a few points), but Rubio really did well compared to the expectations...I've been saying for a long time that Rubio would be most voter's second choice, and would benefit when it came time to start voting, because people who like Fiorina, Santorum, Huckabee, etc., would realize their favorite had no chance and would vote for Rubio instead.  We'll see if this continues to happen as candidates drop out.
- I only think one of the governors makes it past South Carolina (Feb. 20).  Kasich and Christie may do well in New Hampshire, but there isn't room for everyone past Carolina...I'd bet on Christie.
- Bush has a boatload of cash, but for the life of me I don't know why he would want to continue the humiliation.

Democrats
- Short of prison, there is still no way Bernie is going to beat Hillary.  He may win a few states (like New Hampshire on Tuesday), but he'll never win enough to garner enough delegates to overwhelm her Super Delegate lead.
- Bernie won't win, but Hillary isn't going to sail into the nomination easily...He seems more and more invigorated, and Hillary's flaws show more and more with each passing day.  She really is a terrible candidate, and even Democrats know it - though that won't stop them for voting for her.
- The 'kids' really don't like Hillary...She won Iowa (by the slimmest of slim margins), but she got hammered by the 'under 45 crowd.'  This is going to be a problem for the entire nomination process, and will really be a problem if these 'kids' don't show up for her in the Presidential Election - which is a wild card considering how fickle they are.
- Hillary may not want to acknowledge it, but her FBI problems are a huge issue...Democrat voters were interviewed after caucusing, and more than half said they don't believe she is honest, and have a problem with her email/server issues.  This is going to dog her for the entire process - it'll likely get much worse.
- If Democrats don't trust her, I can only imagine how bad her numbers are with 'independents.'
- If not for winning 6 coin flips, Hillary would have lost Iowa...Yes, the Democrats actually use a coin flip to break ties in the Iowa Caucus.  Hillary won all 6 of the coin flips - a pure coincidence I'm sure.
- Martin O'Malley dropped out...Not that anyone noticed.

Ultimately, Iowa matters because it got the ball rolling.  Up until Monday everything was speculation and reading of the tea leaves...The game is on, and we are on our way towards having nominees - and then a new President.

I hope you are paying attention and are involved.  Our Founding Fathers created our republic on the assumption 'the people' cared enough to care...Sadly, I'm pretty certain time is proving them to be incorrect, but it is our home and we will eventually get what we ask for - what we deserve.  For better or worse.

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