Has “Trump fever” broken? Did Hillary win? Is the prairie fire doused? Has Big Media won? No!
Big Media is the enemy. Megyn Kelly at Fox News spoke with Marc Thiessen and Chris Stirewalt of Fox News last night and they all chortled. They said Donald Trump lost in Iowa because he defied Fox News by not attending their debate. Later Peter Johnson, the co-author along with Roger Ailes of the anti-Trump sneer memo that set Trump against the Fox News debate, also declared it was Trump’s defiance of Fox News that doomed him. Just about every Fox News mouth assured himself/herself that it was Trump’s defiance of Fox News that sealed defeat. This morning on Fox Business News, John McCain’s Hefty Hideaway girl, the other Meghan, likewise declared that Trump had defied Fox News and therein lay his defeat.
For Donald Trump and his supporters the lesson from last night is that the fight will not be over in one fell chop in Iowa. Instead it will be a long slough. Worst, it demonstrated that an inspirational campaign that brings out voters will not work without a tiresome campaign machinery. It was the Lincolnshire Rising/Pilgrimage of Grace come to America. If there is deep down misery in the Trump loss it is this combined set of reality. This is the lost hope from our predictions article yesterday:
First, a Donald Trump win will be a victory of an inspirational, mass movement campaign of the people, over a technocratic data driven machine that thinks of people as an old IBM card to be folded, spindled, and mutilated (although the Trump campaign claims a well run ground game it prefers to keep secret). Second, a Donald Trump win will be a great victory in the war against Big Media corruption of our politics, in this case one which specifically targets Fox News and hopefully in the future monstrosities such as NBC, MSNBC, and the rest of the Big Media monsters. Big Media is the enemy.
Fox News had a great night last night. We hope that Donald Trump is not cowed by last night and that he continues to fight Big Media.
Why did Fox News have a great night? Because their illegal immigration amnesty shill, the silver fork-tongued Marco Rubio had a great night.
The moment Donald J. Trump defied Fox News with his boycott of the Fox News debate, Fox News went into overdrive in ceaseless promotion of Marco Rubio. At Fox News every show became a Marco Rubio field office. It worked. Rubio became the designated anti-Cruz in the multi candidate race in which Trump and Cruz traded blows which annoyed the public, and votes flowed to him. Rubio had a great night.
The ostensible winner, Ted Cruz, this morning analyzed his victory as one that came about because of his strong attacks against “New York values”. If that is what Ted Cruz believes, Iowa will be a costly victory. To the extent “New York values” attacks resonated in Iowa it is due to the high evangelical population of the Iowa GOP. In New Hampshire the “New York values” attack will not meet with success. For Ted Cruz the question now is where does he replicate his Iowa victory? Does the Cruz victory now result in a poll shift in his favor in New Hampshire?
As to Marco Rubio, he had a great night. Rubio is now the designated candidate of the GOP establishment. Rubio’s problem is that in New Hampshire there are still plenty of other establishment candidates that hold vain hopes of victory. Kasich, Christie, and even the hapless Jeb await their Alamo. As to Jeb Bush, what will the former designated candidate of the GOP establishment do now? Jeb Bush still has $58 million in his SuperPac. Will Jeb Bush spend his cash in attacks against Rubio? Will Jeb Bush quit? Will Jeb Bush attack Trump? What will Jeb Bush do now with his cash?
Donald J. Trump? Trump did not need to win in Iowa. Trump does need to win New Hampshire. Trump has led in New Hampshire with such wide leads that he has a very good chance to follow the now traditional path of losing Iowa, winning New Hampshire.
Last night Trump defied the predictions of Trump haters with a strong, yet gracious, concession speech. There were no denunciations from Trump. It was all loveliness. It conveyed strength even as it was a retreat, think Dunkirk and George Washington. Trump congratulated “everybody” and thanked Iowa.
Donald J. Trump had reasons for his happy warrior, happy competitor, good humor. Premier Trump haters know why Trump’s demeanor was not that of a man defeated but an “on to New Hampshire” confidence. Trump hater Erick Erickson’s The Resurgent:
Donald Trump Is Just Getting Started
For the last seven months I have warned of the menace that is the Donald Trump campaign. [snip]
Trump didn’t win first place in the caucus, but he did place very respectably in 2nd place, and he did so with almost no GOTV organization to speak of. [snip]
Trump was able to do what most thought impossible, he got people to show up without a GOTV operation on the ground going door to door. [snip]
If he can do this in a caucus, which requires the voter to go out and stay out for a rather long time just to cast a series of votes, he can certainly do it in a primary. When you get right down to it, Donald Trump got nearly 40,000 people to show up on a cold February night when a blizzard is on the horizon. That’s no joke.
We have a series of proportional states forthcoming in which we could possibly see Trump pull higher numbers than he has here in Iowa precisely because it can be done with less organization.
What should scare everyone now is if there are any indications Trump decides this was a good opening negotiation point by the voters and begins spending on organization now in earnest.
After all, we know this was just the opening round and Trump isn’t done yet.
The Trump haters from the former Red State that banned Trump from their events are not alone is their red flag warnings:
The guy’s basically half-assing his campaign and he still beat the Great Establishment Hope for second place (I think) and nearly knocked off the hyper-organized, hyper-competent Cruz campaign. He’s no joke. And thanks to a divided moderate field, there’s still every reason to think he’ll win New Hampshire. I’ll leave you with this: Trump now at 41,812 votes, bigger than Huckabee’s 2008 total. That’s a real constituency.
Last night, Ted Cruz survived. That is the sum total of his achievement. Cruz’s long winded victory speech was not a plus. For Iowa, the state can congratulate itself because it did its job: winnow the field. Now New Hampshire and a long campaign of struggle, not a politics of joy.
Iowa not only provided a list of the candidates left standing it removed some of the least favorites from contention. Santorum is gone officially or not. Huckabee has suspended his campaign. Carly Fiorina will hang on till New Hampshire as will Kasich, Christie, Paul, Carson, Bush. But with no more second tier debates they are out unofficially and after New Hampshire they will be out officially.
As to the Democrats, Hillary’s miserable “success” prevents us from declaring a complete rout to our predictions. Hillary’s “victory” is as sleazy as Obama’s victory only less of a victory. Why sleazy? We have no idea what the vote total is. The Democrats are not reporting vote totals. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats are giving us the percentage of the delegates won under the arcane rules of the Iowa Democratic Party. This is disgusting. Anyone who comments on the Iowa results on the Dim side without mention that the Iowa Democrats will not tell us what the votes of the people are get a digital slap in the face from us. Let’s see the votes, not the phony delegate distribution controlled by party cheats and sleazebags.
The only “news” from Iowa on the Dim side is that we can now thank the cornfields that Martin O’Malley retired from the race. That’s the good news.
Who won? Who knows? We do know that Bernie Sanders needed a victory in Iowa in order to sustain the delusion that Bernie Sanders will get the nomination. Bernie Sanders will not get the nomination. All Bernie Sanders can do is prevent Hillary from the title “President Hillary”.
Iowa was a “must win” state for Bernie Sanders in the same way that Iowa was a “must win” state for Ted Cruz. Cruz got his “must win” but it likely is his penultimate win or last win.
For Bernie Sanders, the “must win” is a bit more complicated. Bernie Sanders’ “must win” Iowa was always a survival strategy to hurt Hillary. To that extent Bernie Sanders got his win.
As of this morning, we do not have a unanimous declaration of Hillary victory in Iowa, nor even an official declaration of anything. It’s still too close. As of today Hillary’s margin of “victory” is less than half a percent. But as we wrote,
Bernie Sanders needs a win. Nothing less. A loss of a quarter point won’t be worth a gallon of piss. Bernie Sanders needs a win.
Bernie Sanders did not get the win. The “win” is useful in most campaigns as it builds momentum for later victories. Bernie Sanders did not get the “win” but neither did Hillary. Hillary did not lose but Hillary did not win. Hillary’s best would have been not only to block Sanders but a victory that would have helped her:
The best that Hillary Clinton can expect is a win of more than 10 points that flattens Bernie Sanders – which gives her momentum and lays to rest all the doubts we and many others have expressed with barely concealed contempt. Hillary should have packed this Bernie loon into the lake a long time ago. But she couldn’t because she believes she can get the kooks to like and vote for her. That is delusional. So for Hillary, a victory will be a win that destroys Sanders, but it won’t get her much other than a victory over a loon.
Bernie Sanders did not win. Why didn’t Hillary win? Hillary didn’t win because the barely detectable margin of “victory” assures that Bernie Sanders will continue to drag Hillary further and further and further to the left and oblivion.
Bernie Sanders is already talking about “voter irregularities” and a possible recount. We don’t know what that means and all it does is, nothing. For Bernie it is a gallon of piss, but for Hillary, well:
How Iowa went wrong for Hillary Clinton
Her vaunted field organization performed as expected. But she didn’t.
DES MOINES – Monday night was Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign in miniature – it began with high hopes of a doubt-eradicating victory and ended with that same old anxiety, an inch beyond the jaws of an underdog. [snip]
Iowa wasn’t just supposed to be a tentative first step in Clinton’s inevitable march to the Democratic nomination, it was meant to be the cornerstone of a rebuilt political persona – and her national team was built from Iowa outward, with a foundational goal of winning here, and winning big.
But nothing is ever easy with Hillary Clinton – especially not here — and her inability to ride a first-class ground organization to triumph underscores the candidate’s weakness and the lack of a message that resonates with primary voters. [snip]
“You’re going to see a bounce in Bernie’s step tomorrow, the first evidence that their message may have taken hold,” said Mo Elleithee, a communications adviser to Clinton’s 2008 campaign. [snip]
How Clinton squandered such a commanding advantage in Iowa is an all-too familiar tale with echoes of 2008, of grit and a top-dollar organization undercut by the candidate’s flaws, the stubborn ambivalence of a state that has now delivered two embarrassments – but above all her inability to capture the zeitgeist of her own party.
Monday began with Clinton’s internal polling pointing to a tight but comfy five-point lead and ended with an essentially deadlocked result that her team chose to call victory.
“A win is a win,” her ally former Sen. Tom Harkin said from the stage here – but it was meager enough (if it existed at all) to allow a Democratic socialist who trailed her by 50 points six months ago to declare, with some justification, a kind of co-victory.
Bernie Sanders did not get a “co-victory”. There was no victory. There was only loss.
On to New Hampshire.