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Iowa Approaches at Last

Don Rose 26 January 2016 2 Comments

As the summer of Trump gave way to the autumn of Trump, then the winter of Trump/Cruz, in only a few days we will get the first actual result of actual people in the actual state of Iowa  actually casting ballots in their own arcane way.

The very idea unleashes a blizzard of bizarre, “who’da thunk” items swirling through what’s left of my brain. Prime among them is who’da thunk it would come down to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz? The Republican nomination has boiled down to a battle of Frankenstein vs. Dracula–or Lex Luthor vs. The Joker.  I speak as a progressive, but my thoughts are shared by many conservatives, in print and on the air.


You have probably seen those conflicting polls of potential Iowa caucus-goers, one giving Cruz a large margin, the other virtually reversing the numbers in favor of Trump. How can this be–apart from lousy pollsters? Because even the best pollsters have a hard time screening for those who will actually turn out the evening of Feb. 1 to devote a couple of hours face to face with dozens of neighbors. They then must declare themselves for one of more than a dozen contenders. Different  “screens” can produce wildly different results.

Cruz is running close, but if he loses it will likely be the end of his chance for the nomination, though he’ll pick up a few delegates later in the states of the old confederacy. If he wins, it will give him a boost in the New Hampshire primary, but Trump seems unbeatable there, where the polling has been very consistent. I think now, barring some rabbit being pulled out of a hat by the mythical Republican Establishment, that Trump will be the eventual nominee. Who’da thunk?

It’s similarly close on the Democratic side in Iowa, with Hillary Clinton slightly favored over Bernie Sanders, though Sanders has all the enthusiasm and his highly motivated workers could bring him in–then on to New Hampshire where he is a strong favorite. From that point on, conventional wisdom has it that the rest of the calendar and the election map works against “a socialist” in the long run, also because thus far he is not doing well with African Americans, a key constituency in Democratic primaries. If, however, he wins both Iowa and New Hampshire–who’da thunk?–voters everywhere might give him a second look. People love winners–just ask Trump.

All of which makes me wonder whether Sanders’s success thus far makes Elizabeth Warren regret not having run. Had she done so, in my little world of speculative fantasy, Sanders might not have jumped in because they would be working the same constituencies with similar ideas–and she would start far better known. She has never declared herself a socialist, therefore would not have to keep explaining the label–plus she could be the historical figure as the first woman president. She is well loved, a far better campaigner than Clinton, and could do well all across the map.

She might have won it all. Who’da thunk?

Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer


  • Other People's Money said:

    Oldsters can recall when Elizabeth Warren claimed to be a Republican some time ago, but that was yesterday and yesterday is gone.

  • Mike Buck said:

    Elizabeth Warren may yet have her day in the Sun….not as a Presidential candidate, but as Joe Biden’s V.P. running mate. Regardless of whether Mrs. Clinton is indicted (and I doubt that she will be) strong showings by Sanders could serve to further illustrate Mrs. Clinton’s incompetence as a campaigner. As one wag has put it “She’s so bad she makes Jeb Bush look like Lee Atwater.” Panic among powerful Democrats as well as the rank and file may take hold with the realization that their “Little Miss Sure Shot” is a robotic scold of questionable character possessing no significant accomplishments as a public “servant.” Add to that an unpleasant demeanor which forecasts the prospect of four, or even eight years of a Marjorie Maine doppelganger occupying the White House…..well this all might be enough to pull Biden back into the picture. And a female running mate from the bolshie wing of the party would be the best approach to assuaging the disappointment of party feminists.

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