It is on to New Hampshire for most of the remaining Democratic and Republican field and I thought I would throw a few thoughts out there. In the end, really, I hesitate to join the chorus of people who are already overstating the significance of the results from Iowa. It is only one state, and too often its winners end up going down the tubes later. And everyone who covers politics knows this, yet you are seeing opinions from the “instant pundits” who think the Iowa results signify far more than they do.
All Iowa did for me was confirm things about the Donald Trump campaign that I have suspected all along — namely, that its lack of an overall organization would cost them dearly at some point. And in Iowa, it did. All the shortcomings of the Trump campaign were laid bare for everyone to see in the final results — he was out-organized on the ground by Ted Cruz, pure and simple. As for Trump’s idiot decision to pick fights with Megyn Kelly and skip the final Fox News debate, all that did was set the stage for a strong debate performance for Marco Rubio which helped him surge to within striking distance of Trump on caucus night. Anyway, let all of what happened in Iowa be a lesson for Trump. His campaign got schooled by the political pros in Iowa, badly. That is all I have to say on that.
Two things I want to say going into New Hampshire. First, I know that both Trump and Bernie Sanders have massive leads there at the moment, according to the polls. As you now know from Iowa, polls are for dogs. But also it should be pointed out that, traditionally, opinion is known to shift in NH after Iowa is over.
For proof of that, look no further than the surge to Gary Hart in 1984, when he went to NH and toppled Walter Mondale, who was supposed to have a massive lead. And part of the reason Hart did so well was because word had gotten out about how well Hart had done in Iowa. So again, that probably helps a guy like Rubio who really exceeded expectations in Iowa. For the people who don’t want either Trump or Cruz, Rubio is starting to look really good.
But also, it could be that Iowa ends up meaning nothing. Remember what happened in 1980 in Iowa, when George Bush upset Ronald Reagan? And it was eerily similar circumstances, too, to the 2016 race, with frontrunner Reagan infamously skipping a major debate right before the caucuses.
But look what happened after Iowa: Reagan basically ran the table. He slaughtered Bush in New Hampshire. And in the general election, Reagan slaughtered Jimmy Carter and was elected President.
Like I said before — Iowa is only one state. Don’t think for one moment the results mean Trump is finished. We could be far from finished with him and his big mouth.