As usual, a live blog is not edited and my thoughts as they arise watching coverage.
My call at the start: @tedcruz 29% (GOTV), @realDonaldTrump (28%)) @marcorubio (21%).
While it might have been more interesting to some to do a “love blog,” relating CS Lewis and his book on love to politics as my original title stated, I have changed the title to “live blog!”
Trust me the first reports always tells us that turnout is huge. The reporters always gather in the places most likely to have “huge” turnout.
Tight race with Trump, Cruz, and Rubio bunched up according to Fox entrance polls. Trump is leading.
Fox entrance polls are a blow to HRC: new voters and voters looking for “honest and trustworthy” folk turned to Sanders.
Evangelical vote is up and the “new Republican” is somewhat up.
We can all chatter, but real people are now making real decisions. We will “winnow” the field . . . which you have to say in Iowa.
I think this race looks better for Trump in the opening chatter.
For Democrats honesty is not a good thing. Fox “feels” like Trump is going to win . . . I have been watching folks for a great while and the “tell” is to Trump. This is the last chance for people who have no idea on television of what is happening to guess what is happening. This is my last chance online, when I have no idea what is happening, to guess what is happening.
Cruz is “all in” with Iowa. If he can not win here, where outside of the old CSA does he win? Cruz has used “science” to run . . . Trump has run on guts. Trump says “Evangelicals get him.” Donald and family are making a personal pitch. That is a powerful pitch. Marco Rubio has had Big Mo and that is a big thing. The magic number is 18% . . . if Rubio cannot make 18 and separate from the batch, then he has failed.
If HRC cannot crush Bernie, when the field was cleared for her, then she will be demonstrated to be the worst candidate of my time to be taken seriously. She might win, but she is a joyless campaigner. She is going to lose everyone younger than I am. I have to wonder what my Democratic friends are doing. This is a person incapable of sweeping a field set up for her, with full control of the party, and tacit support of the President.
If Iowa feels the Bern AND she loses New Hampshire (which she will if she loses Iowa). . . what happens next? I know she will still win, but does the Party really want another exhausting primary season?
If Trump wins narrowly, then Cruz is badly wounded. If Rubio is “close,” then the race is on, but if Trump clobbers Rubio and Cruz, then I don’t see stopping him in New Hampshire. Where then will he be stopped?
Karl Rove, by now, has “touched” everyone if he is running a race. This is disturbing.
Microsoft is running this race . . . and now we know that there will be a blue screen of death soon.
Bernie Sanders is upset with Microsoft, like most of America.
FOX says record turnout: Donald Trump got his people out.
Not going to the debate appears, however, to have hurt Trump. Late deciders went against him. We will see.
HRC got swamped with young adults.
Dr. Carson is now speaking. He is a man whose voters outran and so the candidacy died before the man.
Poor Bush the Cuddly Bear: if he is under five percent, then why not drop out for the good of the party?
Iowa doesn’t pick the winners, but it does get rid of losers: Huckabee, Santorum, Bush, Christie, Kasich. Nothing. Time to go guys.
Trump will build a wall. . . .we will build a wall. We will not “lose anymore.” I am certainly against losing . . .
My Dad is an Eisenhower Republican . . . and is growing surly. My son Ian is a Romney Republican and is growing bitter. He is going to his own island and living there as ruler. He threatens to build a wall around it and make Donald Trump pay for it.
Report from Iowa from insider friend: at least one precinct had no Trump speaker. That will matter if it is close.
O’Malley is crushed to discover that “nobody wants you” was a reality. He is the prom date that nobody wanted. Somebody should have given O’Malley one percent of their vote to prevent his self-esteem from crashing. He has lost his privilege. Someone help the poor lad. Tonight O’Malley and Bush will knock back a cold Tab and remember 1988.
Krauthammer says: “Trump with Cruz and Rubio.” Dr. Carson will have made Trump the winner, if he wins.
One truth: Republicans are energized. This is a bad sign for Clinton. Carson is beloved in the party. He is making money off of this, but he is not running a campaign.
Dear Britt Hume: Protestants have no pope.
HRC: a coalition of the aged.
If Rubio pops twenty percent, then everyone else other than Cruz and Trump need to go.
Trump should have debated no matter what happens. He gave Rubio a lane . . . and now Rubio will step on his story.
Cruz and Trump are in a dead heat. So that does not help either one of them. Tie goes to . . . Rubio.
Jim “Happy” Gilmore is the favorite in our room as we recall fond memories of his time fishing with us at the old fishing hole in Virginia. Actually, we only vaguely recall that Jim “Happy” Gilmore exists. We think he thinks, therefore he is. And yet given that we have not seen him, we take this by faith and not by sight
There is some evidence from the chums in Iowa that Trump voters are not willing to speak up for their candidate.
Big voter centers still out . . . 150k maybe. . . but Cruz campaign tipped that 170k or less would mean his win.
If Cruz wins, then the old campaigning is justified. If Trump wins, the rules have changed.
If these results held: Cruz, Trump, Rubio all in the twenties, then Trump is the big loser. Fox is cheering up: bad sign for Trump. Enthusiasm on the GOP sign is high and that matters . . . if the party can unify. Can it? There is bad blood in my Twitter feed.
The data game by the RNC is much better than four years ago.
A new piece of data: chum reports a critical district went overwhelmingly for Rubio.
Rubio is running ahead of polls. If he comes in second, then Trump will bleed badly. My call at the start: @tedcruz 29% (GOTV), @realDonaldTrump (28%)) @marcorubio (21%).
And so the voters weigh in: can we all agree that polls are nuts? Forget polls. Vote. Polls are the equivalent of reading entrails of a piece of Iowa corn.
Another private source reports that many Trump people showed up and may not have voted Trump.
Sanders has already humiliated Clinton.
If Trump does not win, it will be because a majority of Evangelicals rejected him.
If there is record turnout and Trump loses, that will be a huge blow. It means that people were energized, but not necessarily for him. Skipping the debate was (as for Reagan in Iowa) a very, very bad idea.
Don”t start a land war in Asia or skip an Iowa debate.
“Shares my values” . . . is number one issue- Cruz, Rubio, Trump. Can we hear an end to Evangelicals as monolith?
In 1988 the first year I was personally involved in politics, Iowa kept Robertson, Dole, and Bush in the race. It eliminated good men like Jack Kemp. As usual there will be three tickets out of Iowa: Cruz, Trump, Rubio . . . as everyone suspected.
Those of us who wondered if Trump had rewritten all the rules now know he did not, but that he did very well with unconventional campaign rules. What if he had spent money? What if he had gone to the last debate? What if he had attacked Rubio harder?
We will see. He has 1/4 GOP voters. Trump has a huge “polling lead” (occult reading), but what will this do to it?
Projected turnout: 170k. This was said to be a Trump victory. If it isn’t, that is brutal to the businessman.
O’Malley suspended his campaign. Gary Hart fans are saddened.
If I had to guess, Sanders will win and Clinton will be humiliated . . . proving to have gone to the Piraeus, but not with Socrates. . . with Alcibiades.
Given Sanders’ age, my Dad has decided to run. He is a democratic republican: Eisenhower as model.
So really, the story of tonight is that HRC is the worst candidate ever to get all the support from the establishment. She is losing to bad looking Robert Deniro.
My call at the start: @tedcruz 29% (GOTV), @realDonaldTrump (28%)) @marcorubio (21%).
2. Don’t skip debates.
3. Don’t go negative or if you do back it with local endorsements.
Yuge turnout.. . . and yet: Cruz, Trump/Rubio.
Fox calls it.
And so there is no way around it: This is a huge win for Cruz. He did better than expected. He needed this and the race is on. Trump is humbled as he essentially tied Rubio. Rubio is ecstatic. This is a three way race.
Mike Huckabee drops out. He was a good man, but became bitter by the end. I am sorry to see it.
Cruz took a punch and kept running. I have met him and he is brittle, but bright . . . he kept his cool and executed his plan. Trump lost big. Rubio is the establishment guy.
If this is 1988, as I suggested earlier, then Rubio is going to win. He is in the 2/3 position of Bush in 1988 as opposed to Robertson/Dole.
Dear Mr. Rubio: are there still safe and stable neighborhoods in Miami Beach?
Marco goes super positive. Marco gets to speak and gives a spell binder while people still awake. Cruz blew it.
Marco total focus on the Democrats . . . and he misspoke, but caught it. Marco is going to be in Iowa every year.
Cruz set a record for votes in the Iowa caucus: Dole, Reagan, Bush . . .anyone. Stop. Think about it.
HRC may force some favorite sons/daughter candidates to run and open up the convention. Isn’t it obvious she cannot win? Seriously, She is 2 points up on Trump.
So HRC will “win” Iowa by one or two votes. So what . . . isn’t this like Dole “beating” Robertson? Clinton is a major loser.
Let’s be plain: Bernie Sanders is a loveable lunk. He has tied Secretary Clinton. She is viewed as untrustworthy and unlikable by Iowa Democrats. If she wasn’t viewed as a “winner,” then she would have lost.
180k or more on GOP side. Cruz still won.
Major loser: HRC.
There are always three tickets out of Iowa: Cruz, Trump, Rubio.
Can Trump take a punch?
How may “establishment” people drop out?
Cruz didn’t win on low turnout but in record turnout. What does that imply for Iowa’s key electoral votes?
Ted Cruz gives the single most self-indulgent speech of our time. Endless. Great at times, but world without end amen. Stop Ted. You win. Stop.