What a caucus, so close. A Clinton vs Cruz contest is a nightmare for Republicans and a dream scenario for Democrats. It would be like Goldwater vs Johnson, yes, but even moreso, with the way that congressional campaigns no longer run as separate to the national election.
Clinton has finally won Iowa, haha. Bern, so close, 49.6 - 49.3. Hard to fathom that O'Malley's .05 is the difference maker. They will split the delegates, Clinton and Sanders, but you know that Clinton is going to make a sweep, or pretty close, of the superdelegates.
Trump lost the groundgame. That was the big question mark. The total amount of voters was very high, over 186K, but Trump fell below 50k that was his benchmark. How about Santorum finishing 11th out of 11th after winning it all last time. The Governors, Christie, Bush & Kasich need to get in a room and decide which one of them will get the other two behind. Rubio did the best in the more urban areas of Iowa, which is the most difficult to pick up in polling. It's also due to the paper's endorsement.
Anyway, Trump. I thought he would win, but he lost because of having no ground game. I remember being in Iowa for 2008, and caucus night, I was in a eatery before the vote, talking with a couple. Young, moderate Republican-Independents, they supported Obama. But, last minute, they decided to go out to eat and to a movie instead of the caucus. Weak support, or newtime voters, have to be prodded to vote. Obama had the machine to turnout an extra 25K, Trump did not, even though the supporters were there for him to get. It was also a huge hurdle that to vote one had to register as Republican. Yuch.
Onto NH. I love that primary, Dixville Notch pre-election night is a sight to behold. One-of-a-kind. It's on c-span now, but to actually go there, to that old place, get tea and cookies, mingle with the locals as they come in to vote. I did it once, which was enough, because I had to drive back to Burlington that night, over White Mt in windy cold with snow conditions.
We shall see what the polls say. Rubio will have appeal in NH, he will get a bounce. Cruz winning Iowa is probably best for Trump in the long run. First, to show his supporters that they have to vote, and second, as Cruz taking 20-25% of the vote means Trump wins with pluralities in the open-voting primaries. Maybe Kasich already peaked in low double-digits in NH. Probalby half a dozen R's drop out and endorse, or not, before the primary next week? Certainly afterwards there will only be a handful left. Trump, Cruz, Rubio, two-three other slots. Carson if he wants it; Paul could always linger too; maybe someone that gets 4th in NH.
Sanders must win NH, looks like he will handily. Like 57 - 43, but I suspect that will close to within single-digits. Higher turnout would bring up her numbers, of course, she is likley underpolled among women too, as she was in 2008.