Originally published at Dave Miller Daily
I just got home from the caucuses (well, from getting some gas for my snowblower and such – we are supposed to get a foot to foot and a half of snow tomorrow) and I have some initial thoughts.
1. When I drove in to the community center, my heart sank. Last time, we parked in the main area and walked in. This time, I dropped my wife off and drove to Kansas City, where I parked and walked to the door. There was a long line to enter and sign in. Many of the people in the line were filling out the registration cards, to switch their registration to Republican so they could vote tonight.
The fact is that the Trump vote that took my precinct was mostly people who were independent joining the party to vote Trump.
2. Initial returns show that basically, my predictions are close to true. Cruz is going to win the Republican vote. Trump is underperforming statewide and Rubio is blasting predictions out of the water. There is still talk that Rubio could surpass Trump when all the votes are counted. That would be huge.
3. The old adage that there are only 3 tickets out of Iowa may be true. Kasich and Christie didn’t really run here and maybe they have a chance in New Hampshire to resurrect their campaigns, but Bush, Carson, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Santorum are basically dead men (and a woman) walking.
4. It’s time for the sanity vote to coalesce. Donald Trump is taking around 24% of the vote here. If you add Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Paul, Bush, and Kasich together, that comes to 70%. That sanity vote needs to join together around either Cruz or Rubio. It’s no secret I’m a Rubio fan, and I think that he is going to play better nationally than Cruz is. Iowa Republicans are famous for going for Huckabee, Santorum, and other evangelicals who are not as popular with the rest of the nation. Very soon, the support for the sanity candidate needs to join together to stop the insanity of the Trump movement.
5. On the Democrat side, the margin is razor-thin. Hillary has a lead thinner than me in high school. Some pundits think it might turn to Bernie by the end of the night as more Johnson County votes are counted – that’s Iowa City, the most liberal city in Iowa (in America?).
6. I was VERY discouraged when I left my precinct, thinking perhaps our results would be repeated throughout the state. But I am VERY encouraged now. Not only did the Trump insanity get dealt a blow, but the story of the night is that my man Marco far exceeded expectations and still has an outside chance of surpassing Trump for second.
My frown has been turned upside down.