The Post-Iowa Fallout: Gamblers, Grumblers and Conspirators
It’s the day after the Iowa caucuses, and the fall-out has been quick and not-a-little crazy.
Here’s a round-up of some of the more curious happenings:
Donald Trump is officially a “loser” … if you believe what you find on the worldwide web. Loser.com currently redirects to the billionaire businessman’s Wikipedia page.
The “loser” label is extremely harsh for a guy who did come in a respectable second and currently leads in New Hampshire by 24 points in the RealClear Politics average. On the other hand, some of his supporters definitely deserve the label “poor sports.” They are convinced Microsoft conspired to hurt their guy, even launching the hashtag #MicrosoftRubioFraud. The thinking goes: Microsoft created the app used by Democrats and Republicans. Microsoft has donated money to Marco, and like, Marco wants an increase in skilled migrants to the US. Hence, Microsoft fixed the caucus vote. It takes just one tweet to put that conspiracy theory to rest.
Best part of #MicrosoftRubioFraud is the idea that Marco Rubio allegedly stole a slightly-higher-position in third place. Sure, makes sense.
— Philip Bump (@pbump) February 2, 2016
Trump himself put out a tweet Tuesday that’s worth a chuckle:
Anybody who watched all of Ted Cruz's far too long, rambling, overly flamboyant speech last nite would say that was his Howard Dean moment!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2016
Trump mocking another politician’s “rambling, overly flamboyant speech” is like Iowa criticizing another state for growing lots of corn.
Clean Clothes and Dirty Tricks
Ted Cruz won Iowa, but rather than spend the day enjoying a victory lap he had to spend part of it apologizing to Ben Carson. After CNN reported that Carson would not be flying straight to New Hampshire or South Carolina, Cruz’s campaign spread word among caucus-goers that the good doctor was suspending his campaign. Cruz would not admit to a “dirty trick,” as Carson put it. But he did express his regret in a statement:
Last night when our political team saw the CNN post saying that Dr. Carson was not carrying on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, our campaign updated grassroots leaders just as we would with any breaking news story,” Cruz said. “That’s fair game. What the team then should have done was send around the follow-up statement from the Carson campaign clarifying that he was indeed staying in the race when that came out.”
As Fox News reported, Carson’s camp is not impressed. “Carson said if Cruz was unaware of the tactics, then he should find out who was involved and fire them. And if Cruz knew about the effort, he should admit his involvement and ‘offer a solution.'” The Stream has more on the story.
For the record, Carson was simply returning to Florida to get some fresh clothes. After weeks on the campaign trail the ones he had were caked in mud.
Even though Ted Cruz won Iowa and Donald Trump came in second, the betting money is moving toward Marco Rubio. According to Daily Caller News Foundation, Donald Trump took a huge hit overnight among those wagering on the 2016 election.
(Betting site) PredictIt shares for Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination were selling for 48 cents apiece Jan. 31. By the end of Feb. 1, when it became clear that Trump had lost to Cruz and was only slightly ahead of Rubio for second place, they tumbled all the way down 27 cents. They recovered slightly Tuesday morning to rest at 31 cents as of this writing, but the outcome is still clear. Cruz’s upset in Iowa has made bettors extremely skeptical of Trump’s overall chances.
A similar shift was seen at the sports betting site Betfair. Although Cruz picked up some of the action, Rubio saw a huge surge from roughly a 30 percent chance of winning to above 50 percent.
If anyone knows “Lady Luck” today, it’s Hillary Clinton. In six precincts, the winner between Clinton and Bernie Sanders had to be determined by a coin toss. Hillary Clinton won each time. The odds of winning six coin flips in a row is 1-in-64. The most bizarre situation took place in precinct 2-4 in Ames. According to The Des Moines Register, the actual voter count was thrown in disarray “after 60 participants apparently disappeared from the proceedings.”
In essence, Sanders and Clinton ended up having to flip for the missing participants. Hillary called “heads,” won the toss and more importantly, an extra delegate.
As for those mysterious 60 participants. Apparently, they vanished into the Iowa corn stalks like Shoeless Joe Jackson — a guy who can tell you all about the dangers of gambling.
The Campaign Spokesman and Sticker Boy
Hillary Clinton blew a roughly 50 point lead to end up virtually tied in Iowa with a 74-year-old socialist. According to the RealClear Politics poll average that same socialist has her beat in New Hampshire by 18.1 points. Politico is writing “How Iowa went wrong for Hillary Clinton.” ABC News says “Hillary Clinton’s Celebration of Slim Iowa Win Leaves Some Doubts.” Today host Matt Lauer says the Iowa caucus results “had to be a near death experience for the once presumptive nominee.”
Said campaign spokesman Brian Fallon, “This is all going according to plan.”
One can’t help but be reminded of a young Kevin Bacon at the conclusion of Animal House:
Getting into the Delta House frat spirit of things Monday night was Drake University’s Peter Clinkscales — or as he’ll forever be known in campaign lore, “Sticker Boy.” During Hillary’s victory speech, Sticker Boy stole the show by plastering his face with Hillary stickers and proceeding to eat them. Apparently, if you’d believe her explanations for those classified emails you’d swallow anything.
Yes, it’s that kind of election year. And the first votes have only just been cast.