Trump really wants to win Iowa; here are 6 signs that he’s worried

13 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cruz wins Iowa, Trump wins New HampshireAt a private fundraiser in Manhattan, Cruz spoke to about 70 people about Trump and Ben Carson, two people who attended the event told The New York Times. “You look at Paris, you look at San Bernardino, it’s given a seriousness to this race, that people are looking for: Who is prepared to be a commander in chief?Once you get past the distasteful and often offensive rhetoric, it’s easy to see what Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner for the White House, is doing.Trump went after Ted Cruz at a town hall event in Iowa Friday evening, accusing the Texas senator of being beholden to big oil companies because he opposes ethanol subsidies, which are deeply popular in this agricultural state. “He’s a nice guy.Then Trump posed a question that could be poisonous to Cruz’s rise in the ethanol-friendly state: “If Ted Cruz is against ethanol, then how does he win in Iowa?” Trump made the comments after he warned Cruz would “fall like the others” if he decided to attack the billionaire.

I mean, everything I say he agrees with me, no matter what I say,” Trump began. “But with the ethanol, really, he’s got to come a long way.” Trump also appeared to take a veiled shot at Cruz’s family background, suggesting Cruz might have trouble appealing to the state’s evangelical voters. “I do like Ted Cruz, but not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba,” he said of the country where Cruz’s father, an evangelical preacher, was born. Cruz called the report “misleading.” Rick Tyler, a Cruz spokesman, told NBC News just last week that Cruz “is for eliminating all energy-specific subsidies,” not just the RFS but oil and other sources as well. A new poll released Friday showed Trump holding on to his brutal lead despite his call for shutting out Muslims from the US, which outraged people around the world. Trump has gone after his other opponents gleefully and viciously, panning Jeb Bush as low-energy, Ben Carson as “pathological” and Marco Rubio as a lightweight who drinks too much water.

It’s an issue that hits close to home for Iowans because it requires a certain amount of ethanol and other biofuels to be used in the U.S. fuel supply. Most Republican voters surveyed for this Reuters/Ipsos poll — an overwhelming 64% — said that they were fine with the controversial call and only 29% found it offensive.

Every one of us who is running is being assessed by the voters under that metric, and that is exactly why we have a democratic election to make that determination,” he said. What is more, factors in the political universe – say, God forbid, another terrorist attack – can quickly swing public opinion. (Remember how Ben Carson’s numbers declined after the Paris attacks?) The good news is that these predictions are based on a study of past primary elections, conducted by elections analyst Henry Olsen, who is the co-author of a new book, The Four Faces of The Republican Party. Cruz said he likes and respects those two rivals, but then he said, “I don’t believe either one of them is going to be our president,” according to the other source. It would be tempting to say Trump has survived yet another blow that would have felled a lesser politician, but that would be missing the point —he is not a politician.

Trump made a a big prediction: if he wins it in Iowa, “we’re gonna win everything after that.” And while Trump admitted, “I only like polls that treat me well,” that doesn’t change the reality that most polls do show him ahead of the field, with large leads over his rivals. Asked if he would support Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee, Cruz said, “I will absolutely support the Republican nominee…but I hope and intend for that nominee to be me.” Support for Cruz has been climbing, according to . found 35 percent of GOP primary voters back Trump, up 13 percentage points since October, and Cruz has moved into second place with 16 percent support nationally. Here is what he, more or less in his own words, has said he is: a hugely successful businessman, who is self-financing his campaign and, thus, doesn’t care about political correctness. He’s surging there, having picked up several key endorsements, and his flavour of conservative evangelicalism matches the state’s Republican primary base. (Disclosure: my wife previously consulted on Mr Cruz’s US Senate campaign.) A few days later, Donald Trump wins the New Hampshire primary.

Standing on a stage without a podium, a first for a man who often speaks from behind a lectern, the event felt like a true town hall as opposed to Trump’s usual raucous rally. Trump is way ahead in the polls there, and he does surprisingly well with Republican moderates who make up the largest faction of the Granite State’s primary base (see John McCain’s success there). Party leaders, on the other hand, worry that if and when Trump leaves the race, he would have scared away every major voter demographic except the most loyal. Brandy Dacken attended the rally unsure if she’d support Trump, but open to his signature matter-of-fact style and lack of concern for political correctness. “I like the things that Trump has to say.

The Palmetto State is thought of as a very conservative state, but as Olsen points out, it “mirrors the nation” and usually goes for the “somewhat conservative” candidate that defines Rubio’s constituency. Cruz wins Nevada on February 23, and then performs very well in what has been dubbed the “SEC Primary” – a collections of Southern states that will hold their primaries on March 1. According to one analysis, between January and November, ABC, NBC and CBS gave 234 minutes to Trump, while Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz combined got 83 minutes. And, assuming Rubio won South Carolina (my theory is that you have to win one of the first three states to remain viable), he should be well positioned to win these delegate-rich states.

What it doesn’t explain is Donald Trump.” If Trump maintains his strength, Mr Olsen says: “This will be the first election in 20 years where the dividing lines will not be ideological, they will be class-based.” Now, there is a theory that Trump’s poll numbers are exaggerated. This theory suggests that Trump’s name identification (the fact that people have heard of him) skews his numbers, and that many of his ostensible supporters have little history of having voted in the past, and may be less likely to show up and caucus in, say Des Moines, Iowa, on a cold and snowy night. Just this week, it was reported that top Republican leaders gathered to discuss a way to thwart Donald Trump from winning the nomination, with the possibility that it would take an 11th-hour floor fight at the convention to stop him. This could conceivably happen if the candidates take turns winning states, as I predicted above (for example, if Cruz wins Iowa, Trump wins New Hampshire, and Rubio wins South Carolina, etc).

Lewis is a senior contributor at The Daily Caller website in Washington, DC and is author of the forthcoming book “Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots)”

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