Quotes of the day

posted at 10:01 pm on February 2, 2016 by Allahpundit

Donald Trump on Tuesday said “we had a very good result” in Iowa, adding that he wished he had spent more time campaigning there.

“I was told don’t even go to Iowa, start right here in New Hampshire,” Trump said during a press conference in Milford, New Hampshire. “We came very close to winning, we came in second place,” though he acknowledged it “could have been one notch better.”…

But Trump, who has spent so much of his campaign talking about winning, tried to tamp down expectations for future votes.

“If it works out … that’s great, and if it doesn’t that’s OK, too,” Trump said. “It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.”

***

Republican Senator Ted Cruz has made a career out of tormenting his party’s leaders. But they cheered his come-from-behind victory in Iowa on Monday all the same for one simple reason: he dealt a early blow to their common enemy, Donald Trump…

Trump, who has led most public opinion polls for the past six months, was on the verge of victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, something no non-incumbent Republican had ever done. That outcome could have given Trump’s unlikely candidacy near unstoppable momentum in the race to the nomination.

Now, Trump—who has promised supporters so many victories that they “may get bored with winning”—heads into New Hampshire without securing the win that he himself said would allow him to “run the table.” And not only does he face a strong challenger in Cruz, but also a revitalized U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who raked in 23 percent of the vote.

“This will change the polls in New Hampshire by Friday,” said Ron Kaufman, a senior adviser to 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney and member of former President George H.W. Bush’s administration.

***

The number of votes Trump received in Iowa would have given him a clear win in any other year. But not this year, where he came in well behind Ted Cruz and barely beat Marco Rubio. Consider that for a moment. In the year that is supposed to be the huge “outsider” wave, when opposition to immigration and “amnesty” is supposedly the driving issue, Trump should be crushing Rubio. Instead, he was only 1.2 percentage points ahead.

What happened? Trump voters turned out — but so did the anti-Trump voters. Thousands and thousands of Iowans were motivated to go to the caucuses specifically to vote for somebody other than Trump.

I’m going to take this as a little vindication, as evidence that I got something right this time around. (It’s compensation for 2012, when it seemed like I got every election prediction wrong.) I had pointed out that, while Trump has the fanatical support of one faction of voters, he also has the most negatives, the most Republican voters who hate the whole idea of him. Iowa bears that out. Trump doesn’t just motivate people to vote for him; he also motivates a lot of Republicans to vote against him and for somebody else.

***

That 10-point swing was enough to make Mr. Trump’s defeat the biggest polling error in an early primary since Hillary Clinton defeated Barack Obama in New Hampshire in 2008. But even that measure understates the extent that the polls misjudged Mr. Trump’s strength.

Mr. Trump was at 31 percent in the final polls, but finished with just 24 percent. In our data set of early primary polls from New Hampshire and Iowa since 2004, no candidate underperformed the final surveys by as much as Mr. Trump. Mrs. Clinton, for instance, mainly beat Mr. Obama by outperforming her polling, not because Mr. Obama fell short…

It’s always hard to figure out why polls are wrong, but this time the stakes are higher. Republican strategists have hoped for months that Mr. Trump’s lead was an illusion. The results in Iowa at least raise the possibility that they’re right — which would call into question Mr. Trump’s advantage elsewhere…

It could be exactly what his opponents have been hoping: a sign that he’s not as strong as he and the polls have been saying.

***

From my re­port­ing in the fi­nal week of the cam­paign, the signs of Trump fa­tigue were all over. A rally in Coun­cil Bluffs on Sunday hardly filled the middle school gym­nas­i­um, and drew out-of-state gawkers, mem­or­ab­il­ia seekers, and Iowa voters who were there just to see the spec­tacle. His lead­ing sur­rog­ate, Sarah Pal­in, was re­ceived with si­lence in in­tro­du­cing him Monday in Ce­dar Rap­ids. Empty seats con­tin­ued at his events. He not­ably de­clined to pre­dict vic­tory on Monday’s morn­ing shows…

The biggest ques­tion is wheth­er his col­lapse in Iowa will sig­ni­fic­antly de­flate his num­bers else­where. There’s reas­on to be­lieve that Trump could lose New Hamp­shire, where he cur­rently holds a com­mand­ing lead. As Ru­bio con­sol­id­ates sup­port, Trump loses some of his.

But Trump still has a floor of dis­af­fected work­ing-class voters who won’t be go­ing away. In South­ern states, those voters over­lap sig­ni­fic­antly with Cruz sup­port­ers. Against his in­stincts, he gave a gra­cious, brief con­ces­sion speech, show­ing he can learn from past mis­takes. There was no Howard Dean-scream mo­ment here. Trump still has op­por­tun­it­ies to put vic­tor­ies on the board, but in the short term he’s Ru­bio’s best stra­tegic friend…

The anti-Trump ele­ments with­in the Re­pub­lic­an Party talked a big game, but pro­claimed help­less­ness. They ar­gued that at­tack ads against a Te­flon Trump were point­less, and would back­fire. But when Cruz’s cam­paign and a sep­ar­ate su­per PAC run by former Mitt Rom­ney ad­viser Katie Pack­er went on air in the race’s fi­nal week, his num­bers tumbled. That’s not a co­in­cid­ence.

***

The debate decision showed that Trump’s political instincts could be wrong. But the caucus loss could point to even more serious problems ahead for Trump.

A lot of people like Trump and agree with what he has to say. They cheer him on. But as the time to vote approaches, they apply a seriousness test, a test of whether they would trust him in a position of grave responsibility. The difference between Trump’s high pre-caucus polls and his underwhelming support in the actual caucus could indicate that voters who had supported him for months beforehand began to develop doubts as the time neared to actually cast a ballot. Would it be safe and smart to vote for this guy?

Just as fundamentally, Trump’s Iowa loss could cast doubt on his unconventional tactics in other states. Trump’s strategy is based on a big bet: that because voters are tired of conventional politicians, then they will also be resistant to conventional political appeals. Iowa proved just the opposite. Ted Cruz won a smashing victory by doing things the old-fashioned way, visiting all of Iowa’s 99 counties, pressing the flesh in gatherings of 100, 150 people, and tailoring his pitch to appeal to concerned evangelicals. That — plus a highly sophisticated data operation — won the day for Cruz. Trump tried something different, and it didn’t work…

If Iowans who once supported him did in fact retreat when it came time to enter the voting booth — if they did in fact worry that he is just not serious enough to become president — Trump has a problem that might not be possible to solve.

***

There may have been a more basic reason for Trump’s loss: The dude just ain’t all that popular. Even among Republicans.

The final Des Moines Register poll before Monday’s vote showed Trump with a favorability rating of only 50 percent favorable against an unfavorable rating of 47 percent among Republican voters. (By contrast, Cruz had a favorable rating of 65 percent, and Rubio was at 70 percent.) It’s almost unprecedented for a candidate to win a caucus or a primary when he has break-even favorables within his own party…

What about those national polls showing Trump with support in the mid- to high 30s? They might also be a mirage, reflecting a combination of the Trump base (24 percent is nothing to sneeze at, but also well short of a winning coalition), plus a few other bandwagon-jumpers who come along for the ride but who may peel off as they research the candidates more deeply…

What might Pat Buchanan plus obsessive, round-the-clock media coverage look like? Well, possibly a lot like Donald Trump. Iowa voters made Trump appear to be much more of a factional candidate along the lines of Buchanan, who received 23 percent of Iowa’s vote in 1996, than the juggernaut he’s been billed as.

***

But in Iowa on Monday night we saw the limit of Trump’s appeal. Like any other piece of showbiz theatrics, Trump was more spectacle than substance.

Many supporters may have been interested in symbolically sticking their thumb in somebody’s eye, but they are reality TV watchers, not actually interested in politics or governance. They didn’t show up. We can expect similar Trump underperformance in state after state.

Furthermore, we saw a big management failure in Trump’s organization. Bernie Sanders is a good enough executive that he was able to lead a campaign that brought outsiders to the polls. Trump is not as effective a leader as Sanders…

What happened in Iowa was that some version of normalcy returned to the G.O.P. race. The precedents of history have not been rendered irrelevant.

***

Much like the loyal consumers who read Trump’s books, and wear Trump cufflinks, and grill Trump-branded steaks on their barbecues, the voters who have gravitated toward the Trump campaign in 2016 are generally captivated by his self-styled image as a winner. This is why he can hardly utter three sentences in public without working in a reference to his superior poll numbers. It is why one of the most consistent applause lines in his stump speech is, “We need victories in this country. We don’t have victories anymore.”

Success is always a self-perpetuating force in presidential campaigns — hence the endless pundit chatter about “momentum” — but for Trump, it is closer to the central rationale of his candidacy. And on Monday night, when the glittering sheen of invincibility was abruptly removed, many of his fans inside the Sheraton ballroom were left puzzled and slightly disoriented…

The real question now facing the Republican candidates packing up and moving out to the Granite State this week isn’t about how Trump’s Iowa loss will affect his own candidacy — it’s whether Trump the Loser will react by trying to burn their campaigns to the ground.

***

[H]e ran a campaign affirming classic conservative ideas of particular resonance to the voters of Iowa. They did not fall for Donald Trump’s vainglorious and solipsistic blather about making America great again without ever explaining how on earth he would do such a thing. In fact, 75 percent of the Republicans of Iowa rejected Trump’s nonsense.

And even more than that. The record vote turnout in Iowa — 180,000 strong — completely disproved the conventional wisdom that a newer and larger electorate would favor Trump. If anything, the evidence suggests that voters were inspired to turn out for Cruz and for the surprisingly strong third-place finisher, Marco Rubio (who beat the poll averages by nearly seven points), not only to cast a positive vote for the candidate they preferred but specifically to deny Trump a win.

This is a dynamic that should be closely watched from here on out. The polls showing Trump leading everywhere have been registering the results of his astounding command of the media — but have always been blurred somewhat by his undeniably high negatives.

Perhaps, in the Iowa results, we saw the first real effects of Trump’s unpopularity with Republicans — that he may be generating actual negative turnout of the sort pollsters find difficult to measure. People may not have crawled through glass to vote for him. They may have crawled through glass to tell Trump to take a well-deserved hike.

***

In this age, half the country wants someone — apparently anyone, even a Manhattanized former Democrat, real-estate barker, and former reality-TV host — to express their contempt for a corrupt and hypocritical government culture. Too many people are tired not just of illegal immigration, but of the enablers of illegal immigration, who smear as racists and xenophobes those who just want existing laws enforced, while the enablers predicate their own agendas on racist assumptions and ethnic chauvinism…

Trump has done the Republican party lots of damage, but he has also done it some good by reminding its leaders that victory lies in swinging a ball and chain through the flimsy glass mirror of political correctness and the current liberal spectacle of very wealthy people projecting race and class injustice onto others as a way of excusing their own privilege.

Far better than ridiculing Trump as a showboat would be to show more constructive passion than does Trump and to discover what makes sane citizens see him as their last resort. Rather than dismissing his empty populism, it would be wiser to fill it in.

Respect and listen to and learn from Trump voters — and they will not vote for Trump.

***

Monday night’s outcome means less than you might think for Trump’s prospects going forward. Cruz often speaks of his fight against “the Washington cartel.” Yet it is Trump who has violated almost every tenet of movement conservative orthodoxy and who has maligned professional politicians, Republican or Democratic, as the pathetic cat’s paws of billionaires like himself. He has demonstrated that there is a large constituency of Republicans who are indifferent to the fight against Obamacare and the battle to cut capital gains taxes, and who are instead passionate about restricting immigration and protecting America’s industries against Chinese competition. Trump is threatening to transform the ideological configuration of the GOP, and all his Republican rivals can do is react to his erratic moves. This dynamic won’t suddenly come to an end because of Iowa, and it has allowed him to shape the Republican race to fit his strengths.

There is a widespread belief that because Trump so often emphasizes his talent for winning, any setback will prove devastating to his all-important aura of invincibility. Keep in mind, however, that Trump lost his lead on more than one occasion in the months leading up to Iowa, yet he kept pressing ahead. Trump’s reality distortion field proved even more powerful than the polls, and it may yet prove more powerful than the Iowa caucuses…

So is it inevitable that Trump will emerge as the Republican nominee? Not at all. If he experiences a few more ego-bruising reversals, Trump might lose interest in the political fray. The GOP field could also winnow, and Trump could fail to build his support beyond the third of the Republican electorate that supports him. But as long as Trump wants to pursue the nomination, he will remain a formidable force. Anti-Trump Republicans who believe otherwise are indulging in wishful thinking.

***

***


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Comment pages: 1 5 6 7

OC…….happy birthday!!!

Brat on February 3, 2016 at 9:29 AM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!!!…OC!!!!!!!!!!
(yes….I’m shouting!)

JugEarsButtHurt on February 3, 2016 at 8:39 AM

Thank!

OmahaConservative on February 3, 2016 at 9:29 AM

If you want to capture someone’s attention, whisper…

*in my best breathy voice*

…happy birthday, oc.

Had to counterbalance Jugs’ yelling, lol.

Fallon on February 3, 2016 at 10:32 AM

To OC:
This month is such a special one;
It’s birthday-time for you.
We’d really like to celebrate your happy day with you!
Zip-a-dee-ay and heigh-dee-ho,
here’s something we can do:
We’ll sing a song that we all know –
Happy Birthday to you!
May you have a happy day and a blessed year

— and the same to everyone whose birthday we miss or don’t know.

Is it too early to have cake and ice cream now??

AesopFan on February 3, 2016 at 10:41 AM

Hey HA mods — I had emoticons in that lovely song that showed up in the Preview pane (in color no less!) and then disappeared!
Any chance of getting your blog host to keep ’em in published comments?

AesopFan on February 3, 2016 at 10:43 AM

OmahaConservative on February 3, 2016 at 9:29 AM

Happy Birthday, Omaha, and many returns of the day.

thatsafactjack on February 3, 2016 at 10:44 AM

Thank you everyone! Blessings!

OmahaConservative on February 3, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Billionaire donors gave Cruz headstart on 2016

By JULIE BYKOWICZ Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Four of America’s wealthiest businessmen laid the foundation for Ted Cruz’s now-surging Republican presidential campaign and have redefined the role of political donors.

*

The long-believing benefactors are New York hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, Texas natural gas billionaires Farris and Dan Wilks, and private-equity partner Toby Neugebauer. They honed their plan to help Cruz before he began his steady rise in polls — before he even announced his presidential bid in March.

*

That October, big-data firm Cambridge Analytica — in which Mercer is an investor — began working to identify potential Cruz voters and develop messages that would motivate them.

*

Key donors soon came up with a novel arrangement: Each family would control its own super PAC, but the groups would work together as a single entity called Keep the Promise. They keep in touch through weekly strategy phone calls.

*

Neugebauer, whose private equity investment firm has investments in shale, moved to Puerto Rico in 2014. He said he relocated for his children’s education, but there are tax breaks as well.

Mercer is a former computer programmer and co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, one of the country’s largest hedge funds. The Wilks brothers are relative newcomers to the world of political donations, having made billions in 2011 by selling their company, which manufactures equipment for the hydraulic fracturing of natural gas.

thatsafactjack on February 3, 2016 at 11:08 AM

I’m not even going to speculate on how one has sex with a mosquito. :0

Happy Nomad on February 3, 2016 at 7:09 AM

I think that’s probably a good idea.

AesopFan on February 3, 2016 at 11:10 AM

Heres a little higher SAT Image:)

EAST:

http://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/goescolor/goeseast/overview2/color_lrg/latestfull.jpg

WEST:

http://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/goescolor/goeswest/overview2/color_lrg/latestfull.jpg

http://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/

canopfor on February 3, 2016 at 7:47 AM

Gorgeous pics.
I hope we can keep the Big Blue Marble rolling for a little while longer.

(The kid’s show had great intentions, but you can’t extend that kind of good-will to cultures whose primary goal is destroying everyone else’s.)

AesopFan on February 3, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Just sayin’ there’s a wee bit of cultural disconnect with massive numbers of ME Muslims.

AesopFan on February 2, 2016 at 11:44 PM

Are you British…. ’cause that was understated as hell.

Did you see my Paris is Burning video?

ExpressoBold on February 2, 2016 at 11:55 PM

Not a Brit, but I play one at the library.
Saw the vid, and others.
Scary.

AesopFan on February 3, 2016 at 11:15 AM

Pollsters are said to have gotten things right when the vote agrees with the pollster. Yet once their polling has been proven inaccurate by a vote taking place, it is explained away as solely the effect of something the candidate did (or didn’t so) in the time remaining before the election. The blame can even be attached to an event that occurred earlier in the race.

In other words, under-performing occurs when the inaccurate polling was wrong and high, and over-performing occurs when the inaccurate polling was wrong and low.

So if I have these new definitions correct, while pollsters can be proven right, they’re never wrong. This is how we get a “surge” when the only thing we really know is the candidate’s pre-election polling was wrong.

Lolo on February 3, 2016 at 2:19 AM

Good points.
Kind of how “climate change” supporters work.

AesopFan on February 3, 2016 at 11:18 AM

<— takes out tape measure, checks for elbow room for Cruz supporters, puts down tape measure, shelves axe, picks up tape measure, muses about how most pikers around here prolly don’t even have one, measures a few things, giggles, puts down tape measure, checks Sophie’s twitter, runs to fridge

Axe on February 3, 2016 at 12:18 AM

I gots about 70 million tape measures (but never one handy when I need it).. oh, you mean axes …several of various sizes, plus an adze. I don’t count the saws anymore (as in, if you can still count your guns, you don’t have enough).

Can I have a donut now?
For OC’s birthday party.

AesopFan on February 3, 2016 at 11:21 AM

No Axe I would not support any candidate that did not verify a fellow candidate had dropped out of the race and assumed those votes were up for grabs, no I would not. It really has not a thing to do with Donald Trump.

justonevictory on February 2, 2016 at 11:32 PM

It would surprise me if Cruz, from some echoing room, told his Storm Troopers to go out and “lie to the Carson people — tell them he’s dropping out of the race” — followed by some muhhahaha sounds.

I’m not saying it didn’t happen — only that it would surprise me.

I don’t think you can assert that Cruz isn’t Christian because of a mistake someone else made, or even of something malicious someone else did.

Axe on February 2, 2016 at 11:56 PM

Steve King ✔ @SteveKingIA
Carson looks like he is out. Iowans need to know before they vote. Most will go to Cruz, I hope. https://twitter.com/moody/status/694320149432651776
8:20 PM – 1 Feb 2016
359 359 Retweets 295 295 likes

Is this even legal? It’s like election tampering. I don’t like caucuses, too many shenanigans.

cimbri on February 3, 2016 at 1:06 AM

A guy from the Texas Tribune on twitter had a tweet from Cruz telling his supporters to go to the caucus telling Carson supporters that he was dropping out.

And then he “apologizes” to Carson for the knife sticking out of his back. Who knows if he won by cheating, he only had a 6,000 vote margin across the whole state. A three thousand and one vote swing would have completely changed the outcome there.

Secondly, if it was an honest mistake, why did NONE of the 34,000 other candidates decide to run with that?

NWConservative on February 3, 2016 at 1:14 AM

I don’t speculate about things of which I have no direct knowledge (well, unless I just want to), but please remember that Cruz got a hot lead from Steve King on this, probably should have checked it, BUT it was the responsibility of the CARSON team and supporters at the caucuses to verify this information before they “gave up” — and no it is not illegal in America to say anything you jolly well please at any time you wish to do so (barring false fire alarms in the theater, and this does not rise to that test).

AesopFan on February 3, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Heres a little higher SAT Image:)

..

http://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/

canopfor on February 3, 2016 at 7:47 AM

Gorgeous pics.
I hope we can keep the Big Blue Marble rolling for a little while longer.

(The kid’s show had great intentions, but you can’t extend that kind of good-will to cultures whose primary goal is destroying everyone else’s.)

AesopFan on February 3, 2016 at 11:27 AM

please remember that Cruz got a hot lead from Steve King on this, probably should have checked it,

It was actually CNN.

SDN on February 3, 2016 at 11:37 AM

Comment pages: 1 5 6 7