Trump: Ted Cruz stole the election in Iowa so we should have a do-over

posted at 11:21 am on February 3, 2016 by Allahpundit

So, looks like I got another prediction wrong. I wrote back in December that if and when Trump lost, he would claim that the vote was rigged. Incorrect. As it turns out, he ended up claiming that Cruz cheated.

This is the single dumbest thing he’s done since he got into the race, including his decision to skip the Fox debate — which even he thinks might have hurt him.

Let’s go in reverse order. Cruz comparing ObamaCare to “TrumpCare” is a garden-variety political attack based on Trump talking about universal health care and getting government to pay for it. Marco Rubio insists every day that he doesn’t support “amnesty,” yet his critics, me included, attack him as the amnesty candidate relentlessly based on the substance of his proposals. That’s politics. The “Voter Violation” mailer that Trump refers to was indeed a sleazy, aggressive bit of pressuring by Cruz, but Cruz didn’t pioneer it and it’s certainly not illegal. (The reason candidates use it, in fact, is because it works.) Given the heat he took for it online, even among some conservatives, it’s an open question whether the mailer ended up costing Cruz more votes than it won him.

As for Cruz playing dirty tricks on Ben Carson on caucus night, Cruz apologized yesterday for what he claimed was an innocent mistake. When CNN tweeted out that Carson was headed home to Florida after Iowa instead of on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, Team Cruz told its precinct captains that “Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week” and that they should encourage Carson supporters to caucus for Cruz. Team Cruz wasn’t the only one to draw the mistaken impression that Carson was quitting from CNN’s bulletin. Various other people did too. When Team Carson clarified that he wasn’t quitting the race, Cruz’s staff didn’t relay that information to the captains. The question: Could that erroneous impression have led so many Carson fans to switch to Cruz at that last minute that it denied Trump his rightful victory?

Well, for starters, Carson actually outperformed his final polling average, finishing with 9.3 percent of the vote after being predicted to finish with 7.7 percent. If there had been a mass exodus to Cruz, you’d expect him to have underperformed unless Carson was on track to finish way, way better than anyone expected. The final margin between Cruz and Trump was a bit more than 6,000 votes; Carson ended up with 17,000+ votes, meaning that roughly a quarter of his supporters would have had to defect at the last minute based on the erroneous news from CNN, which Team Carson rapidly corrected — and every last one of those defectors would have had to go to Cruz. Realistically, though, defecting Carsonites would have split between Cruz, Trump, and Rubio, meaning that an even higher percentage of his total support would have had to break away at the last second to create that 6,000-vote margin for Cruz. Does anyone think the CNN bulletin instantly caused, say, 50 percent of Carson fans to dump him? Trump blithely insists in his tweet that “many people” switched from Carson to Cruz. Where’s the evidence?

And another thing, via Ben Shapiro: If Cruz performed better than expected because he cheated, how do we explain Carson performing better than expected and Rubio performing much better than expected? Did they cheat too? One of the weirdest things about Trump’s outburst this morning on Twitter about being cheated is that he’s already cycled through various more plausible explanations for his loss. As a Twitter buddy noted, on caucus night he was gracious in his concession speech. The next day he retweeted a fan who said losing Iowa was meaningless, which isn’t quite true but will look pretty good if Trump romps to victory in New Hampshire. Then, last night, he admitted that his ground game in Iowa wasn’t as good as it should have been, which is almost certainly the real reason why he lost. And now, as if he’s going through some sort of sore-loser version of Kubler-Ross, he’s reached the stage where he insists that Trump can only be defeated through nefarious means. Why he would want to do this when he’s 20 points ahead in NH and late deciders are wondering whether they can trust him to be steady and even-tempered as president, I can’t imagine. Philip Klein thinks he’s imploding in real time:

Every other time Trump said something controversial, or insulted an opponent, he was doing so from a position of strength. He looked like the alpha male toying with his pathetic oppnents. His whole brand is based on the idea that he’s a “winner” — being not just a loser, but a “sore loser,” is greatly damaging.

In this case, Cruz pulled off an impressive win in Iowa. Trump validated that win by giving a gracious — for him — concession speech, even congratulating Cruz. But now, he has unleashed a temper tantrum…

It’s true that many of Trump supporters are so loyal, that as Trump joked, he could shoot somebody and they’d still support him. The problem Trump faces is that to win the nomination, he’ll have to win over a lot of people who don’t currently support him. And there are already indications that he’s having trouble doing this.

He sounds like a baby, which is the opposite of how he should be trying to sound this week. One theory popular on social media as I write this is that Trump is setting up the “fraud” in Iowa as his excuse to drop out of the race and run as an independent, which makes lots of sense … until you remember, as Ed Morrissey did, that he’s already on the Republican ballot in various states and “sore-loser laws” bar him from appearing later as an indie. Another possible explanation is that he’s trying to galvanize Trump fans in New Hampshire to turn out by giving them a stark example of the system being rigged against them, but hardcore Trump fans are already likely to turn out. What he needs, as Klein notes, is to try to hold Rubio’s and Cruz’s margins down among late deciders. Whining will make that harder, not easier. Even as a tactical matter it makes no sense: Trump should be focused this week on stopping Rubio, the man most likely to finish second in New Hampshire and very likely a more formidable opponent for Trump in a two-man race once establishment money is solidly behind him. Instead he’s attacking Cruz with sour grapes. Does he want Rubio to finish far ahead of Cruz?

The only way I can make sense of this is to think the answer to that question is yes, and that Trump is trying to engineer a three-man race in South Carolina and beyond. If so, that means that even he doesn’t think he can win a two-man contest with anyone, including Cruz. That’s an enormous bet he’s making, though: If he lays off Rubio this week and Rubio comes all the way back to win New Hampshire, Trump will be on life support. One more loss in South Carolina to either Cruz or Rubio and he’ll be written off. If I were him, I’d nuke Rubio and then pivot back to Cruz before SC. I don’t know what he’s doing here, apart from pure ego preservation.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Well it only matters to those it matters to.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2016 at 1:42 PM

Fair enough, but I suspect it’s not many. Does what she says matter to you? BTW, I was a huge fan after her coming out party during the 2008 convention and kept the faith for awhile; I’m a strong advocate of recruiting more GOP female politicians. Then she quit the AK governorship after only two years in office for cold hard cash, and her diva and dingbat ways kept popping up. Beyond mothering all those children, and the courage to keep her last instead of having an abortion, I have no more respect for her.

Dan333 on February 3, 2016 at 1:59 PM

I still like her. I understand why she resigned the governor’s office. I think it was completely understandable, but still a bad decision. “Diva” has always been an unjustified accusation against her.

I just think she’s wrong to support Trump. Like always, the accusations of lies and dishonesty come first, then the other side of the story comes out.

And it’s fairly obvious that Carson at least gave multiple people the impression he was out, and had to correct the record multiple times. The only thing you can really fault Cruz’s campaign for is not passing on Carson’s clarification when he made it. And since this was right in the middle of the caucuses, when everything is happening fast, I don’t even know if you can fault the campaign for that.

On top of that, the Rubio campaign and even the Trump campaign seemed to make the same mistake. I’d be interested to see if either one corrected the record when Carson sent out his clarification.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 4:18 PM

I just don’t get it. What is it about Trump that makes his supporters rave so madly that they get that frothy spittle in the corner of their mouth?

I listen to him, and I get nothin. Just some goofy guy who is saying things that he thinks Conservatives want to hear a politician say. The same as when Hollywood is writing a “Conservative patriot” character. There is no evidence Trump is a republican, and plenty to support his democrat leanings, yet here we are.

tdarrington on February 3, 2016 at 12:13 PM

It’s so close to the behavior of Obama’s minions, it’s kind of scary. Some people just need someone to worship, I guess.

idalily on February 3, 2016 at 4:24 PM

You can always find method to the madness. Just like you can look at the clouds and see dragons and animals. But the clouds are just clouds. And madness may just be madness.

(Not saying Trump is insane. Just a metaphor.)

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 2:29 PM

The other poster had a pretty good theory. We’re talking about Cruz cheating instead of his glorious Iowa win. Granted, Trump didn’t invent this story, he just piled on to it.

cimbri on February 3, 2016 at 2:44 PM

Maybe. But it’s not worth it, anymore than shooting yourself in the foot to get more sympathy is a good idea.

If you’re running for president, you do NOT want to look like a sore loser or a whiner.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 4:27 PM

As of now it’s 655 Bish.

The old timers might be pushing up daisies. Who knows? They were pretty old…

So, why are you hanging around a dead blog?

DarkCurrent on February 3, 2016 at 2:55 PM

Because he likes us. He really, really likes us.

Well, maybe not you personally. I shouldn’t put words in his mouth.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 4:32 PM

Pork chop at 3:29 pm

If you watch his rally yesterday, he did fine. It was a very good rally. It’s just that the media plucks out the one controversial thing and runs with it – every time. Trump made his point with the shenanigans in Iowa and should move on today. It’s done, let Carson complain about it, up to him.

cimbri on February 3, 2016 at 4:32 PM

Schadenfreude has been a loyal poster on this board for I can remember HOW long. While agreement on every issue isn’t always possible, it’s NEVER been a hostile or unneeded snark to his posts….Unlike YOU, sweetie.

BlaxPac on February 3, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Except when someone dares to disagree with him about Trump. Then all bets are off, and it’s suddenly okay to call women by a derogatory epithet that compare us to female dogs. That’s not hostile or unneeded snark? I dare to disagree.

idalily on February 3, 2016 at 4:33 PM

But buck up Schade. Trump will have a good win in NH next week.

I really hope it comes down to Trump and Hillary or Bernie, because that’s the best possible outcome for America. Finally a clear battle of ideologies…

DarkCurrent on February 3, 2016 at 3:43 PM

I don’t know that Trump actually has an ideology. Hillary does, but she can discard it at a moment’s notice. You know, like aides or US Ambassadors to Libya, or Ron Brown.

Wait, that last was a different Clinton.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Trump throws a sour-grapes tantrum.

I guess the republican party was correct for having him sign a loyalty pledge, but I wonder if that will contain his destructiveness.

jaime on February 3, 2016 at 4:50 PM

Trump = Cartman

Arnold Yabenson on February 3, 2016 at 5:23 PM

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Sorry, forgot the /s tag … my bad

DarkCurrent on February 3, 2016 at 5:32 PM

This current business is going to help Rubio a lot more than either Trump or Cruz.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 3:57 PM

I wonder if either Cruz or Trump bring this up again in ad – if it will help them a lot more than Rubio…

…From June 2013 – Washington Examiner

In a Spanish-language interview Sunday with the network Univision, Sen. Marco Rubio, the leading Republican on the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform group, made his strongest statement yet that legalization of the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants must happen before any new border security or internal enforcement measures are in place, and will in no way be conditional on any security requirements.

“Let’s be clear,” Rubio said. “Nobody is talking about preventing the legalization. The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border. And then comes the process of permanent residence.”

In most of his public appeals for the Gang of Eight bill, Rubio has stressed its enforcement provisions, saying that border security must come before immigrants are granted legal permanent resident status. What he has not stressed so much is the fact that the bill would legalize the 11 million almost immediately, after they have passed background checks and paid some sort of fine. That would happen before any new security measures are completed, or even begun.

Athos on February 3, 2016 at 5:36 PM

Recently there was a WeChat group created in which Chinese professionals and a few university students (about 500 people total) are discussing this race.

I sometimes contribute links from HA so they can see all y’alls comments. They seem to find it very instructive and entertaining.

Just my little contribution to spreading American ideas around the world.

DarkCurrent on February 3, 2016 at 5:38 PM

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Sorry, forgot the /s tag … my bad

DarkCurrent on February 3, 2016 at 5:32 PM

Ah. You confused me by throwing Bernie in there. Although I guess he’s been pretty ideologically flexible, too. Still, nothing like Trump or Hillary.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 5:59 PM

Recently there was a WeChat group created in which Chinese professionals and a few university students (about 500 people total) are discussing this race.

I sometimes contribute links from HA so they can see all y’alls comments. They seem to find it very instructive and entertaining.

Just my little contribution to spreading American ideas around the world.

DarkCurrent on February 3, 2016 at 5:38 PM

Wait. Which comments? That could be bad.

Honestly, though, the best thing about Hot Air is that almost all comments are generally allowed as long as you follow a few simple rules. It leads to a lot of trolling activity, and a whole lot of boosterism for and against candidates in primary season, but at least you don’t have heavy-handed censorship.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 6:02 PM

Cruz, in person, said that “we knew about the clarification and did not tell the voters about it”. Was on RV today.

Schadenfreude on February 3, 2016 at 2:54 PM

Word for word, here’ the Cruz press release:

TED Cruz (letterhead logo)

PRESS REPORTING CARSON TO TAKE BREAK AFTER IOWA

Dear,

Breaking news. The Press is reporting that Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week.

Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Cruz.

For Liberty,

Spence Rogers

WestportSC on February 3, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Word for word, here’ the Cruz press release:

TED Cruz (letterhead logo)

PRESS REPORTING CARSON TO TAKE BREAK AFTER IOWA

Dear,

Breaking news. The Press is reporting that Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week.

Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Cruz.

For Liberty,

Spence Rogers

WestportSC on February 3, 2016 at 6:09 PM

I do not see the problem here. That is what happens at caucuses. I know, I used to live in Iowa. People contest to get you to change your vote, real time, in person.
The failure here is on part of Dr. Ben Carson and his campaign who chose the worst time to say hey, we are not going to South Carolina or New Hampshire but back home. That gives the argument to change votes some credibility, false though it may be. But isn’t Trump lying about Ted Cruz with his birther attacks to switch votes? Yes he is. Nothing untoward. Politics Ain’t Bean Bag, and Cruz is Init to Winit.

Constitutionalist on February 3, 2016 at 6:33 PM

Upon learning about the Cruz fake new fraud, Trump is being HONEST and SINCERE you damn sociopaths trying to project your own unprincipled strategic outlook onto him.

NikFromNYC on February 3, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Wait. Which comments? That could be bad.

Honestly, though, the best thing about Hot Air is that almost all comments are generally allowed as long as you follow a few simple rules. It leads to a lot of trolling activity, and a whole lot of boosterism for and against candidates in primary season, but at least you don’t have heavy-handed censorship.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 6:02 PM

Not individual comments. Entire threads.

I’ve explained there are some very basic rules (no inciting of violence seems to be the main one, no very overt racism, etc) but that pretty much everything else goes.

Many of them think it’s fascinating.

DarkCurrent on February 3, 2016 at 6:46 PM

Not individual comments. Entire threads.

I’ve explained there are some very basic rules (no inciting of violence seems to be the main one, no very overt racism, etc) but that pretty much everything else goes.

Many of them think it’s fascinating.

DarkCurrent on February 3, 2016 at 6:46 PM

That’s okay, then. Of course, the way some trolls will basically take over a whole thread ….

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 7:11 PM

That’s okay, then. Of course, the way some trolls will basically take over a whole thread ….

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 3, 2016 at 7:11 PM

I think they just see it as Americans with differing opinions debating

DarkCurrent on February 3, 2016 at 7:16 PM

They seem to be more interested in the process and format than the particular opinions.

DarkCurrent on February 3, 2016 at 7:18 PM

Make it stop………….please…………….Make it stop!

redridinghood on February 3, 2016 at 8:00 PM

Trump is trying to engineer a three-man race in South Carolina and beyond.

No… Trump’s just not that bright. He doesn’t have a master plan beyond spouting whatever random insanity currently percolates from bneath his combover.

TallDave on February 3, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Trump said Iowa doesn’t matter. Now he wants a do-over. Hey Trump, elections don’t work like bankruptcy. You don’t get to give back all your votes and try again.

MrX on February 3, 2016 at 8:16 PM

WestportSC on February 3, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Please include the actual link.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2016 at 8:25 PM

Please include the actual link.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2016 at 8:25 PM

.
I think you might find this video interesting. It timelines the events, who did what when and makes and interesting case for the possibility that the Cruz campaign committed felonies under Iowa election laws.

It started with the Cruz campaign NOT CNN!

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2016 at 8:32 PM

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2016 at 8:32 PM

Probably not. I think this is the dumbest thing ever.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2016 at 8:43 PM

Karl Rove was on Oreilly tonight. He explained the Carson thing. the key finding

At 720 PM csT cRUZ sends info that Carson dropping out to ALL 1650 Cruz precinct managers saying Carson dropping out.

If just 4 Carson supporter per precinct switch to Cruz thats the 6000 votes Cruz wins by over Trump.

there are valid concerns

gerrym51 on February 3, 2016 at 8:46 PM

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
During primetime of the Iowa Caucus, Cruz put out a release that @RealBenCarson was quitting the race, and to caucus (or vote) for Cruz.
7:56 AM – 3 Feb 2016
3,276 3,276 Retweets 6,509 6,509 likes

It seems that Rubio beat Cruz to the Carson punch.

Lime in the Coconut on February 3, 2016 at 8:46 PM

The comb-over wants a do-over! Another trumpertantrum.

lonestar1 on February 3, 2016 at 11:14 PM

Trump has shown himself to be a braggart and a bully and a mega-rich lowlife brawler and trash talker.
He gets credit for trolling the GOPe, but there ain’t much else there.

Kenosha Kid on February 4, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Please include the actual link.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2016 at 8:25 PM

.
I think you might find this video interesting. It timelines the events, who did what when and makes and interesting case for the possibility that the Cruz campaign committed felonies under Iowa election laws.

It started with the Cruz campaign NOT CNN!

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2016 at 8:32 PM

Here’s a link that shows how widespread the claim was that Carson was getting ready to drop out. Many tweets from CNN people implying Carson was going to go home, and not go on the campaign trail. A number of them calling the move weird or strange.

http://www.trevorloudon.com/2016/02/cnn-not-cruz-staff-responsible-for-ben-carson-campaign-suspension-rumor/

It also seems that Rand Paul’s team believed Carson was dropping out. One of the tweets was from a Laura Shupe, who from her twitter picture seems to be on the Rand Paul campaign.

@RandPaul @ChipEnglander @dougstafford Word on the street Ben Carson done!Grab them voters!!!Look at @CNN

I have to wonder how much of this confusion is due to reporters trying to squeeze everything into 140 characters on Twitter. That doesn’t leave much room for adding, “but Carson says he is not dropping out.”

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 4, 2016 at 3:06 AM