My Predictions For Iowa Caucus Night 2016–Midwestern Values Will Be Key
After the political events that have taken place since June 2015 it might seem the highest state of silliness to venture out with any predictions for the Iowa caucuses taking place Monday. But to counter the point of view about just sitting back and letting the storm rage and then look at the damage once the winds calm is the fact that every election cycle I have offered predictions. I certainly have missed many by a longshot, but also to be fair have called my share, too.
But this year I do feel more of a sense that I am flying by the seat of my pants. After all, the way one always has been able to view political campaigns and the candidates who stepped up to offer themselves as public servants has been tossed about like play toys in the tub of a two-year-old. How does one place common sense into the mix when an electorate applauds following a candidate who verbally beats on a prisoner of war?
I have had to adjust some of the lessons from political history in light of the characters and antics this cycle but there is one thing that I can not so quickly dismiss. That would be the values of a Midwesterner–something that seems not to be a talking point when trying to explain what may happen Monday night in Iowa.
How much bombast, bluster, and bad manners can be heaped into one campaign? That behavior may bring entertainment oriented citizens to a rally but will that also drive people to actually support such a candidate in a caucus where you need to stand with neighbors and make a public showing? At the end of the day there is–I strongly suggest–something about the people of Iowa that will resemble the iconic images of corn fields and small towns more than the large jet carrying a rude candidate with an egotistical attitude.
At the end of the day in Iowa the values of the heartland will overcome everything else when it comes to Donald Trump.
There is no doubt that Ted Cruz is irksome and falling behind in the polls. But over the weeks it is also clear where evangelicals stand when it comes to his popularity. Add a tight well-funded campaign and what many have described as a great operation aimed for getting their caucus voters out on Monday night and I place him as the winner among the Republican contenders.
Marco Rubio is better suited for the vice-president slot given his demographic profile, and the fact there is still not a state where anyone can reasonably suggest he can actually win. Rubio was at his best when months ago he reached for the heights of political imagery rather than resorting to the dark harsh language in an effort to compete with the Cruz types. With huge ads buys Rubio has made an impression on Iowa along with his being a fresh face. On Monday night Rubio who has seen his numbers lift in the polls will feel the results as he finishes in second place.
In what will be the major headline on Tuesday morning Donald Trump will finish in a very tight-placed third position following Rubio. My reasons for making this prediction that would seemingly fly in the face of so many polls has to do with something that is often written about on this blog. The lowest common denominators are often the headline makers–and that has surely been the case with the huge Trump rallies. But at the end of the day serious minds will prevail. I am not at all confident that the huge throngs at the rallies will be caucus-attendees. I also question how much political infrastructure has been placed into the state to turn out the vote. I also feel that small town Midwestern values will trump Trump. I have failed over the past months to understand how deeply mere entertainment has disrupted the campaign for the Iowa vote, but my head does not feel the same lack of political maturity will show up at caucus sites.
On the Democratic side there is tremendous amount of energy and glee over Bernie Sanders. But the youth vote will not materialize in the amount required to allow Sanders the first place win. Mark my words, campus turn out sites will not match expectations from the Sanders campaign. More importantly rural areas will not be kind to Sanders. Too many Democrats seek an actual victory in November and so will consider the pragmatic route the best one to take on a cold and perhaps even snowy night in Iowa. Hillary Clinton wins Iowa caucus.
As always, given my feelings about gambling, please no wagering on my bets.
Have fun Monday night listening as the returns roll in from the rural sites all over Iowa.