“Vote for anyone but Cruz,” declared the much-vaunted Iowa establishment governor, Terry Branstad. Between Trump, the establishment, and Fox News, they threw everything they had at him in the months preceding the 2016 Iowa Caucus.
We heard it all: birtherism, ethanol, Goldman Sachs loans, the Palin endorsement, Cruz supposedly losing every debate, the Santorum/Huckabee sniping, the entire establishment ganging up to defeat him. Then we were told that even if Cruz wins Iowa, a victory would only occur in the event of low turnout. After all, the newbies will all be for Trump. Well, Cruz won with a record turnout, projected to be near 180,000. It also appears that Cruz will break Mike Huckabee’s previous record of the most total votes received by the caucus winner. And he did it in an eleven-person race.
Here are some key observations from the preliminary results:
Make no mistake about it: this was not just a huge win for Cruz, it was a momentous victory for conservatives who have been so disenfranchised for so many years. Given the expectations of the caucuses over the past few weeks, Cruz is likely to pick up tremendous momentum from this win and is very well positioned in South Carolina. He’s even better positioned in the SEC primary, which will award over 600 delegates on March 1st.
Watch for the entire political establishment to rally behind Rubio in the coming days and for the attacks to grow more vociferous this week. But judging by the mood of the voters, they are no longer buying what the political establishment is selling.
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