While there’s been some drama on the Democratic side of the presidential election, nothing compares to what’s been going on with Republicans. Many have referred to the 2016 GOP presidential primary as a “circus,” myself included, though I’m not sure calling what we’ve all witnessed a “circus” does it justice. Then again, when Donald Trump is your party’s overwhelming frontrunner, it should be expected that your presidential race is a bit of a joke.
Well, despite being the overwhelming frontrunner for much of the race, Trump’s ego just took a bit of a blow as his biggest challenger, Sen. Ted Cruz, emerged victorious tonight. To be fair, this was a state which many felt Trump would perform weakest in considering it’s heavily populated by evangelical voters and Cruz is seen as the more religious of the two, but Trump had been up by 5% or more in some recent Iowa polling. It appears Trump skipping the last GOP debate might have hurt him more than he thought it would.
Either way, Ted Cruz should be extremely happy to leave Iowa with this win – especially considering that over the last couple of weeks his campaign had struggled. From the governor of Iowa telling Iowans not to vote for him, to one of his biggest allies, Sarah Palin, endorsing Trump – things couldn’t have really gone much worse for Ted Cruz heading into tonight.
It should also be noted that Marco Rubio did much better than expected and seems to have benefited the most from those who turned away from Trump. While Cruz won tonight, it could be argued that Rubio actually “won” considering he performed much better than expected.
So, what does this mean for Cruz going forward? Unfortunately for him, not much. Iowa is not a state that’s mattered much for Republican nominees (the last two winners were Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012). While it’s always good to get a victory, this state was always one where Trump had struggled far more so than in others. Even though Cruz won tonight, historically speaking, it probably doesn’t matter a great deal in the long-term. But on a small-scale level, being the first to deal a blow to Donald Trump does matter, so Cruz has that much going for him after tonight. The first “dent” in Trump’s armor has officially been made.
But make no mistake about it, as I’ve said before, Cruz is actually a far more dangerous candidate than Trump. I’ll admit that it’s nice to see Trump “lose” something, but Cruz being the person to defeat him isn’t exactly a victory, either.
That’s why I cannot emphasize enough that, no matter who ultimately wins the Democratic nomination, liberals must get out and make damn sure Republicans don’t win the White House this November. There’s just far too much at stake for us to allow that to happen.
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