Diary

Donald Trump and what we learned from the Iowa Caucus - or should have

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Trump, who claims he hasn’t cried since the age of one, seems to be getting in touch with his inner infant.

 So, what did we learn

from the results of the Iowa Caucus, other than who won, placed and showed?

One thing we learned, but should have known to begin with and that I tried to argue numerous times and in various ways, is that the media focus on polls is a means to drive voter behavior in one direction or another depending on the agenda at play. And polls do not equal election results.

Although there is some correlation between polls and election outcomes, there has never been a time when people following an election have been more inundated with polls. Everyone, it seems, has gotten into the game. How this has influenced the Iowa Caucus, has been mass media entities like CNN and Fox News emphasizing the polls as virtual mirrors of what the voting results would be. The final poll that was incessantly referred to was the DesMoines Register / Bloomberg Poll – which in the last few days before the vote on Monday, was putting Donald Trump 5 points ahead of Ted Cruz; 28 to 23 percent.

Before the election began, a CNN panel was discussing Ted Cruz’ situation about Iowa and his overall campaign prospects. Trump and Marco Rubio did not have to win Iowa, but for Cruz, it was a must win, or his campaign would crumble and disintegrate. Moreover, if Iowa had an unusually large voter turnout, Cruz was doomed. Essentially, they were writing the obituary in advance. But then after CNN waited until 99 percent of the vote had been reported to “project” – not declare Cruz the winner – the network began talking about the coverage leading up to the election, as if they had no role in pushing the Trump inevitability narrative. It was incredible to watch.

Once the brief, and perfunctory accolades were handed out to Cruz, acknowledging his win and that he had exceeded expectations, they began focusing in on Marco Rubio, essentially describing him as the actual winner, for having finished in third place, where he was expected to finish. The only thing notable about Rubio’s performance Monday night, was that he outpaced the polling estimates and nearly overtook Donald Trump for second place. Those who had looked at the mechanics of Trump’s campaign and the operational components, could have predicted (and did), that Trump was going to fall far short of any sort of win.

Trump and his campaign didn’t realize that winning an election requires more than Helicopter Campaigning, making boastful speeches about one’s one God-like qualities, savaging one’s opponents and believing that polls are the same as votes. And the mass media did nothing to dissuade him or his supporters of that false notion. Rubio had a ground game in Iowa. Not as robust as Ted Cruz’ legions of volunteers and experienced organizers, but he had one.

Ann Navarro, “GOP Strategist” was asked about Trump’s campaign infrastructure a day before the election. She noted to CNN that she had been told that Trump did have a ground game, but went on to say that neither she nor any of her network of contacts throughout the 99 counties in Iowa had ever seen it. That was a revealing comment, but certainly in conformity with what many experienced campaign analysts had outlined for several months. Ted Cruz, they also point out, has this superior get out the vote machine in every primary state.

What Ann Navarro observed in Iowa regarding Trump’s organization, is accurate with regard to the rest of the primaries. From here on in, we will see a continuing disparity between general “popularity” polls and actual election results. But the Corporate Media believe that constantly hawking inflated polls will tap into the ‘herd mentality’, with people thinking that if everyone else is favoring a leading “winning” candidate, they should as well. This tactic has limitations and hazards for the campaigns that are the ostensible beneficiaries of it.

Donald Trump has based his campaign theme around the certainty and imperative of winning, quoting legendary Golfing great Walter Hagen, “No one remembers who came in second.”  Once objective facts and reality challenge that theme, it begins to wither like a Poinsettia in January.

Another thing we are learning, and why I decided to let a little extra time go by before summing things up, is that the only thing inevitable about Donald Trump, is that he couldn’t lose gracefully. There was going to be a tantrum, which many on social media are calling #TrumpTantrum.  Donald Trump started off by sniping at Ted Cruz for Cruz’ acceptance speech. I don’t recall such a chump move ever, in any campaign. Trump flatulated:

Anybody who watched all of Ted Cruz’s far too long, rambling, overly flamboyant speech last nite would say that was his Howard Dean moment!’

The real Howard Dean moment, is the sum total of Trump’s stunning lack of decency – but this was just for starters. Next day, Trump began Tweeting with manic ferocity, casting blame and concocting excuses:

“I don’t believe I have been given any credit by the voters for self-funding my campaign, the only one. I will keep doing, but not worth it!”

“The media has not covered my long-shot great finish in Iowa fairly. Brought in record voters and got second highest vote total in history!”

“Because I was told I could not do well in Iowa, I spent very little there – a fraction of Cruz & Rubio. Came in a strong second. Great honor.”

The “winner” Trump has pre-scripted excuses for the losing Donald Trump.

Next came the litigious Donald. There’s always a cheap stunt on the horizon with Trump and this one involves a nuisance lawsuit filed in Iowa attempting to advance the claim that Ted Cruz “stole the election”. This, having to do with the assertion that the memo that was sent out by Cruz’ grassroots manager, took votes away from Carson. Trump thinks Carson’s support from Iowa voters was skimmed off by Cruz.

The problem with this, is it just isn’t believable. Having monitored the vote count the entire night, I observed that Carson started out at 10 percent of the vote and stayed there consistently all night without moving. The first tweets responding to the CNN report that Carson intended to return to Florida, began appearing before voting commenced, including one from a Carson campaign volunteer, who later deleted it.

The bottom line however, is that if the tweets and memos had any effect, it would have been seen in the vote count very early on. The effect never materialized. If it was an opportunistic maneuver by the Cruz and Rubio campaigns, it turned out to be a dud.  Trump could give a rat’s posterior about Carson’s voters in Iowa, this is just another shuck and jive move on Trump’s part.

We also found out, and not unexpectedly, that Trump’s supporters are extremely sore losers just like their idol. It wasn’t long before they began circulating nonsense about a Microsoft app used to transmit caucus votes – #MicrosoftRubioFraud. Mediaite describes it thus:

The gist of the conspiracy (which– surprise!– was started by Breitbart) is this: the app used by Democrats and Republicans to report caucus votes was created by Microsoft. Microsoft has donated money to Marco Rubio, and supports an increase in skilled migrants to the United States.

And here are some sample tweets of Trumpettes crying conspiracy:

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But, it is entirely conceivable and within Trump’s personality profile, that we may hear Trump blame the Almighty for the Iowa failure:

“I’m sorry, God and I made a deal. The deal was, I would go to Liberty University and read that verse ‘Two Corinthians’ and suck up to Jerry Falwell Jr. and write out a big, fat (pocket change) donation – and God’s part of the bargain was to make me a winner with those Evangelical cats in Iowa. I hate people that break their word.

God, you’re FIRED!”