I am ready for Monday. I am ready for a number of reasons, first and foremost because I’m ready for the voting to begin. The run up to this campaign season has been the most exhausting in my years in politics. I have seen people at each other’s throats far more than in the last two Presidential election cycles. It is time to get this show on stage and end the warm up act. In other words, no votes have been counted yet. We are relying on polls. I want votes.
Not only are we only relying on polls, but we are relying on a lot of polls from pollsters who royally screwed up 2010, 2012, 2014, the British election in 2015, etc. Every pollster out there wants to get cute and play the “this is just a snapshot of a particular time” excuse when really a number of the pollsters are fly by night hucksters full of crap.
I want to see which pollsters are the good ones and which are the bad ones. It may go my way or it may not. But it is time to have the big reveal and Monday we get it.
Along those lines, I think the basic rules of politics still matter. Boots on the ground, voter contact made, and sustained engagement will ultimately matter more than filled out coliseums with flashy speeches and no follow up. If the basic rules of politics are still in place, Ted Cruz will win the Iowa race. Cruz’s campaign has reached out to more voters, knocked on more doors, and sustained engagement with more voters over a longer period of time than any other campaign in Iowa.
As my friend Steve Deace noted,
In December 2007 the early signs of a wave of new voters coming to the caucuses for Barack Obama were seen when Democrats set their all-time caucus attendance record. Back then, 8 of the 39 counties in Iowa that had at least 3,000 registered Democrats saw voter registration increases from the previous December.
This year, there is a lot of talk of a wave of new voters coming to shatter the all-time Republican caucus attendance record. However, of the 62 counties in Iowa that have at least 3,000 registered Republicans, only 3 of them have more Republicans now than last January. And two of them, Linn and Hamilton, have only increased by a COMBINED 327 total voters.
If the fundamental and basic rules of politics still matter, Ted Cruz is going to win on Monday night and, frankly, Marco Rubio may come in second place.
However, if the United States has now moved beyond the fundamentals of campaigns so that press coverage and media domination absolutely control, then we have entered a brave new world of politics and Trump absolutely can win. Trump has gotten overwhelming media attention and is a master of getting attention for himself. He gets treated specially by the media. They let him come on via phone routinely. His latest tweet generates news in ways no other candidate can get.
That may be all it takes. If so, he wins. And if he wins in that way, it changes the dynamics of ground games and the future nature of candidates for President. Trump has laid virtually no foundation in Iowa for the ground. He has hired people, some notable people, but the data on the ground does not suggest it has translated. Either there is a sleeping giant about to wake up, or the press and pundit class have been overwhelmed by a cacophony and ignored the data. We’ve been so harried and harassed by eggs on Twitter we have lost the ability to think straight about what does and does not actually get voters to polls.
So I’m ready for Iowa to come on Monday. At this point, I want it to be over more than I want a particular person to win. It just needs to be done. The process to get to Monday has been fatiguing and irritating. I am unsure if the sound and fury of Trump voters translates into votes. I want to know. I am tired of waiting. For political junkies, of which I am one, this is like having the present under the tree. I just want to unwrap it and see what it is.
It’s time. I’m ready for Monday.