Three Things to Watch For in N.H.

We correctly predicted the story out of Iowa would be Marco Rubio, as this Vox article details about his virtual tie with Donald Trump: What happened next? There was a massive wave of media coverage about how “Marco Rubio was the real winner in Iowa.” By exceeding expectations, the argument goes, Rubio generated positive buzz that will help him raise money, recruit volunteers, and win later primary contests. That, in turn, could consolidate his status as the choice of the party’s mainstream. But Vox also notes something else we’re witnessing . . . that Ted Cruz could surprise in New

Is Rubio’s Iowa Surge for Real?

Updating my earlier post, I would like to point out an article in today’s Washington Examiner explaining the most recent Iowa polling from Opinion Savvy and Emerson College and handicapping the reality of the Marco Rubio surge: Opinion Savvy, pulling from a list of registered voters, asked voters if they would caucus. If voters answered maybe or no, they were excluded. The second screen was for them to describe their polling place: is it a church, a school, or something else. If they said they didn’t know, they were excluded. Dramatically restricting the sample to only the most informed, most likely caucus

What to Watch For in Iowa, And It’s Not What You Think…

I’ve been reading all manner of predictions that focus almost entirely on the horse race that is Donald Trump v. Ted Cruz. At this point, 27 hours from the Caucus start, it appears that either can win. Expectations are that they will finish one and two in a close race. And while the order of their finish will affect their fortunes in N.H. — and more importantly in S.C. — the X-factor for the remainder of the Republican field is Marco Rubio. It’s no secret that Iowa tends to break late. Both Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have been beneficiaries

In Iowa, It’s Time to Choose. But Whose Time Is It…?

Maggie, on the heels of your posting the Trump Twitter-rage against Iowa pastor Bob Vander Plaats, then his pointed rebuttal, I thought to add a bit of information Mr. Trump probably hadn’t considered when he let his hubris out of its cage only days before the Iowa Caucus. There’s an old adage in politics that you not attack anyone who buys ink by the barrel. In the digital age, that translates to not attacking someone with the heft to push out millions of impressions to the most influential voting block in the state in a short period of time. Like

Can Trump Get an Iowa ‘Amen’ With His Liberty U. Performance?

Media coverage of Donald Trump’s recent address to Liberty University students has typically highlighted his “Two Corinthians” theological flub – as if it will mean something significant to voters in Iowa: Trump was slightly mistaken in his Bible reference. “Two Corinthians” does not exist. He likely meant to say “Second Corinthians,” referring to the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians. To their credit, devout Iowa Evangelicals are deeper than that. They are more likely to see “Two Corinthians” as a slightly amusing – if not disquieting – confirmation about other more troublesome statements Trump has made about his faith.

The Rubio Path to Victory: A Roadmap?

In light of the Rubio Nevada firewall strategy, I offer Dan McLaughlin’s (RedState) Rubio roadmap that seemingly validates it, though contrasting it with Cruz’s more viable path to the nomination. It’s an intriguing look – based on a presumptive Rubio victory in Nevada – at what would have to happen for Marco Rubio to win the GOP nomination.  To wit: I should stress that what follows is not an exercise in prediction, and that a lot can still happen between now and the Iowa Caucus on February 1. This is obviously a somewhat optimistic hypothetical scenario for Cruz, and a

If Nevada Is Rubio’s Firewall, Will It Be Too Little Too Late?

There’s a chance the promising primary campaign of Marco Rubio and his “New American Century” may sputter before it ever ignites. Elaina Plott writes in National Review: Marco Rubio is going all in to win Nevada. Though the Florida senator has eschewed the idea that he needs to hunker down in any particular state, his campaign has quietly and steadily poured resources into the Silver State, where chaos and dismal turnout rule the caucuses. Rumors of the Rubio campaign’s weak ground game in Iowa and New Hampshire have led many to conclude that his strategists don’t believe he needs an

The Smart Message Behind New Ted Cruz Ads

Maggie, there were two things I picked up on the first pass through the ad: He pointedly associated Marco Rubio with Mitch McConnell. He co-opted Rubio’s lower case man-of-the-people font at the end of his spot. I was looking for the nifty “TRUST TED —> TRUSTED“ graphic used in his campaign’s “Saturday Night Live” spot. I was surprised it wasn’t used in a spot about . . . “trust”; although his “Keep The Promise 1” PAC ran the ad, so it makes sense not to directly mimic the campaign’s signature. But it would have been a nicely tied bow on the