Wednesday, February 03, 2016

This Just In — If You've Just Regained Consciousness From A 6-month Coma — Donald J. Trump Lost In The Iowa Primary

In an election result that confounded the political pollsters, C(for Crackpot) Cruz narrowly defeated Der Trumpster in the Iowa Dumbo primary. It was a result that was reminiscent of 1948, when the Chicago Tribune proclaimed Thomas E. Dewey (R-NY) the winner over President Harry S Truman. If this is (fair & balanced) political nonsense, so be it.

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Donald Trump Admits He Lost Iowa Because He Has No Idea How to Run A Campaign
By Kia Makarechi

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The post-Iowa reckoning continued Wednesday morning, with Donald Trump speed-dialing into MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" for an awkward postmortem. Trump, who has been the Republican presidential poll-leader for months, placed second in the Iowa caucuses Monday night, three percentage points behind Ted Cruz.

To hear Trump tell it, the loss was easily preventable. The only problem? He has no idea how to run a campaign.

“I think we could have used a better ground game, a term I wasn’t even familiar with,” Trump said. “You know, when you hear ‘ground game,’ you say what the hell is that? Now I’m familiar with it. But, you know, I think in retrospect we should have had a better ground game. I would have funded a better ground game, but people told me our ground game was fine. And by most standards it was.”

Cruz’s campaign has been openly gloating about how it used advanced data modeling to invent positions for the candidate that would resonate with Iowa voters. Did you know that the Senator from Texas has strong views on Iowa’s fireworks ban? Neither did the Senator from Texas, until someone on his analytics team identified the ban as an issue that could sway some Iowan hearts and minds.

Trump may not have had a ground game, but he proved perfectly willing to pay the pander game. In the run-up to the caucuses, he expressed hope that his daughter Ivanka Trump would give birth in Iowa, and shared some newfound skepticism about Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Supreme Court ruled to extend marriage equality to the entire nation.

“The caucus system is a complex system and I was never familiar with it,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I mean, I was never involved with the caucus system. Don’t forget, Joe, I’m doing this for the first time. I’m like a rookie and I’m learning fast and I do learn fast, and I think we’re doing really—I think we did very well.”

Trump congratulated Cruz and thanked the people of Iowa in an uncharacteristically humble post-caucus speech. Since then, however, he has resorted to his old ways, tweeting an extended riff on the Cruz campaign’s highly suspect way of courting and pressuring Iowa voters.

Trump is doubtless hoping that playing up his rookie status will further endear him to voters exhausted with the cast of sitting politicians. It also offers him a plausible excuse when he loses, as well as a glimpse at the card he’ll play if, or when, he eventually drops out of the race. “Don’t forget, in the history of Iowa, I got the most votes other than one person, Ted,” Trump said. “I got the most votes in the history of Iowa for the Republican primary and caucus. I got a tremendous amount of votes, nobody came close. So that’s in history, other than the one person.”

Indeed, nobody came close—except the one other person, who did better. That one other person who beat him by three percentage points. Ω

[Kia Makarechi is's story editor and associate director of audience development. Prior to that, he held several editorial assignments with The Huffington Post. He received a BA (English) from the University of California at Los Angeles.]

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