The Presidential Race in Iowa and Beyond
by Tom Donelson on February 8, 2016 at 9:44 AM
While a few Republicans are still buzzing about the Cruz campaign's dirty trick dealing with Ben Carson, the real scandal may be the stealing of an election; or should I say another Hillary scandal. When discussing this on facebook, one Democratic member of our extended family quipped, does this really matter? The answer is yes since we are talking outright possible corruption and Iowa's leading newspaper, The Des Moines Register has called for an audit of the results, but don’t count on it. The Democratic establishment, a political establishment with far more power and influence than the Republican establishment can ever hope for, was in the tank for Hillary, and any way they can help the process along including rigging an election, they will do it. There are reports of vote shifting and the British leftist paper The Guardian wrote, “In Grinnell Ward 1, the precinct where elite liberal arts college Grinnell College is located, 19 delegates were awarded to Bernie Sanders and seven were awarded to Hillary Clinton on caucus night. However, the Iowa Democratic party decided to shift one delegate from Sanders to Clinton on the night and did not notify precinct secretary J Pablo Silva that they had done so. Silva only discovered that this happened the next day, when checking the precinct results in other parts of the county.”
In 2012, the Republicans had their own debacle as Mitt Romney was declared the winner but Rick Santorum actually won, and this was confirmed a week later when the former Pennsylvania Senator was declared the winner. The Republicans did reform their system and no one questioned the final count. While some Republicans are wondering the impact of Cruz’s camp telling supporters that Carson dropped out of the race, the reality is that this was not widespread throughout the state. In Eastern Iowa, I talked with many who participated in the caucus, including the bigger ones, and no one even knew of the controversy until they got home or the next day. Carson may have lost votes but he was going to finish fourth and Donald Trump was not going to win the caucus. It was a dirty trick that may have affected some caucuses, but not all including some of the bigger ones in the state. Nor does it stand that Cruz would have won all of those votes since both Rubio and Trump won 40% of the evangelical votes combined, so who knows how these voters changed their vote based on this report? While some at Red State view this as a nothing scandal, I will say that Carson lost votes, and how many, I don’t know. Based on what information I received from other caucus goers, this was not state wide so the damage will not affect the final outcome. That is a guess but an intellectual guess based on the data, but it was a dirty trick.
The real story of the Democrats was that Hillary may not have won the election, and it may have been stolen from Bernie Sanders. Hillary was allowed to escape Iowa with a victory but a defeat, would have hurt her campaign going into New Hampshire and as it is, Bernie is inching closer on a national level so Hillary may yet not win the nomination and the Democrats may end Hillary's political career before the FBI does. While Republicans did try to find the winner in 2012 and reform the process to keep this from happening again; the Democrats don’t seem to care that the possibility the election was stolen, which means it will happen again in Iowa.
Nearly 85% of Iowa voters were conservatives and nearly 65% considered themselves evangelical Christians; it should be noted that 60% of Iowa voters viewed the economy as the most important thing to deal with, whether it was improving job opportunities and the economy or dealing with the budget deficits and debt. The top four issues were dealing with the budget deficit, jobs and opportunities, who could best win in November, and immigration. What this shows us is that even evangelical Christians view the economy as the top priority, and Republicans need to understand that when dealing with evangelicals: it is the economy, stupid.
This leaves us with one question for Republicans who have been not so anxious to duke it up with Trump or maybe Marco, Ted, or for that matter, Bush’s Super Pac might want to run an ad that goes something like, “Mr. Immigration Hawk, Donald Trump and his companies have hired illegals to work at his sites and he has used visas to import immigrants while many Middle class were denied jobs and Trump made billions.” Someone might want to bring this up if for no reason, let's see how Trump defends himself against this charge since I will assure readers, Democrats already have ads ready to launch if he gets the nomination. It won’t be long before the GOP candidate will have to confront Trump, and it is true that Trump’s companies hired illegals. The question is what Trump did about it in the past and how he can defend his action. If he can’t and is the nominee, this will sink his campaign and the GOP with it.