Ted Wins Iowa; Trump Cries
Ted Cruz came out winning the Iowa caucuses on Monday, February 1. The pundits were predicting a ‘close’ tie between Cruz and Donald Trump. The polls, before the caucuses, read Trump, Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson in that order.
RCP Average 1/24 – 1/31
I was proud to participate in the Iowa Caucus as a surrogate, Caucus Captain, for Ted Cruz in Ames, Iowa, home to Iowa State University. We got to Ames at about 6:15pm and reported in at the Friendship Baptist Church. The caucus Precinct Chairman for Ames 1-2, Jeremy Davis, was cordial and inviting when I introduced myself and two other Cruz volunteers, Bill Harris and Mary Lou Erben. Our expectations had been for an approximate 100 caucus participants, but instead there was a steady stream of people that we estimated to be about 300. The caucus was scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm but because of the large number of new registrants and heavy turnout, it didn’t start until approximately 7:20 pm, with standing room only.
It seemed Iowans were anxious to cast their vote for their candidate. The enthusiasm and energy generated from the students in the pews could be felt. In fact, it was an impressive group full of young people, giving us all hope for the future. When so many students came in to vote, I was thinking that they were there to cast their preference for Rand Paul. I had a surprise coming.
Surrogates were given three to five minutes to speak on behalf of their candidate. Speakers went in alphabetical order, according to their candidate’s name. I was first to speak focusing on why Cruz should be the candidate of their choice. Other representatives for John Kasich, Rand Paul, Rubio, and Rick Santorum followed. No one was present to speak for Jeb Bush, Carson, Carly Fiorina, Trump, Chris Christie, or Mike Huckabee.
After the speeches were delivered, 3 by 4 inch blank paper ballots were issued to those wishing to vote. The ballots were collected in a basket and a card board box. Of the approximate 300 people in the church, 294 cast ballots by writing the name of their candidate on the small piece of paper to be counted.
The surrogates were invited to witness the ballot count. I was present during the name separation of the ballots and the counting of each ballot. The ballots were counted twice to insure accuracy. It was a fair count. Rubio came in first with 149, Cruz 38, Trump 31, Paul 23, Carson 19, Kasich 16, Bush 8, Christie 4, Fiorina 3, Santorum 2 and Huckabee 1. The turnout for the Iowa Caucuses was phenomenal as 182,000 came out to cast their vote in the 1,681 precincts. Even though Rubio was first in this precinct, statewide Cruz was the winner!
It is important to note that the polls and what we may perceive is not always accurate. Noting this, the same four candidates kept their top four standing just not in the order they may have expected or wanted. I believe Trump hurt himself in not attending the last debate and by his own admission did not have a good ‘ground game’ because as he put it, “I didn’t even know what a ‘ground game’ was, but I do now.” Trump is such a big sore loser and will say whatever comes to his loose lips. Carson was never going to surge in Iowa; the polls before the Caucus showed he was number 4 and he came in at number 4. Carson should fire his staff member that gave CNN the news that he was going to take a hiatus from campaigning and stop shifting the blame to Cruz. Huckabee, Paul, and Santorum have now suspended their campaigns with Santorum endorsing Rubio.
The final count for the Iowa Caucus according to WSJ is as follows:
Iowans showed their strength in coming out and voting their conservatives values. Especially since so many negative TV ads ran against Cruz. Let’s pray that our nation will continue to vote conservative values and come to understand that socialism will be our doom.