Traditional political thinking is that the Iowa Caucus being held today and New Hampshire primary (February 9) are an early forecast as to determine the respective Presidential Democrat and Republican Party candidates. Some strategists cling to the theory that winners here have a decided edge on their opponents toward the nomination. Some go as far to say the winner betters their odds on becoming the next Commander-In-Chief.
Since the 1980 Presidential campaign that theory has slowly dissolved. Ronald Regan for practical purposes skipped campaigning in Iowa and lost to George H. Bush. However, we know the result of the national convention in Detroit found Regan beaming and George H.W. Bush licking his wounds in the once Pontchartrain Hotel bar. He did get second place as Regan adroitly chose him as his running mate.
The resulting outcome may not matter. The "Donald" in the closing week skipped the last debate, made few appearances and spent very little money. But, Trump has led in all the polls. Ted Cruz has spent both time and money on the ground making progress one day and a fall the next.
Marc Rubio making a small surge and is expected to finish a strong third to either of the top two. On Tuesday, who will really care?
The answer: Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.
All of these hopefuls will be in danger of losing their appeal among the most influential party favorites. This is the traditional GOP leaders. These candidates falling in popularity will find campaign funding hard to obtain if not impossible.
Jeb Bush began as the Republican favorite and had a huge pile of campaign cash. He has spent a large percentage of it. This month he finds contributions from big donors drying up as I suspect the others have experienced.
Overall, the Republican candidates have inundated the media with an endless and unseemly debates. Beginning with Donald Trump and copied by a few others have used name calling, mudslinging, sex, lies, video and God forbid Sarah Palin as their individual platform. There has been little debate on the issues and even less of the detail of some outrageous actions they would deploy not if but when they occupy the Oval Office. The debates resemble MTV reality, the world-wide wrestling or a "tele novella" by the time the circus arrives in the June California primary.
There is one potential exception in that of Rick Santorum. In spite of how he may finish in the early races in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, he will stick like flies to... manure. The reason is that for the moment he is the only name the party faithful may rely to rescue Republicans from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Some predict the Republican Party will implode. This is not the Party of Inclusion.
This is the real scramble between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley in dire straits financially may find his campaign over. It has been a back and forth fight between Clinton and Sanders.
|The Faces of True Debate|
Most important is the Democratic Party has saved face for American Democracy. All three are qualified for the job. They have maintained dignity and decorum in their debates and the on the ground campaign in Iowa. Clinton, Sanders and O'Malley are the exceptions. They have avoided sensationalism and division. They debate The Issues and what's more they have some pragmatic solutions to our nation's foreign and domestic problems in detail.
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley have kept the process relevant and on point. They adhere to the time honored principles of debate that serves our country well. They arrive on time and by way of typical modes of transportation.
Whereas, The Donald arrives "trumpeting" his promises just as a snake oil salesman at a county fair in 1860. He jettisons down in a helicopter but actually has enough "hot air" to fill a balloon. The entire scene is liken to the era of the Whig Party at its' demise.
Over several months the polls have been volatile in swings one side to the other. One can only wonder how valid they are. The most recent polls show Hillary with a slight lead.
However, history has been rather fickle. Barack Obama beat the stronger Hillary Clinton in 2008 when it was thought she had Iowa as a lock. This time around it may be Bernie who pulls a rabbit out of a hat.
In the end, will it really matter? I mean in the long run to the White House there are miles to go. Worse, the mailings, telephone calls and the domination of political TV commercials will begin "ad nauseam."
These are but two small skirmishes in the bigger picture. In the final election, if the eventual winner holds on to these states Iowa has (6) six electoral votes and New Hamshire only but (2) two. It is a mere total of (8) eight. But, the outcome will put some campaigns on a slippery slope and the results will impact all of us for many years to come.
Coming up soon: The Libertarian Connection
- an advocate of the doctrine of free will.
- a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action.
- capitalized: a member of a political party advocating libertarian principles.