Millennics EP4 – Post-Iowa Caucus and the Downfall of Trump

Episode 4 of Millennics considers the landscape of post-Iowa caucus.  Host, Jonathan J. Cianfaglione, focuses on Cruz and Trump, and concludes by turning to Clinton and Sanders.

Host: Jonathan J. Cianfaglione (@jjcianfaglione via Twitter)
Presented by:
Support From: VIG & Associates
Music: Ancient Sounds, by The Electric Sons

Find Millennics on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Links from the Show:
Millennics EP3 – Caucus v. Primary
Millennics EP2 – Exploring the Presidential Primaries
Militia Ranchers, Public Lands, and the Constitution
U.S. Elections: Results – Roper Center at Cornell University

Show notes:

Millennics, EP4: Post-Iowa Caucus and the Downfall of Trump; February 4, 2016

Hey Everybody, Welcome to Millennics, a podcast where we discuss policy, politics, and law from the viewpoint of Millennials.  I’m your host, Jonathan J. Cianfaglione.

Today, we are going to discuss the GOP Outcome in Iowa, the landscape of post-Iowa caucus, and, consequently, campaign turning points.  To conclude, we’ll then turn to Sanders and Clinton, and what to make of their showing in Iowa.

I’m itching to get going, here, but before I do, let’s set the stage a bit:

-In episode 3 of Millennics: Caucus v. Primary, I briefly discussed how Trump was bowing out of the Republican debate just days before the Iowa caucus.  There, I said this is likely not going to fare well with voters, and they will exercise their disgust come the caucus.  On Monday, the caucus played out as I said.

-In Episode 2 of Millennics: Exploring the Presidential Primaries, I chatted, at length about the middle group of the GOP.  There I said the jockeying in the middle is indicative that these candidates will actually be the contenders to watch, and that we will likely see the the bottom group phase out, which includes O’Malley from the Democrats’ side.  On Monday, those things happened, as well.  Huckabee and O’Malley dropped out, while the the few remaining bottom are scrambling for traction anywhere they can find it.  All the while, the competition in the middle group continues to grow fiercer, and we are probably going to see splits happen throughout the rest of the states.

So, if you are listening to this, prior to listening to the older episodes of Millennics, I highly encourage you to go back and listen to those episodes to get a grasp on why I suggested those things will happen, as well as some other “surprises” that will likely occur down the road.

Also, I did a Footnotes episode on the Militia Ranchers out in Oregon, which has now dwindled to around 4 ranchers left in the Malheur National Park, thanks, in large part, to the FBI finally taking action.  As a follow up, I posted another article on LogicalPost reviewing the constitutional claim of the Militia Ranchers, and arguments proffered by the National Center for Constitutional Studies.  That article rebuts these arguments, showing that they don’t fit the constitutional framework; rather, the governments stance fits the constitutional framework contemplated by the founding fathers, and other scholars that came before them, such as John Locke.

If this is a topic that interest you, I highly recommend that article.  If it doesn’t, this article gives you a good understanding of what publics lands are, why the government holds them, and how the government obtained this power.

Now that the stage is set, let’s get into it!

Let’s start with Trump: The Man who Doesn’t Lose, Loses; the Man with the best negotiators you’ve never heard of, couldn’t negotiate with the American voter on Monday.

But, you know all that.  Here’s the thing to take away, that no one else is talking about, and making the logical bridge necessary.  Rolling into Iowa, analyst, experts, etc., etc., were saying two things: (1) there is going to be a huge voter turnout, and (2) this huge voter turnout will play in Trump’s favor.  Only one of those things happened: voter turnout was a record 186k on the GOP side.  That’s a 50% increase from the last presidential election cycle.  So, why then, with this record setting GOP voter turnout, didn’t result as a win for Trump.

Two things here:

First, its important to recognize that with as many candidates that there are on the GOP side, the appeal is going to be much broader.  Consequently, each candidate is going to appeal to a particular voter demographic, as well as an overlapping demographic.  Thus, more people likely came out to caucus b/c this large field of candidates had a broader appeal.

Second, and most important, it was said Trump was going to win b/c of this voter turnout.  In so doing, that means that Trump’s sentiment is resonating with the populace.  But, we take that as true, which is, then we must also make the logical bridge that takes the opposite true.  That is, if Trump was to loose, which he did, that’s a rejection thereof.

It’s because of this rejection, that I think we will likely see an end to the Trump candidacy.  I don’t think he is going to take any states.  And, the rejection by Iowa voters has set the tone for the rest of the states to follow; it has created the turning point in Trump’s campaign, but for the worse.  Basically the opposite of what happened to President Obama in Iowa during the 2008 election.  There, President Obama came out of nowhere to defeat Clinton in Iowa.  That sent a ripple effect to other states, where they suddenly saw President Obama as viable.  Thus, the opposite is true for Trump, where the loss in Iowa is going to create a domino effect to the sister states.

The question now, is whether Trump will see this thing to the end, if he losses the first three states… which he will.  I say this, because campaigns which are self-financed, when they start to loose, are treated like a declining investment, where the investor—the candidate—tries to spinoff the campaign off, in an effort to mitigate his losses.  I don’t think there is a question that that’s probably what Trump is going to do, then spin it, as “It benefitted me … I did it to benefit me.”

Let’s push on to Cruz:

Cruz takes Iowa, and Rubio came out of Iowa as being his most likely contender.  Cruz has a long, long way to go here.  Will his hardline conservatism resonate with other voters?  If I had to guess, I would say, no; but, we just have to wait this one out.

What I do want to consider is whether Cruz can win, if he has the nomination.  The answer here, is no.  Here’s why.  Cruz’s entire campaign is focused a fatal error.  Cruz’s campaign is predicated on the concept that Romney lost b/c he couldn’t get enough white voters.  Thus, all the Cruz campaign needs to do to win, is get more white votes.

Silly Cruz.  This is why I always bring history in to this podcast: In 2012, Romney garnered above average white vote for a GOP candidate.  Generally speaking, the GOP garners a plus/minus 50% of the white vote.  Reagan holds the modern day record, where in the 84 election, Reagan carried 66% of the white vote.  Since then, just about every GOP candidate carries 50% of the white vote, give or take.  How, then, will Cruz squeak out more white votes than Romney?  I have no idea.  Romney had 59% of the white vote.  What Cruz’s campaign is predicated on, is that it can do something Reagan did.  Is that even repeatable?

Further, I’m not even sure that guarantees victory.  Today, Democrats carry a sizable load of the white vote, ranking somewhere around a plus/minus 40%.  Therefore, all indicators would suggest that the white vote matters, but what matters more, is the minority vote.  Indeed, this is true.  After the 2012 election, the GOP released a post-election assessment.  In that assessment, there was one simple highlight: the GOP needs the minority vote.  A measly, 27%—which is what Romney garnered in 2012—won’t win elections.

Thus, to win, Cruz would need to do something only G.W. Bush has done.  In 2004, Bush took 47% of the minority vote.  His numbers, were unreal for a GOP candidate. Can Cruz garner such numbers.  Likely, not, given his stances.  Thus, the Cruz campaign’s idea that we could win if we simply squeak out more white votes, is a losing strategy.

Turning to Clinton and Sanders:

I’m just going to discuss Iowa, and abstain from discussing the Townhall debate that happened last night, between the two.  I’m going to leave that on the shelf for another episode.

Iowa ended up going to Clinton on paper.  But, this might be a victory for Sanders.  Naturally, this will be a propaganda effort from both camps, where they need to spin the story as they need to mitigate defectors.  But, without question, this was a victory for Sanders.  He came from being a huge underdog in the Iowa race, to being beat out by just half a percentage.

Again, perhaps, a turning point here.  This might send ripple effects to sister states, where Sanders’ viability was in question.  With a loss that came to a razor’s edge, it changes the question of viability into the affirmative.  Suddenly, it looks like we have a race on the Democrat side.  More on this later.

That’s going to wrap up this episode of Millennics.  Thanks again for listening, and I’m your host, Jonathan J. Cianfaglione.  Millennics is presented by and support for Millennics comes from VIG & Associates.  Don’t forget to subscribe, follow, etc., to Millennics on iTunes, Soundcloud, and GooglePlay.  Where you are, we are.  So get in on this.  Send me your questions and thoughts via twitter, @jjcianfaglione