Sunday, January 31, 2016

Political Junkies Unite! It's Time to Vote

I predict that the global rise in temperature will show a significant decline on Monday as all of the hot air bloviators, pollsters, consultants and media talking heads hold their steamy breath as they await the results of the Iowa caucuses. And why shouldn't they? The numbers all say that Donald Trump will win the caucuses over Ted Cruz, with the rest of the GOP field barely in their rear-view mirror.

And then of course there's Iowa's importance as a...mid-western, um, evangelical-heavy, um...white, um...state. That really doesn't represent much about America except that the Republicans there seem to have fallen for Trump's snake oil and Cruz's smarmy insincerity.

Which is why I think the results will likely be different from the media narrative that's been written since the fall. I could be wrong, and if I am I will say so because I live in New Jersey and from the governor on down to us little folk, we New Jerseyans always tell the truth and admit our failures and flip-flops.

For what it's worth, I have been saying all along that neither Trump nor Cruz will be the GOP nominee because both their personalities and their policy prescriptions will not appeal to a majority of either party voters or the electorate at large. Trump has been inconsistent in his message on the stump and hasn't really come up with specific fixes for the economy, foreign policy or constitutional issues mainly because he doesn't have many. Calling people stupid or losers or saying that he can fix things because he's a businessman doesn't inspire confidence. Cruz, likewise, is running to head a government that he doesn't even respect. He says he knows what the constitution means and the original intent of the framers, but my suspicion is that they would laugh him out of the room for being a presidential pretender at best.

Trump and Cruz are likely to be first and second in Iowa, but I don't believe that either one will crack 30% of the vote and the big surprise will come from Marco Rubio, and one of Bush or Kasich, who will do far (far) better than what they are polling right now. I think they could approach 20% of the vote, which would instantly put them in line to be seen as the moderate/establishment savior for the party, and the de facto person to beat in New Hampshire.

For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton's e-mails have reared their ugly heads again and they will have a slight impact on the race, but I think she will still win the caucuses by about 5 percentage points over Bernie Sanders. He'll likely poll in the high 30s or lower 40s on Monday, and will go into New Hampshire as the favorite to win there, but I don't think he'll do that either. Clinton has too much money and more support among minorities for Sanders to mount a national challenge.

After a very long pre-season, it's time for political junkies everywhere to get their electoral needles ready for the voting binge to come. The fun starts now.

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