Yes, the turnout turned out to be a record high, as Trump had promised. But not all the newcomers flocked in his direction, as he also prophesized.
Credit Cruz with standing his ground: he didn’t back down on opposing the ethanol subsidy. He didn’t deviate from his game plan of courting evangelicals.
However, the game plan wasn’t glitch-free: three out of five GOP caucus-goers identified as evangelicals in this year’s Republican caucuses – a higher percentage than in 2012. Yet, per the Fox News entrance polls, this portion of the vote didn’t break as heavily for Cruz as anticipated.
This suggests a core problem for Cruz moving forward: he’s bright, organized and a methodical strategist. But he’s just not likeable beyond that base of religious and constitutional voters. He’ll be hard-pressed to finish second in New Hampshire, where the electorate is less devoutly Protestant and less conservative – and Trump may be particularly vengeful.
Snippets from the Center
Iowa has once again proved its perennial resistance to political inevitability and the power of personality.
In this year's iteration of the Iowa caucuses, national polling leaders Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had their campaign momentum slowed in significant ways by party activists who preferred their rivals.