Iowa is a lovely state with great people and a passion for old style politics. They kick off the 2016 Presidential Primary season, as they hold their caucuses for both parties on Tuesday February 1st just 49 days from today.
For the moment it looks like a two person race between Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and national GOP front runner Donald Trump. But as much as tradition is important it should be noted that the winner, whoever it is will only pickup at the most 25 delegates in the Hawkeye state. That is about one percent of the nation’s delegates and they are assigned proportionately, so the winner could come away with even less than the 25 allotted representatives headed to the GOP Convention in Cleveland.
Iowa has not had a stellar record of picking winners for those fighting for the GOP presidential nomination. Republican voters in the Hawkeye state have sided with their party’s eventual nominees only half the time in the six competitive races since 1976, according to caucus records. Democratic voters in that state, on the other hand, have fared much better, supporting all but a two of the eventual nominees since 1972.
Back in 2012 the winner was former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and in 2008 Former Arkansas Gov.-turned Fox News talk show host, Mike Huckabee beat out five other candidates. So, winning Iowa has not been a road to the White House for most of the GOP candidates over the years.
The Bloomberg Politics and The Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night, gave Texas Sen. Ted Cruz a 10-point lead over national frontrunner Donald Trump. Sen. Cruz has tapped into the strong Christian Conservative wing of the party and the new numbers show that is why he is now the new leader in Iowa.
The latest survey suggests a higher chance of a bitter, protracted primary season that is likely to last a long time with most of candidates not expected to drop out until at least March or April. Last week the New York Times, predicted that Sen. Cruz would emerge as the preferred nominee of far-right Republicans, competing against Trump. The two would fight it out for those who want an anti-establishment candidate. For the moment that leaves Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio as the candidate representing the establishment wing of the party with the remained of field doing all they can to remain in the race and find a way to create that breakout moment.