Bernie, Hillary, Donald and Ted: Six Major Takeaways From The Iowa Caucus

The results of the Iowa caucus defied the polling averages of most major analysts including Nate Silver, whose algorithm showed Trump narrowly winning Iowa. Here are six major takeaways from the caucus results.

1) Ted Cruz’s Iowa victory is irrelevant.

For the third Iowa Caucus in a row, Republican caucus-goers chose hyper-religious crackpots. Ted Cruz is perfectly in keeping with that trend. Any Cruz supporters who think this portends a Cruz nomination are lying to themselves.

2) Accusing Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party of election fraud is a mistake.

My Facebook feed is rapidly filling up with Sanders supporters who are accusing various precinct officials as well as both the Clinton campaign and the Iowa Democratic Party of rigging the vote against Bernie. With the 30-to-21 delegate split clearly showing a Clinton victory, it was pretty damn close to a tie, and Sanders supporters should be proud of achieving second place with a wafer-thin margin. Scouring Iowa precincts for fraud just looks like sour grapes. Plus, attacking the Democratic Party itself won’t help Sanders with acquiring the necessary party endorsements to win the nomination — superdelegates matter, and Sanders lags far behind on this front with a margin of 465 party endorsements for Clinton and just two for Bernie. By the way, the C-SPAN video being circulated with the headline “Clinton Voter Fraud in Polk County, Iowa Caucus” was user-generated, and likely comes from a Sanders supporter — not C-SPAN itself.

3) Donald Trump is still going to win the nomination.

Trump holds substantial polling leads in the next handful of contests. There’s no reason to believe his fortunes will change.

4) Bernie Sanders overcame huge odds to nearly tie Clinton.

To repeat: Sanders’ performance in Iowa is a very big deal, and it represents a massive step forward for his agenda. In terms of delegates, Sanders’ Iowa performance bodes quite well for him in other primaries in which white progressives will decide those elections — Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, etc.

5) Don’t count Hillary out of the New Hampshire primary.

As an Obama supporter, I remember New Hampshire in 2008 quite well when it was predicted that Obama would go on from Iowa to win New Hampshire. We underestimated Clinton and grew complacent after his commanding Iowa victory. Clinton won, of course. But Obama won in spirit, having delivered his now historic “Yes We Can” speech as his concession to Clinton.

6) Ted Cruz’s victory speech was the creepiest victory speech I’ve ever heard.

I’m fairly certain he worked a religious reference into every sentence — from outright religious dogma to the usage of biblical terms like “testament.” The Cruz Creep Factor was off the charts Monday night. Patton Oswalt perfectly nailed Cruz’s fire-and brimstone horseshit:

Feature image via video screen grab