Third Party & Independents Archives

After Iowa, How Long Will the Elites Wait?

Remember Tom Harkin? Iowa certainly knows and cares for their now-retired, long-serving Senator. And all that affection spilled over wonderfully in the Iowa Presidential Caucus back in 1992, with the senator garnishing just over three quarters of the vote. By March 8, his rumored withdrawal was being confirmed and so he did. By then Clinton had over 3 times the delegates and was the front runner.

How did Arkansas Governor Clinton do that year in Iowa? 3% of delegates. But he was in 4th place and apparently uncommitteds were a surprisingly large portion of that year's Iowa vote.

And 4 years ago, Santorum's mythical surge was the surprise of the campaign - up to that point. So, does Rubio have a chance of pulling a Santorum-like surge? He has been rising to a more solid 3rd place, but if you believe the wonks, he's no Rick Santorum. A steady rise perhaps, but not a surge.

Is that such a bad thing? Despite Trump's overwhelming presence and influence on this nomination race.

If the Republican Party establishment could feel Rubio has a fighting chance, they would rush to endorse his campaign. He's clearly the most in line with the policies they favor: flexibility on immigration, tough on foreign affairs but reasonably open to free trade, and an appealing candidate to the Latino vote of course.

How long does Rubio have to pull it off? Assuming he surprises to the upside in Iowa, and gathers momentum to gain 2nd place say in New Hampshire. By March he will have had to prove he can gather delegates: in South Carolina and Nevada: And head into Super Tuesday looking like a Trump-beater.

Assuming Ted Cruz doesn't end up the one filling that role. And that's a tough assumption to make at this point. Most GOP voters have conceded that Trump will win, and Cruz seems to be the only candidate who can change that for now. Will Rubio give the elites a life buoy to hang onto? And how long will the elites wait?

Posted by AllardK at February 1, 2016 5:40 PM
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