People celebrated last night. Sen. Ted Cruz won Iowa! Yay!
Except one thing. He did not slay Donald Trump, the beast. A couple of tough critics of Trump are throwing cold water on a Ted Cruz victory right now. Aaron Gardner starts us off this morning:
Yes, Donald Trump had his friends in radio and his “adversaries” in the MSM priming the pump for the Donald the entire time, but still, that alone wouldn’t be enough to capture nearly 25% of the caucus. Trump was able to do what most thought impossible…
If he can do this in a caucus, which requires the voter to go out and stay out for a rather long time just to cast a series of votes, he can certainly do it in a primary. When you get right down to it, Donald Trump got nearly 40,000 people to show up on a cold February night when a blizzard is on the horizon. That’s no joke. …
After all, we know this was just the opening round and Trump isn’t done yet.
Gardner also notes that it is NOT too late for Donald Trump to just open his wallet and out-spend everyone. Now money isn’t everything, but it could mean the difference in tight races.
Allahpundit oddly comes to the same conclusion:
The guy’s basically half-assing his campaign and he still beat the Great Establishment Hope for second place (I think) and nearly knocked off the hyper-organized, hyper-competent Cruz campaign. He’s no joke. And thanks to a divided moderate field, there’s still every reason to think he’ll win New Hampshire.
There’s that “no joke” again. Basically, what they are saying is that you can’t write Donald Trump off yet and both these men are huge Trump critics. If they are not convince that Trump has been defeated, then this race is far from over.
Ed Morrissey, Allahpunit’s co-blogger, agrees:
The difference in Iowa was probably ground organization and perhaps lingering annoyance over Trump’s decision to bail on the final debate in Iowa. The former favored Cruz, but the latter might have pushed late deciders to go to Rubio’s corner. It was a tactical error by Trump, to be sure, but hardly a fatal one. Trump ended up with one less delegate than Cruz, and the same as Rubio – five. Trump didn’t win Iowa, but other than for his reputation, he didn’t really need to win; he just needed to stay competitive. And the reasons for that are New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Ted Cruz needed a knock-out in Iowa for the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, and he didn’t get one. In fact, Cruz spent a lot of time hitting Marco Rubio and instead of going for the Donald Trump knock-out. That may come back to haunt Cruz.
And Donald Trump came out and ate a big piece of humble pie:
He congratulated Ted Cruz (and all the candidates) and thanked Iowa, despite the loss. Donald Trump did not yell or scream or meltdown. It was short and to the point. With so many long-winded political speeches, this was really refreshing!
Anyone wanting to write Donald Trump off, does so at their own peril.
Well, see ya’ later!