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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Trump Manages Expectations in Iowa

I said yesterday, I think he gets this a lot better than the media wants to admit. There is talk whether he will really do the new ads he’s talking about but then those who doubt this doubted he’d ever get in and if he did that he’d last.

As for ground game were here some contradictory stories, but I’ll say this-I was impressed that I myself received a Christmas card from him just for buying a couple of shirts and hats from him-for a joke-a couple of months ago.

If he literally sent everybody who has bought a piece of merchandise off his website, a Christmas card, that’s pretty impressive. It also shows he is keeping track of potential supporters.

He’s been speaking at his rallies to his supporters of the importance of voting-he’s noted that the media has been saying ‘Yeah, he’s got a lot of supporters, but will they vote?’

The last bastion of refuge the pundits have hung their hats on is that he’s going to lose Iowa and won’t be able to deal with it. That this will somehow unmask him as not being the big winner he claims to be and he will lose everywhere else for not winning everywhere.

Yet Trump seems to be getting this as well:

“Donald Trump seemed to come to terms Tuesday with an unfamiliar prospect: He might lose in Iowa, the first state to weigh in on the Republican presidential nominating contest.”

“At a campaign rally in Council Bluffs, Trump ran through a list of polls showing him leading the Republican race nationally and also in the Hawkeye State, which holds caucuses on Feb. 1. But he also noted that a handful of polls have shown him “very close” in the state, presumably trailing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has begun a steady surge there.”

“If I come in second by 2 points, they’ll say ‘Ooh, this is a terrible defeat,'” he said, referring to media and pundit pronouncements. “It’s not terrible.”

“It seemed like a classic case of expectations-setting common to presidential campaigns, but rarely seen from Trump, who has consistently led both in national and early-state polls. He heaped praise on Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status and warned of political plots to bump Iowa “to the back of the pack” in future primary seasons. He said that if he wins, he’d ensure that Iowa remains the first state to hold a nominating contest.”

“It comes as he foreshadows a sustained ad blitz — at least $2 million a week — in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He also told Iowa rally-goers to expect him to be there so often “You’re going to get so sick of me.”

Read more:

Say what you want but this shows he understands how the game is played.

As a Trump Democrat, I’m not even sure what the best outcome in Iowa is. Yes, the obvious answer is that I should want Trump to win. But this actually could be seen as a real setback for Cruz who despite it being very tight between he and Trump in the state has become the odds on favorite in the conventional wisdom.

But being a Trump Democrat is first and foremost not so much solely about Trump doing well and optimally winning the primary but making sure the Establishment doesn’t do well.

Looking towards New Hampshire, the optimal scenario seems to me that Trump finishes first and Cruz pulls off an upset and finishes second. That would really hit the Establishment were it hurts as Cruz is not the sort of candidate who’s supposed to do well in NH.

But if Cruz finishes behind Trump in Iowa maybe this hurts his chances of finishing second in NH? So anyway, optimal in NH is:

1. Trump

2. Cruz

3. Any of the Establishment Four, except Rubio. Christie, Kasich, yes, even Jeb, would be optimal. Let Rubio not finish the highest among the E in NH. Then the E will truly be in entering the twilight zone.

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