1. Trump’s support was not as strong as we believed. Sure, he came in second. And he’s still in a good position to take the nomination. But tonight we learned that it is going to be a close race. Cruz took the night with 28%, Trump followed with 24% and Rubio came in a close third at 23%. It is remarkable that Trump came so close to falling to third place. Marco Rubio now has a real chance to overtake Trump. If the nomination comes down to Cruz against Rubio, it will be a win-win for the GOP.
2. It is time for the remaining GOP candidates to concede. Everyone not named Cruz, Rubio or Trump needs to pack it in and call it a day. Mike Huckabee kicked off the concession parade almost as soon as the caucus tallies came in. That isn’t all that surprising as he and Rick Santorum were willing sidekicks at the Donald J. Trump Sideshow during the most recent GOP debate. The sooner Santorum, et al., wave the white flag, the sooner their voters can rally around one of the two conservatives with a chance to win the nomination.
3. Marco Rubio is really good at delivering speeches. Rubio looked very presidential tonight as he stood on the stage and rallied the crowd after a third-place finish. The difference in tone between second-place Trump and third-place Rubio was remarkable. It was clear that they were on opposite trajectories. Despite that one incident with the water bottle three years ago, Rubio has done a great job of clearly and confidently communicating with voters every time he takes the stage.
4. Ted Cruz needs to stop filibustering. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I just don’t like Cruz’s delivery. He comes across as preachy. But that wasn’t Ted’s problem last night. No, last night Ted Cruz took the podium, and I believe he is still up there talking. He spoke for so long that Fox News cut away to Bernie Sanders. Speaking of Bernie…
5. Hillary split the Democratic vote with a socialist. An actual flesh-and-blood socialist took nearly 50% of the vote last night in Iowa. I know, I know, it’s not as if Hillary isn’t quite the socialist herself, but at least she doesn’t openly claim it. Now, however, it doesn’t matter, as nearly half the Democrats in Iowa are ready to line up behind one of the worst ideologies of the Twentieth Century. It is truly mind-boggling, but it says a lot for the state of our education system when this many voters see the socialist candidate as the best choice.
Next up, New Hampshire . . .