And frankly, he gave a classy concession speech, which I'm just now seeing, since CNN was running with somebody, I think Hillary, at the time.
As far as expectations go, he's definitely taken a beating. The sign of a winner, though, is how well they take defeat, with sportsmanship or bitterness. The Donald's gonna be fine. He needs to be on the ground campaigning in New Hampshire first thing in the morning.
In any case, at U.S. News and World Report, "In Iowa, the Emperor Has No Clothes":
The day has arrived. GOP front-runner Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed consummate winner, is now officially a loser, placing second in the Iowa caucuses behind Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.Keep reading.
Trump lost despite polling nearly five points ahead of Cruz and the other GOP candidates. He could taste the victory. "Unless I win," Trump said Sunday, "I would consider this a big, fat, beautiful – and, by the way, a very expensive – waste of time. … If I don't win, maybe bad things will happen."
In contrast, a noticeably subdued Trump whitewashed his loss when he took the stage after the caucus, simply encouraging supporters to look forward to the future. "New Hampshire – we love New Hampshire. We love South Carolina." Rather than castigating the people of Iowa, as many expected (and as he's done before), Trump spun the loss as beating expectations: "I absolutely love the people of Iowa. … I was told by everybody, 'Do not go to Iowa. You cannot finish even in the top 10.' "
But overall, Trump's entire campaign has been predicated on his being a winner. And as Talking Point Memo's Josh Marshall summarized, "If you're a 'winner', if you're the alpha, you have to win."