Monday, February 1, 2016

Anti-Establishment Caucuses, With Unexpected Winners

Here's Susan Page, at USA Today, "Big night for the anti-establishment candidates":
It was a big night in Iowa Monday for anti-establishment candidates — just not always the one who expected it.

A Republican race that seemed to be heading toward a romp to the nomination by billionaire businessman Donald Trump suddenly has turned into a fierce and more extended battle: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won the opening contest of the 2016 campaign, and Trump only narrowly managed to finish ahead of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

In the Democratic race, a hairs-breadth divided former secretary of State Hillary Clinton and challenger Bernie Sanders, a stronger showing by the Vermont senator than seemed possible just a few weeks ago. While Clinton did better than her humiliating third-place showing here in 2008, it means that she once again heads to the New Hampshire primary with something to prove.

In speeches to supporters as the results came in, Clinton declared that she was "breathing a big sigh of relief" but acknowledged that she now faced "really getting into the debate" with Sanders about the country's best course forward. Sanders said to cheers that he had taken on "the most powerful political organization in America" and fought them to "a virtual tie." Trump, speaking with unusual brevity, insisted that he "loved" Iowa and might be back one day to buy a farm.

And Cruz, like Trump a candidate viewed with suspicion by the Republican establishment, declared to cheers, "God bless the great state of Iowa."

The polls were proven wrong: Trump had led in the last dozen statewide surveys.
Keep reading.