Unlike the Democrats, Iowa Republicans picked a clear winner in last night’s state caucus: Ted Cruz. But should the word “winner” be used to describe Cruz?
If history is any guide, Rafael Edward Cruz will not be the Republican nominee for president. Lest we forget, the last two Republican primary winners in Iowa were Rick Santorum (2012) and Mike Huckabee (2008). Enough said.
Do you see a pattern here? If you look at the last three Iowa “winners,” you see a common thread: the candidates’ religiosity. Santorum is well known for his deep Christian beliefs and has even questioned the separation of church and state. Before entering politics, Mike Huckabee was a pastor who preached for 12 years from Arkansas pulpits. Ted Cruz has been quoted as saying any candidate who doesn’t start “every day on his knees” in prayer isn’t fit to be president.
Evangelical Christians make up a large portion of the Iowa Republican base. By picking Cruz, they are following in the tradition of choosing the most religious candidate they could find; a candidate who will be shunned by other Republicans in less evangelical states.
Too bad for Cruz … and the Democrats. Cruz is the one candidate most Democrats want to see get the Republican nomination. It is a toss up as to who detests Cruz more: establishment Republicans or Democrats.
The next primary state is New Hampshire. Ted Cruz is stuck in a statistical tie for second place along with Kasich, Bush and Rubio with roughly 11% of the vote. Donald Trump comfortably leads in New Hampshire with 34% of the vote according to the latest statistics.
Pundits, analysts and the media, in general, like to place great emphasis on the Iowa caucus winners. But with the state’s history of picking Republican “winners,” we ironically have the first loser of 2016… Ted Cruz.
Photo | AP/ChrisCarlson