The Spectacle Blog

Ted Cruz Apologizes for Ben Carson Dropout Rumor

By on 2.2.16 | 3:22PM

Okay, I'll clarify that by saying that Ted Cruz sort of apologized for something they might have sort of done. 

According to CNN, the Ted Cruz campaign has issued an apology to the network after Ben Carson's high-level staffers complained that the Cruz campaign disseminated a CNN report that Carson intended to return to Florida after Iowa, rather than head to New Hampshire. According to the Carson campaign, Cruz's team spread the story deliberately, sowing discontent among Carson's caucus supporters and, somehow, building support for Cruz in the interim. 

Dr. Ben Carson and his campaign accused Sen. Ted Cruz's team of foul play on Monday night, alleging that his supporters had convinced caucus-goers he was out of the race.

Sen. Tim Scott Endorses Marco Rubio

By on 2.2.16 | 12:23PM

Marco Rubio has a lot of work to do if he intends to repeat last night's spectacular performance in Iowa. He's running behind in New Hampshire, where voters are split between the "Don't Tread on Me" stylings of Trump and Cruz, and the "compassionate conservatism" of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, who see New Hampshire as a "must win" if they intend to say in the game (both got miserable 1% ratings last night with Bush earning a single delegate for his trouble and Christie coming in just below Mike Huckabee, who performed so badly he dropped out). 

Part of that work will obtaining solid endorsements, and this morning, Rubio secured a major one in South Carolina, picking up the good word of Senator Tim Scott.

Sen. Marco Rubio scored a key endorsement on Tuesday as South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott gave the Republican presidential hopeful his backing.

In a video posted to Rubio's Youtube page, Scott said the Republican party has "one shot" to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 and "that shot is Marco Rubio."

Five Things You Need to Know About the Iowa Caucus

By on 2.2.16 | 11:56AM

Last night was the most exciting night in Iowa since the invention of the ethanol mandate. Ted Cruz pulled ahead in the early hours and pulled out a substantial win over Donald Trump, with Marco Rubio running a close third, only about 2,500 points behind Donald Trump. Ben Carson rounded out the top four with a decent showing (10%), and both Martin O'Malley and Mike Huckabee dropped out by night's end (both of them should probably have dropped out a month ago).

This morning, the Iowa hangover is evident. The media is gloating over Donald Trump's fallibility. Ted Cruz is probably still giving his victory speech. And the Democrats are still wondering exactly who won their caucus, as the difference between the two candidates is hovering around .2%. 

So, now, what's next? Well, here are a few things you need to know about the Iowa Caucuses.

Hillary & Bernie in a Virtual Tie in Iowa UPDATE

By on 2.1.16 | 11:41PM

With 95% of the ballots in, it appears that Hillary Clinton has held off the challenge of Bernie Sanders in Iowa. Hillary leads Bernie 50% to 49% (with 1% to the now departed Martin O'Malley) and has been awarded 667 delegates to 656 for Sanders.

In mid-December, Hillary had a 9 point lead over Bernie. But this lead evaporated and made this race too close to call. Had she lost tonight it would have reminded voters that she lost Iowa not only to Barack Obama, but to John Edwards in 2008. 

Assuming that Hillary holds the lead, in a few days no one will remember that she won by the tighest of margins. They will only remember that she won.

Still, Bernie Sanders is expected to win in New Hampshire. But what really counts is the South. If Bernie can make it razor thin on her political turf then she's got trouble. Of course, she might have more trouble had Bernie not taken her damn e-mails off the table. 

Huckabee Suspends Campaign

By on 2.1.16 | 10:58PM

After garnering only 2% of the vote tonight in Iowa, Mike Huckabee has announced he will drop out of the 2016 GOP presidential race. 

Huckabee won the Iowa Republican Caucus in 2008, but he could not replicate the magic this time around. 

The beginning of the end came when he was demoted to the GOP undercard debate stage in November. At the time he was demoted along with Chris Christie. While Christie got back to the main stage, Huckabee could not rise to the occasion. 

The closest he came to generating any excitement when he parodied Adele's "Hello" last week.

I should hasten to add that Huckabee (along with Rick Santorum) attended Donald Trump's rally for veterans in Iowa following the GOP undercard debate. Perhaps Huckabee will soon formally endorse Trump. After the election, I guess we can expect him to strap on the bass guitar Saturday nights on FNC.

Cruz Wins Iowa But Rubio Has New Life & Trump’s Fear of Megyn Kelly Costs Him

By on 2.1.16 | 10:46PM

With 99% of the vote in, Fox News is calling the Iowa Caucus for Ted Cruz.  Cruz has earned 28% of the vote with Trump at 24% while Rubio on his heels at 23%.

Cruz's win is astonishing given longtime Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad's edict to Hawkeyes not to vote for him for his opposition to ethanol subsidies. But he did have Steve King in his corner as well as a very strong organization.

It would appear that Donald Trump's decision to skip last week's debate in Des Moines cost him dearly. In fact, as I argued last week, it has to go down as one of the biggest blunders in the history of presidential politics.

In fact, Trump finished with only a little over 2,000 more votes than Marco Rubio. For voters unimpressed with Trump skipping the debate but not wanting to support Cruz, Rubio became a viable alternative. Being afraid of Megyn Kelly comes with a price.

Will Hillary Send O’Malley Flowers Tomorrow?

By on 2.1.16 | 8:21PM

Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier began their coverage of the Iowa Caucus by saying with much laughter that Martin O'Malley would finish third.

All laughter aside, O'Malley could be a big factor in tonight's Democrat race. The Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll over the weekend had Hillary up three points on Bernie (45-42) with O'Malley holding 3% of the vote. If O'Malley were out of the race I suspect that most of that vote would go to Bernie rather than Hillary.

If Hillary holds off Bernie there's a good chance she will have O'Malley to thank for it. In which case will Hillary reward him with a cabinet post?

 

The Iowa Caucus Thread, UPDATE: CRUZ WINS

By on 2.1.16 | 8:08PM

UPDATE (10:25): Ted Cruz has won the Iowa Caucus. The Dem race is still far too close! Trump will finish second. Marco Rubio finishes third, but only approximately 2,000 votes behind Trump. Dr. Ben Carson will finish fourth. Rand Paul will finish fifth. 

UPDATE (10:20): Ted Cruz 28%, Donald Trump 24%, Marco Rubio 23%. 97% of precincts are reporting. Marco Rubio and Donald Trump will fight it out for second.

UPDATE (10:05): Martin O'Malley has told journalists to be ready for a press conference, he will be suspending his campaign

Trump is, reportedly, not doing well in any of the major cities (Des Moines, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids). Many of the caucus-goers turning out there made their minds up in the last several days, many of them on the content of the last debate. Skipping the final debate may have cost Trump. Cruz is also pulling ahead with "anti-Establishment" voters.

UPDATE (10:00p): According to GOP officials, 170,000 Republicans turned up to caucus this year, which is straight up insane. With 75% reporting in, Cruz is still up 28-25

Donald Trump Is No John Scott

By on 2.1.16 | 4:41PM

I see that both Fred Schwarz and Marc Thiessen are trying to turn Donald Trump into the political equivalent of John Scott.

For those of you who don't follow hockey, Scott is a journeyman NHL player who was voted onto the NHL All-Star Team as something of a joke. Scott has played with six teams in eight seasons and has scored a grand total of five goals. Known as an enforcer, Scott has spent much of his career in the penalty box.

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